Unapologetically Me

Bye Bye Louisiana – It’s Gonna Be Peachy Baby

Back in 2013, my wife graduated from Nicholls. But before her professional career as a dietitian could begin, she needed to complete an internship. She was accepted into the program at Life University in Marietta, GA. Shortly after graduating, she packed her shit and headed for Georgia while I took my victory lap as a fifth year senior.

She fell in love with Georgia and specifically the city of Atlanta. I remember visiting her multiple times and we always had shit to do and places to go. The city itself is awesome. I am not sure what it was, but it was always a place we could see ourselves living. However, we never really saw that being a reality for a couple of reasons mainly financial. We are very fortunate to have the situation we have had for the last 5 years.

A couple of things happened within recent years and it is affording us the opportunity to leave St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, the place we have spent both of our lives.

Pending some crazy shit with this new storm development, we are both beyond excited for the opportunity to move to Atlanta this weekend. Much like when we say we are from New Orleans to out of towners, we will be living on the outskirts of A-town.

Insert yOu BeTTeR NoT BeCoMe A FaLcOnS FaN…

I’m already sick of hearing that shit. First of all, I do what I want. Second, I don’t support teams that can only play for 50 minutes. 28-3 #NeverForget

It is an exciting time for us. We both have jobs lined up for when we get there. I am so proud of my wife for landing the job she did. Without giving away the nitty gritty details, she’s earned the offer she got.

As for me, I have spent the last almost two years attempting to build a marketing company. Although it is not dead, it is limping beyond belief. It is not something I can focus on full time on anymore. I am fortunate to retain the current clients we have. Unfortunately for Do It All Marketing, Covid hammered many of the businesses we worked with and continue to be a thorn in the side for us and them. Such is life. If it grows from here one out, cool. If it doesn’t, I gave it all I had.

Sometimes you just have to move on. I am excited for the new opportunity that awaits in Atlanta. I was fortunate enough to land a solid offer thanks to one of my best friends. I am grateful for that because it allowed us to pull the trigger on something we have talked about doing for quite some time.

Around the beginning of 2020, we started pre-emptively talking about moving to ATL. As we thought we had a plan in place to make it happen, Covid derailed what our intentions were. After stewing on it for a few months, we finally made the decision to make it happen. We both began hardcore applying for jobs in July and both of us were lucky to find employment in short order. In a time where people have experienced hardships, we are both very fortunate.

I guess the big question is what led me to wanting to move?

I have spent 29 years in the small town of Destrehan, LA, minus the five years I was 45 minutes from home in Thibodaux. I had an amazing childhood, wonderful memories and made plenty of friends in the near 30 years I have been here. I can’t exactly put my finger on when things changed. At some point, things started feeling like a dead end almost. If the marketing didn’t pan out, what was going to be next? There were nights I looked for jobs and just didn’t find anything desirable. That was probably the biggest writing on the wall. But other things played a factor as well.

Once the writing was on the wall, decisions needed to happen for a better life. That doesn’t mean our life sucks or has sucked. We, as human, want more for ourselves and our children. My wife and I are no different.

Once Atlanta became a potential future option, we quickly figured out the housing market is more affordable. The job market is better. The city itself is better with better things to do that fit our taste. I also started to realize that while I was comfortable, I didn’t want to be the guy who never left his hometown. In college, one of the things that excited me was the potential to live somewhere new if I was to pursue a career in media.

Sure, it would be cool for my children to attend the same high school that my wife and I graduated from. Sure it would be cool to send them through the same schools she went to. It would be cool for them to run the same streets I did as a kid and grow up in the same houses I grew up in, but I also want them to have their own experiences of what “home” is.

One of the feelings I began having about St. Charles Parish is I don’t enjoy being here like I once did. I don’t enjoy New Orleans like I once did. I don’t enjoy Louisiana like I once did. This just doesn’t feel like home to me anymore. This may sound conceited…I feel like I have just outgrown it.

