Louisiana is a word that conjures images of the always mighty and almost always muddy Mississippi river, Mardi Gras parades, jazz festivals and funerals, feasting on good food (especially seafood), and colors- the purple and gold of the Tigers (Louisiana State University: LSU) and the black and gold of the Saints (New Orleans’ NFL team). And, on a very personal level for me, Louisiana in 2010 conjures the almost overpowering emotions of “coming home.”
The sense of coming home is not created by a return to the US state of my birth (that would be Mississippi), but by my return to the state where I resided from January 1976 through May 1999- during that residency, my accomplishments astonished me but did not bring personal contentment.
From Louisiana, I moved to Costa Rica in Central America. And while my accomplishments there were fewer than those I achieved in Louisiana, they were equally astonishing. And yet, living for a decade in the tropical paradise that is Costa Rica did not bring personal contentment.
Now, as I settle again in Louisiana, I intend to make finding personal contentment one of my top five priorities.