You keep seeing it, hearing it, now you are saying it, and tagging all your photos #Dreamport.

How did it all come about?

Actually, the story isn’t that unique or amazing, but hopefully, you can relate to the tears it brings every time I see the hashtag “Dreamport.”
In 2015, my life was all kinds of sideways. I packed a bag and walked out the door, leaving behind the only life I’d ever known, and a man who was supposed to bring me endless happiness. The future I planned was over. I was depressed, lonely, and quite frankly, scared. I wandered around my mother’s house for a few months in complete disbelief, feeling like nothing would ever make me happy again. I went to work, ate moderate amounts of food to sustain my life, and read copious books to escape reality.

Then, I did something crazy.

I was offered a job in Shreveport, Louisiana, and, to the surprise of family and friends, I accepted the offer despite the opportunities available to me in New Orleans. I packed everything I owned (which was not even enough to fill the car) and headed north. After auditioning apartments all over town, I chose a beautiful home that reminded me of New Orleans. I adopted a dog named Sassafras so I wouldn’t have to live alone. I made friends here instantly. I was so overwhelmed by how amazing and beautiful my new life was turning out to be. Friends from home couldn’t believe the fantastic stories and photos I was sending (especially since many had offered condolences upon my departure).

Then one day, I was texting a girlfriend about my fabulous weekend, and she responds, “Girl, you are living the dream in Shreveport … dream girl, dream port.” And there it was! The phase that would characterize this place and this time in my life. A time that represents freedom, love, and acceptance. Every day that I wake up to the sunlight streaming through my huge front window and gaze out on the Shreveport skyline, I think… is this really my life? This must be a dream.

Life isn’t ever going to be what you expect, but it will always be what you make it. #LivingtheDreamport

When I accepted the job, it was never a permanent position. I suppose that is what made it easy for me to leave New Orleans in the first place. Now that I am here, I sort of can’t imagine being anywhere else. I see so much potential and opportunity. I just don’t think I am ready to go yet, but I leave that in the hands of potential employers, the universe, and fate. One thing is for sure, I will never be the same.

Dreamport will always be in my heart, and Dreamport will always be on my body. Yes, that’s right, three weeks after my initial move here I had “Dreamport” tattooed on my right side in small print letters. After a year, as my love for this city grew, I realized those small print letters were no longer fully expressing my connection to Dreamport, so now my entire left side ribs are covered in a beautiful homage to my city – a place I hope to never leave, but will certainly never forget if I do.

So, when you hashtag “Dreamport,” know that it means love, for a place that isn’t great because of the cement that holds it together, but for people who have built it, who have made it strong, and who welcomed me like family coming back home. This place is my life now, and nothing makes me happier than to see people sharing this dream. I hope that one day love for our city will make it the best darn city imaginable! And the whole universe will know how great this place is. Perfectly imperfect. I know I am, now, exactly where I was always meant to be. #Dreamport