Once you reach that point, the things you dislike about it tend to be magnified. I don’t want this to sound like if someone is from St. Charles Parish, then apply all. It’s not. But, the last few years I have felt like there is a certain level of conceitedness among those in the parish I grew up, both politically and socially. When people ask me about where I live, I say the same thing. There are many people who do really well for themselves, but they want you to believe they are doing better than they are. They want to feel more wealthy and exclusive than they actually are. It’s just not my thing. That is not to say I won’t find that anywhere else. Again, magnification in full effect. Because of how open and honest I like to be, I am not a fan of second guessing how others feel. Because of my experiences with trying to reach other business owners in the area, it shined a heavy light on many of those circumstances that I have long ignored.

I don’t want this to strictly be a poo-poo on where I am from as there are obviously things I will miss about the home where I grew up.

Starting with my family and friends.

Obviously one of the toughest parts is leaving your family behind. I wasn’t exactly excited about having that conversation because I knew it would be a hard pill for them to swallow. They grew up in the GNO and my siblings are still near. Therefore, their parents were here and their grandkids are all here. I essentially was the first in multiple generations to hit the road so to speak.

Then my friends. I have been blessed to have some amazing people walk into my life. It is tough to leave those I am closest with. Last weekend, I was fortunate enough to say goodbye to a handful of them as they came over. We sat in my driveway (social distancing dude) and had some drinks while bullshitting. I guess it was the best option for a pandemic send off. One of them was kind enough to bring a large bottle of champagne as a parting gift. In the words of Chris Jericho aka JeriGOAT aka Demo God aka Le Champion, “ooooooooo, a little bit of the bubbly.” I was able to at least see most of them to say “see you later.”

I am going to miss flag football on Sundays with several of my friends. That was always one of the highlights of my week. For the last few years prior to Covid, I also played in a basketball league as well. So I will definitely miss the shit out of that. I grew up playing sports with many of them and it was something that never really died which is fucking awesome. Also, to those who were usually on the opposing team in flag, here’s one final “can’t guard Mike.”

For my kids sake, we are leaving an amazing daycare and pediatrician, which of course sucks. Even those little things like my dude who cuts my little man’s hair. Those are all things I will of course miss.

For me and the things I will miss, it all boils down to many of my close circle of people. If there is something I have learned over the years, people will come and go. Distance doesn’t matter. The people who want you in their life will always be around. I am sure I will discover more broken friendships along the way. That’s ok. I am not one to hold grudges, but I am also not going to pretend something is what it isn’t.

Even though there are many things we will miss, we wanted something new. Atlanta is perfect because of my wife’s experience there. Why not take that small dose and create something more?

I am excited for all the amazing outdoor spots we already know and love and the ones we will eventually discover. I am excited for all of the dope things to do inside the city. Two of our personal favorites are Piedmont Park and Atlantic Station. I am excited for the insane amount of sports teams they have, namely Atlanta United FC. Yes fucking please.

I recently passed by The Battery and Trust Park (Braves new facility) when I went to that area for some bullshit interview I drove to ATL for *lol.*

As much as I loathe baseball, it looks dope! There is also some sentimental value to the Braves because it makes me think of my late grandpa. So it is going to be cool walking into Trust Field for the first time with my kids and I know I will be thinking of him. He was a MASSIVE fan of Chipper Jones. I always remember coming home as a kid to the Braves on the tube.

Here’s to a new home. Here’s to new opportunities. Here’s to Atlanta.


3 responses to “Bye Bye Louisiana – It’s Gonna Be Peachy Baby”

  1. Dad Avatar

    Gonna miss y’all especially Finn and Collins wish y’all all the best

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michael Hotard Avatar

      Thanks ✊🏻✊🏻


  2. 2020 Recap – State of Hotard Huddle – Hotard Huddle Avatar

    […] 6. Bye Bye Louisiana – It’s Gonna Be Peachy Baby […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: