sunrise in louisiana

“Let Us Begin”
(sunrise over Louisiana)
Photo: Mr. Greenjeans

I must admit it was not my initial plan to return home to Southeastern Louisiana after graduation from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. I had imagined my having to fly home for the holidays or my younger sisters coming to stay the summer with me “in the big city.” Or not having to purchase a vehicle because everything I needed would be within walking distance. I am not sure why I equated success with living in a large city.

Nevertheless, I ended up moving back to Bogalusa, Louisiana, from Nashville. I would say it was because I was not relentless in my search for employment during my matriculation at Fisk. Maybe that stems from my laid back Southern approach to life.

But I did get a job offer in my hometown, to work at Service Zone, Inc.. I got the call exactly one day after my graduation. This company handled technical support calls for Gateway computers, which was wonderful for me, being that my major was Computer Science. I was close to my field of study, I thought to myself. This disproved my claim that finding gainful employment in a rural area was impossible.

Then, since I was busy at work, I forgot about my promise never to return to rural America again. I fell in love again with being able to leave the house and car doors unlocked, driving and not seeing another car for miles. In college I thought I was living the life because stores stayed open past 5 pm. Baskin Robbins and Kinko’s (open 24 hours ““ Wow!) were the places to hang out and “people watch.” I had forgotten what it was like to look into the sky and see the stars and moon clearly with no interference.

To my surprise, once everyone learned that I had moved back home, I was bombarded with questions concerning my return. They would say, “Why did you move back here ““ there isn’t anything to do?” or “I thought you said you would never come back to the country.” I think what hurt the most would be when people said, “Oh you didn’t like the city did you?” or “You realized that living in the city was too expensive,” when in all actuality those thoughts never crossed my mind. I did not think that my degree would give me instant financial independence, where I could live on my own and take care of myself, or a first class ticket to “Anywhere Away from Rural America.” I knew I had to start somewhere.

Tashuna DAvis

What really helped me transition was a statement one of my family members made. She said, “People in rural areas need doctors, lawyers and computer scientists.” Those words will forever be embossed in my mind. I was reminded that I can make a difference wherever I am, that people need all types or services in every corner of the world.

Tashuna Davis

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