It was over two years ago I made yet another gut based leap of faith. I made the decision to move from New Orleans back to Oklahoma. This was a huge deal, and for very good reasons. One in particular.
How I got where I am today? During a 7 day vacation in Oklahoma I took time to feed my soul. This act of self kindness; long overdue. New Orleans offered me fantastic food, church, yoga, adventure along with lots of friendly faces. It also brought distractions, bad habits, and complacency, I needed drive, something more to live for. For 5 blissful mornings I woke to birds chirping and a 4 year friendship. Annette and I hugged, drank coffee, talked, discussed books and life all before the first rays of sunrise. In those glorious mornings I loved on Chef (my four legged companion) giving him my undivided attention. I basked in long hot shower’s relishing in a face mask to follow. I slowed down, I took care of me. I made a hearty breakfast, fed my mind with books and art. I recharged my battery. My last but most pressing task was to prepare the house for Annette’s upcoming annual Halloween party. With a very impressive guest list, there was a lot to do. Little did I know that one guest would change my life forever.
Back story: 4 years prior while living in Oklahoma, I worked as a barista in Tulsa. I met a lot of people. I was constantly asked on a lot of dates. I gave a lot of “no’s”. I was reserving my heart and mind. I had no intentions of dating, However, There was one customer that stood out. He had the grandest smile, He was polite, cheerful, and good looking to boot. He persisted for months hoping by chance to take me on a date. I always declined, but took note of his efforts. In the preceding years he continued to stay in contact via Facebook and Instagram. We shared interests in common, milestones, motivational posts and laughs. He hunkered down somewhere in the background of my mind, never quiet exiting my life. It wasn’t until late one summer night while strolling home from Salsa night at the Dragon’s Den, my phone “dinged”. A notification highlighted the screen of my Iphone from non other but this man I speak of. We caught up on our evening, life, relationships and main events. Our conversation went on late into the night, which turn into days, the days turned into weeks and evolved into months. For the first time in what felt like eternity I woke up every day with a smile on my face and a liveliness in my heart.
Back to the present: I took a weeks vacation in Oklahoma to visit with friends, at the time I contemplated moving back. Before I made the leap I wanted to survey the scene. In my search for a fresh start I found a lot more than I had planned on. I found something I searched my lifetime for, someone I felt connected to. Someone who made me feel seen. My date showed up as a life size banana, I was a sugar skull; evidently we did not plan our costumes very well. Despite the costume situation we enjoyed ourselves. We socialized the night away. We chatted our way through some jello shots and enjoyed the cool autumn air reveling in the moment. It was a night to remember, followed by sleepy head breakfast because, no one should drink and drive. We spent the week together, I tagged along on Halloween night at the city zoo and met his tiny counterpart. A 3 year old shy little boy who loved to color and giggle. I was sold. This banana was the guy for me. Later that week before I left we had our first real date. He took me out to dinner and for a walk by the water under the stars. He held his arm out. It was cold, I could see our breaths in the night sky. I think we both knew where our lives were headed, we could feel it in our souls.
This goodbye left me sure of two things. One, this man was worth getting to know and Two, I would return to Oklahoma as quickly as possible.
I returned to New Orleans and put in for a transfer to Oklahoma. New Orleans gave me everything it had to offer and would always hold a special place in my heart. I eagerly packed up my uptown apartment and counted down the days until Chef and I would make the 10 hour drive back home. Home had a heartbeat and it’s name was Parker.
Advice for anyone and everyone:
- Always trust your gut.
- Never be afraid to make new friends.
- Once in awhile take a leap of faith.
Stay tuned for my latest adventures.
Mrs. Valerie Anne Treadway