Tuesday, February 28, 2006

(Fat) Tuesday's Gone

As today is Mardi Gras, I decided to look back at my old posts about the greatest free show on Earth. I've got three posts in my archives about Mardi Gras, and two of them revolve around the fact that it annoyed me.

I couldn't drive home at night because I lived inside a large square that was blocked off by parades every evening during carnival season, but I worked outside of that square. This made for a serious pain during tax season. Try coming home after a 12 hour day of number crunching to find that you can't get home...every night.

In another I commented on the increase in traffic and the general craziness and how it related to an incredible number of awesome wrecks. That part was true. There were some crazy accidents during carnival season.

And in the third I showed you guys a few pictures from some of the parades I attended. Those pictures were great. I wish I had taken more. I love this guy.

Looking back on Mardi Gras and New Orleans now, I think about the way that I complained about some of those things here in print, and also out loud to probably anyone who would stand still long enough to listen. And I regret it.

Since Hurricane Katrina, obviously a lot of bad things have happened to Lindsey and I which we have had no control over, but to be honest there have been a lot of really good things that have come about as a direct result of it too. I hate to speak for Lindsey, but we've talked about it a lot and I think we both feel the same: I would give up all of the good things that have happened if I could just go back to the way things were before the storm. I miss those inconveniences. I miss Mardi Gras. I miss New Orleans.

Those posts linked above were all written in our first year in New Orleans, which was a very difficult year. In our second year, we both began to see some real progress and success in our careers, we bought a house we loved, and I finally caught up to Lindsey's love of the city. She loved it from the moment we arrived, and while I always liked it, it took me two years to fully embrace it and love it the way she did.

I hate to still be whining about the hurricane because I'm sure you guys are all tired of hearing about it, hell I’m tired of thinking about it because I honestly haven’t thought of much else since August 29th, 2005; but I'm still having the hardest time dealing with what has happened in the last seven months. We didn’t have it as bad as most people down there did, but we still lost something important to us and it still hurts even now.

We were talking about everything that's happened a few days ago, and finally feel like we've come up with what it is that's been nagging us. Immediately after the storm we felt as if we needed to make some very important decisions, very quickly. Upon assessing the extent of the damage in the city and the possibility of another storm doing the same thing any time, we decided we had to leave, and we did. We sold the house, moved to Portland, and started a new life here. The part that's eating us alive inside is that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt, with 100% certainty that it was the right decision (though I may have rushed the decision a bit)...but we regret it. How does that happen? You do what you know in your heart is right, but almost every part of you regrets the choice. It's something we still haven't come to terms with.