One Night In NOLA: A Family Adventure

Hello! For those of you new here, I am Paige Vidrine. You probably know me from the Lake Charles Yoga Festivals, the Mural Festival, my social media platforms or Buffis Peauxboys. I decided to combine all of my contacts and reach out in this medium. I have a lot planned for this year, and I can’t wait to tell you what it is. Until then, I want to reintroduce myself and say thank you for all of your support over the years.

If you don’t know, I’ve been on a lovely spirit guided journey for many years now. It’s led me to some of the highest highs I’ve ever experienced. I’ve learned to love a lot deeper, heal and grow in ways I never thought possible. I’ve been sharing the intimate details with just a handful of people for about a year. They know things about me many people have never known. Welcome to my inner world. I invite you to tune in and journey with me as I embark on yet another Spirit Led mission.

Although I love my hometown of Lake Charles, LA, I was called to Ocean Springs, MS. So in a matter of a week I moved. I tell people all the time that I’m not really gone. Buffis is still open. I visit my friend family every chance I get. I love Lake Charles for a number of reasons, so much so that I wanted to do anything I could to bring the culture of the cities I love to the streets of Lake Charles. Thats why I partnered with people to create the festivals, the murals you see downtown and the block parties. However, I know myself and if I deny my intuition the right to speak, she will stop. So I had to move temporarily. I’ll be back. I’m on a temporary leave of absence so that I can hear my spirit more clearly.

I’d love to tell you that I absolutely adore my new city, and I do in some sense. But I am homesick. I miss raising my kids with my friends and their children. As a single mother, any break I get is a blessing. I haven’t gotten many since I moved to Ocean Springs. Plus, my twelve year old daughter is in a phase where everything I do is cringy, whatever that means. Needless to say, the attitude is thick at times, but we are growing together and figuring this preteen thing out.

Regardless, I need friends and fast. I am good at making them, but part of me feels like I am betraying the ones back home once I really start branching out. I know it sounds ridiculous, but if you know me you know that I am loyal to the bone. The last thing I would ever want to do is make anyone in my life feel replaceable. My friends aren’t replaceable anyway. Creating a friend family out here would also make the move real, like really real. It has to be done though, for my sanity and the sake of my children. I need roots, community, family here on the east side.

So I called on my angels and prayed, “Send me friends!” Then I got the invite to visit a new friend in NOLA, the city that inspired many of the projects that I invested in back in my hometown. I love New Orleans on a soul level. My parents vacationed there throughout my childhood, so I grew up watching the street dancers and riding buggies through Jackson Square. If you go deeper in my blog, you’ll see one of the very first things I wrote was about New Orleans. There is magic on the streets of that city.

In a similar way, my faith is just as mysterious as NOLA’s stories of old. I see angels and get things I pray for pretty quickly. When I am in New Orleans, that magical woman in me feels right at home. The streets are older than America and the energy tells stories of ancient wisdom. There’s just something about that city that lifts me up spiritually. It’s not for everybody, but baby it’s for me.

Luckily, someone I met in Lake Charles moved back to NOLA. We’ve stayed in touch lately and she invited me and the kids for a night out with her baby at the Halloween Parade. You already know I don’t pass up a good time.

Unfortunately, on the way there, my daughter started a little chaos with my son in the car. It about drove me over the edge. All I was hoping for was a peaceful, fun evening with a friend. I don’t want drama. I hate drama. Parenting always has its challenges. Sometimes I feel like superwoman. Sometimes I feel like my words are falling on deaf ears. However, my children are my greatest responsibility and I take raising them seriously. I was a little hot headed with her in the car, but when we got to the house I took her outside. We did breath work together and talked about boundaries and how important they are for our spirits and peace of mind. We hugged and then got ready to leave for the parade.

She had a huge cut on her foot from a metal keychain she stepped on a few days earlier, so she was debating whether or not she could make it walking to and from the parade. After a few minutes of debating, I made the executive decision, “You’re coming. These are forever memories. The foot will heal.” She walked with us like a champ, barely complaining. All the kids had an amazing time. We rode on a Ferry for the first time. It was a real adventure. We were all in it together.

On the walk home, my daughter was trying to get me to fight with her, but I refused. I disconnected. She was tired and had been walking on a sore foot. Her emotions were doing what preteen emotions do, looking for an outlet. She was mad, big mad. I walked closer to my son and my friend. To distract us, Foxy gave us the local tour.

We would see roaches on the sidewalks and Foxy told me that it’s less gross if you name them. “Oh that’s just Fred!”, shed say. Then she stopped me to make sure I said hello to the neighborhood opossum. But we couldn’t go to sleep without a tour of the porch salamanders. It was hilarious seeing the city through the eyes of a local.

Despite the natural creatures, the walk was beautiful and gave me and my daughter enough space for nothing to escalate emotionally. I told her to take a bath and come talk to me after. As soon as she was clean, she walked out and apologized. “There is nothing you could do to make me love you any less girl! You need to know that.”, I told her. She smiled and you could see the heaviness lift off of her.

In this way, My relationships matter to me. I disconnect when I feel disrespected, but as soon as the other party comes with manners I am connected again. I try to stay in my heart, but I protect it as well. My energy is something I have worked on for many years now. The more refined I become with my boundaries, the more I feel like I can love on a deeper level. When it comes to the kids, I’ll use all power vested in me to figure this mom thing out so they know how to handle emotions properly.

After all of that, My daughter stayed up joking around with us. She loosened up and we ended the night with a mommy daughter bond you can’t beat.

When she went to bed, Foxy Moon and I bonded over gospel music and Taki jokes. Surprisingly, I was the only white girl in a few church congregations growing up. So I know the gospel world well. You can’t deny the soul of some cultures. I told her my stories of preaching at the Church of God in Christ in college. She told me her stories of directing gospel choirs. As I was listening to her laugh and carry on about her life and her dreams, my heart smiled. You don’t find real people like her everywhere you go. She’s a character. New Orleans is good at attracting big personalities. Those types of people are like salt in this world.

Somehow I luck out every time when it comes to the friends in my life. I get good ones no matter where I am at. When Foxy was living in Lake Charles, she said she didnt have much luck finding solid friends. “You took all the good ones.”, she told me. I must have, because my friends back on the west side of Louisiana are authentic and real. I recently started watching “Girlfriends” again on Netflix. I used to love that show as a kid. Nowadays, my friend family and I are the “Girlfriends”. Each of us has our own personality. We have our own lives and gifts. Yet somehow we fit perfectly together. I didn’t realize how much I missed them, until I was laughing with another friend. I needed that. It was healing.

“I always wanted a friend like that.”, Foxy told me as we went back and forth from watching “Living Single” to “Girlfriends”. “Thats what we are building together.”, I told her. She’s a funny person with a ton of personality. On this spiritual journey, often times you get so knowledgable about things that you lose sight of the here and now. Having friends to ground you is a gift. I didnt realize how bad I missed that until Foxy was cracking me up talking about stealing Taki’s from my kids and saving one behind her ear.

Towards the end of the night, I was schooling her on frequency and resonance. I turned a binaural beat on YouTube and dropped her into a meditation. She’s a damn good musician, so I called her Spirit into action. She didnt know what happened to her when she came to. “Help me help others.”, I asked her. She has free access to a pretty good studio. All I want is to help drop people into meditations like that so I can call their subconscious to attention and help them heal. I figure by the end of the year, I could make a decent album of meditations with a musicians help.

The night ended in laughs and light banter. I cuddled up with my daughter to make sure she knew how much I loved her.

The next morning, my son showed Foxy his new raps he had recorded. He’s an entertainer to the bone. She took out her keyboard and started hitting notes to the beat. It sounded amazing. My son lit up like a Christmas tree.

“We are just a bunch of creatives.”, Foxy said aloud. We are. My kids have been creating since they could walk. I used to teach my daughter how to work a video editor app before she had a real phone. Now she loves making movies. My son has always been into dancing and music. He reminds me of Bruno Mars. It’s my objective in life to raise those kids as creatives. There’s something so magical about the energy of creativity. It’s universal. New Orleans is a hub for that magic. It’s a place like no other.

On the drive back home, I explained the difference between traveling as a tourist and really experiencing community. I am all about the roots that get to be planted in life. Every place I end up has something beautiful to offer. When you’re in Rome, don’t just tour the coliseum, meet a local and eat dinner in their family home. The lessons learned when you live like that are priceless. I’m raising my kids to value the experience of people, not just the places. There’s inspiration to be found in journey well lived.

I took the New Orleans inspiration home with me. As soon as we made it back, I went to the thrift store and bought a wall full of frames and art. NOLA brought my energy back. It woke me up. I am starting to see a new Paige being birthed. It’s been hard letting go, but I know it’s all for a reason. I’m trusting this transition and who I am becoming on the East Side. I miss home, but I know that the only way to grow is to get a little uncomfortable every now and then.

Here’s to living!

With The Deepest Love,

Paige Elliott

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