Photo courtesy of The Marquee

In the beginning, City Girl’s Jungle wasn’t much more than a desire, a semi-thought of a thought. It did not start off as City Girl’s Jungle, it began as “Single Girl’s Guide to the Concrete Jungle.” It evolved, like everything, with simmering uneasiness. 

We use words to identify ourselves, sometimes not giving nearly enough reflection to the letters we’ve strung together. I sat on this idea for so long that time became palpable. ‘Single’ bothered me. It always has, yet that is how I identified myself. It was on all my official forms so it had to be true, right? I explored how I related to that singular word and agreed, I am a singular person. Suddenly, the weight it once carried transformed, becoming empowering.

Mahatma Gandhi’s words streamed across my conscious—“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” 

And this was no guide. Our individual stories carry the change for our evolution. Not as a guide, but rather the very thing that makes us special, the ability to relate. As I explored, what started off as an inkling grew to a discovery redefining my relationships with simply—everything. Hence the beginning of City Girl’s Jungle: a column dedicated to circumnavigating the jungle that is our own thoughts and notions. City Girl’s Jungle’s goal is to explore and ponder the experiences and relationships we have with our culture and environment. Revealing as it winds, some truths remain constant. New Orleans is home and my inner child is bound by neither time nor space. 

Beginnings are scary. Dreams can feel instrumentally unattainable. 

Through my personal experience as a special education teacher, I have come to learn one very important word: Modification.

So that’s where I began.

I modified self-imposed expectations with 3 resounding mantras:

  1. A start is a start. 
  2. Failures are the beginnings of fulfillment.
  3. Lows are fuel for the ascent.  

Do these thoughts magically work without serious effort—No. But they are a start. 

Feeling my soul drowning in words that did not describe me, the dense clamor reverberated of urgency. Defined by arbitrary, intangible definitions we have culturally accepted, I needed to create. 

 A quiet revolution screaming in my head, ‘I am.’ 

How do you begin? 

Sarah Isabelle Prevot grew up in Folsom, Louisiana while spending her weekends and summers at her grandparent’s home exploring New Orleans. She draws inspiration from the city’s unique culture and the magic embedded in the idiosyncrasies of those she encounters during her adventures. She is a teacher, writer, and graduate of the University of New Orleans. Her writings have been featured in local publications including ViaNolaVie, The French Quarterly, and Big Easy Magazine.

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