Let’s start at the very beginning…

Yowza. Talk about a lot of pressure! I have been wanting to write a blog for a while now. I have also been encouraged to write a blog for some time now. Today I finally sit down to begin and would you believe this? I don’t have the slightest clue where to start. Go figure. I guess the appropriate place would be the beginning…

A long time ago, in a gal    Wait. That’s not how this story starts. Let’s try this again, shall we?

In West Philadelphia, born and raised, on the playground      Okay, just building suspense. You probably realized that’s the Fresh Prince of Bel Air intro. Keepin’ you on your toes. Here’s the real story (the spark notes version)…

I was born and raised on the SouthSide of Chicago, Illinois. I grew up with my amazing family made up of my Dad, Mom, and younger sister, M. When it came time for me to head off to college, I felt drawn to the South. Two hours south, to be exact, to good ol’ Normal, Illinois.

In my four years at Illinois State University, I joined a sorority, met a lot of wonderful people, learned valuable lessons in the classroom as well as out in the “real world,” had good times scattered with not-so-good times, and survived it all long enough to walk across the stage and receive my diploma. When the College chapter in my life came to a close I wasn’t sure of much, but I was certain that my future was in the South. Some could’ve called it wanderlust, some might’ve chalked it up to all the country music I had been listening to at the time, but deep down I knew it was so much more. It was like a piece of me was missing, and the only clue I had been given was a whisper in my ear that I wouldn’t find what I was looking for in Illinois.

Without knowing a soul in the state or the amazing grades I needed to get me there, I applied to a graduate program at Louisiana State University. Deciding I should have a plan B, I also began planning to relocate to Austin, Texas by requesting an official Austin Relocation Guide, in case my gut feeling had been wrong about LSU. Then I played the waiting game until the relocation guide arrived one morning a few weeks later. I took that as the sign that I was meant to give up my thoughts of Louisiana and plan on moving to Austin. That lasted all of 12 hours. The idea of moving to Texas was just starting to settle in when I received an email congratulating me on my acceptance into LSU’s graduate program. I was in shock. Didn’t I just accept the fact that I was ‘supposed’ to move to Texas?

The next day the bread crumbs leading me to Baton Rouge started appearing one by one. Who would I live with? A simple Facebook status found me the answer to that one. A friend of mine from ISU connected me to her best friend who just so happened to also be moving to LSU for grad school when I was. Roommate? Check. How would I actually afford grad school with out-of-state tuition? A few days later I received an email from the department head that I had been nominated for a tuition award. Follow up email: I had been selected for the tuition award…that covered ALL of my tuition. My only financial responsibility? Books, Rent, and minimal university fees. Umm, alrighty, then. Finances? Settled.

For someone that wasn’t living a life of faith at this point outside of the “PLEASE, let me pass this test,” “Please, please let me win a million bucks,” and “PLEASE, FOR-THE-LOVE-OF- let these pants zip up without the seams snapping every time I breathe,” prayers, I was on the proverbial edge, ready to take one GIANT leap of faith. The question was, a leap of faith in what? Or better yet, faith in who?

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3 thoughts on “Let’s start at the very beginning…

  1. Pingback: Let’s start at the very beginning… | Living Right!

  2. Mariah, is there anything you CAN’T do?! How did I not know you’re such a great writer? Love this story and your humor so much.

    Looking forward to following your posts! xoxox

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