ASK SHEBA: How Do I Leave Louisiana?

"My career will probably take me outside of Louisiana, but I am scared to leave.  How do I deal with this anxiety?"

This question came from a young lady I met while speaking to her class at my former high school, St. Mary’s Dominican high school. She is now a sophomore at Louisiana State University and thinking about a career in PR.


The world is big and the idea that life will probably take you outside of Louisiana is a great thing. But I understand your anxiety! I grew up thinking I would stay I'm New Orleans, go to college in New Orleans, and I never really thought about leaving and then Katrina happened and I had to leave.  It opened my eyes to the fact that there is a lot of world outside of New Orleans. Traveling is now my favorite thing in the world. I always loved it, but now that I am older I can appreciate how it opens my eyes to new experiences and cultures that make me grow as a person.


Remember -you ultimately decide what your life is looks like and where you live. You can ALWAYS come back to New Orleans or Louisiana.  You won't always have the freedom and opportunity to travel (financial reasons, maybe eventually kids...etc).  So when I get an opportunity now that sends me away, I jump on it, even when it’s a place I never even cared about going.  I went to Minnesota recently- I never even thought about going to Minnesota. I was asked to emcee a conference.  Turns out, the Mall of America is there and it was an amazing weekend. Will I ever make plans to go back? It’s not on my immediate list of goals, but now I can tell people how great the mall was and I know what Minnesota is like.  


With all of that said, there is no way to get over the anxiety -instead push forward carrying that anxiety and I PROMISE eventually it will go away.  Before you know it, you’ll be traveling outside of Louisiana all the time and not even thinking about it.  And hey- maybe one day, you’ll find somewhere you love more than New Orleans.  There are many opportunities that simply are not in Louisiana. Don't cut them off because they are not in your area code.  Your family and loved ones are a phone call away. Talk to them the entire trip if you need to until you are comfortable branching out on your own. Eventually you will be!