Hi! It’s Heather The Happy Blogger coming to you from our cozy apartment. It’s quite chilly in New Orleans right now. We stayed bundled up over the weekend while partying at the parades on Saturday. We met some locals and stumbled upon NOLA Brewing’s main facility. It was closed for a private party but the Brew Master invited us in any way. We sampled their fine beers and went to an event they had later that night at The Avenue Pub. NOLA and Stone Brewing Co. from California collaborated to create a rich Imperial Porter. It’s made with Steen’s Dark
Molasses from Louisiana and local satsuma orange peels and is called “Pour Me Somethin’ Mista’” for Mardi Gras. It was perfect and warmed me up while I stood in the frigid air on The Avenue Pub’s balcony watching the Knights of Sparta parade and catching beads.
I was cleaning out my Inbox and found a post by Seth Godin called Walking away from “real”. It’s a succinct post that delivers a powerful punch. Seth says that when we label something as real, we ascribe all sorts of normative assumptions and implicit criticisms for those that don’t qualify. He goes on to explain that doing this helps us reject the weird and trade our goals and happiness for someone else’s.
I completely relate to this! When I left my secure and enjoyable office job to become Location Liberated, I gave up what most consider to be a real career. I’m sure that some people I told (family, friends, coworkers, strangers, and more) believed I needed to have my sanity evaluated. Heck, I even questioned myself at times. But ultimately I didn’t embrace their values as my own. I am SO thankful that I stood firm in my resolve and made this decision. We’re having a blast!
This adventure has taught me more about myself than working another 20 years in an office ever will. I’m more comfortable in my own skin and with the decisions I make. I’ve also learned how to adapt quickly to new surroundings and to suspend serious judgement until I know something for myself.
New Orleans is a prime example of this. When we told others this was our anti-vacation destination, most only had negative things to say. Everyone is surely entitled to their own opinions, but I’m glad we didn’t take them to heart. They’re not real to us because we love it here! The music, food, and people have all been exceptional. The best part is, we’re just getting started! And yes, we know the dangers and aren’t being naive. We received a lot of local advice and are following it like the gospel.
What’s real to me is living on my own terms and not begrudging others for doing the same. I don’t know what’s in my future but my present is wonderful and real enough for me.