If you ever want to experience a myriad of cultures with so many beautiful, talented, and free-spirited people up close and personal, go to New Orleans. The expression of individuality and uniqueness is definitely commonplace in this amazing city. To be honest, after spending my weekend there, it is unanimous that I don’t spend enough time there. But, I plan to change that really soon.
I decided to attend Essence Festival this year to see all that it had to offer. Although there are a few things that I would do completely different, it definitely did not disappoint. I wanted to attend a few of the empowerment sessions and had every plan to, but unfortunately, I didn’t even get a chance to attend them. The few that I attended, I couldn’t even hear what was going on so I didn’t even try to strain my ears. As a matter of fact, it’s really hard to hear any of the sessions if you can’t get close enough and that’s only if they have space left.
I got a chance to
meet see Maxwell who was doing a meet and greet at the Walmart booth. I couldn’t hear anything he said, especially while the Old School vs. New School dance competition was happening at the McDonald’s stage directly across from it. And while I had EVERY intention on taking a picture with Maxwell after buying his CD, the line was just too ridiculously long for my liking and my patience. But he’s even more beautiful in person.
Besides Maxwell, there were a slew of other celebrities that were there such as MC Lyte, Neyo, The Cast from The Real, Misty Copeland, even OPRAH. Please don’t ask me if I got pictures of Oprah, because I didn’t. Yes, I am still kicking myself. Just know, next year, I will be prepared! But overall, I truly enjoyed the experience.
After indulging in a few more festivities in the Convention Center, we decided to head over to the French Quarter. Since we would most likely have to pay to park again, we just left my car in the parking garage by the center and we took an UBER to the French Quarter instead. This seemed most reasonable and proved to be a life saver. It was my first time using UBER and I’m very pleased with it.
I absolutely LOVE the French Quarter. There is so much to do and see. We grabbed pralines, white fudge oreos and even tried Cuban Rum cigars, which were amazing and I don’t even smoke. But I couldn’t help feeling like a boss while taking my puffs and flicking the ashes away.
We continued to walk around for a bit — stuck around and watched street performers put their souls into their art for a few singles from the crowd. I always enjoy seeing the children and their talents.
It’s been quite some time that I’ve made the most of my weekend. For the past few months, it’s been all about the next Netflix/Hulu/Amazon series to binge watch all weekend with the curtains closed and with enough snacks bedside so my body doesn’t enter starvation mode. Stepping away from that bad habit felt really good. It was refreshing to get out and enjoy the presence of so many beautiful and cultured people. It also felt really good to dust off my camera (although I brought the wrong lens) and dive back into something I love so much. This weekend has sort of been like me rediscovering myself.. rediscovering and revisiting things that I loved but have escaped me for whatever reason.
So since July has finally come, I plan to spend more of this month taking the time to rediscover myself. I’m working on getting back to me. Navigating back to my center and doing more of what I love and focusing on all that I’ve forgotten and abandoned.
July is for the rediscovery of me.