City Girl’s Guide to the Jungle: New year, new mantra

Oyster Reef Restoration (photos by: Becky Wasden)

We start each new year wanting to wipe the slate clean— a fresh start — but this year feels different. If 2017 was a harbinger of anything, it was for 2018 to see the continuation of women finding strength in their collective voice.

The #MeToo movement saw monumental waves of public opinion affecting social change. The African American women of Alabama illustrated that power, using their solidarity to change their state’s political narrative. It was inspiring and it reenergized a hopeful spirit that resonated with women across all environments.

As women connected, conversations carried more weight, while actions became more purposeful. Last year I resolved to engage with my community of women here in New Orleans. It became a personal mantra, an empowering one.

Volunteering as a banner girl in an all-female Mardi Gras walking krewe led me on a journey that resulted in shucking oysters with the only all-female traveling oyster bar — Two Girls One Shuck.

I also found myself an active participant in rebuilding Barataria Bay Oyster Reef with the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL). I was excited to support the visionary Becky Wadsen, co-founder of Two Girls One Shuck, who is successfully implementing social capital. Despite no immediate financial gratification, Becky feels it is important for her company to partner with CRCL, along with other area restaurants and businesses, to recycle their oyster shells.

Shoveling oyster shells into a PVC pipe that has a diameter of approximately half a foot is no easy feat. However, the satisfaction of knowing my efforts would have positive consequences far beyond one single day left me revitalized.

On top of the oyster pile (photos by: Becky Wasden)

In looking at initiatives for 2018, the word resolution conjures the idea of lists of disappointments accumulated through the years. Having a mantra can replace the confinements of the do’s and don’ts that are becoming irrelevant in this new age of mindfulness.

Like the rhythm of your step, a mantra is the repetition of a collection of words that provide the melody to your year. As I think of the women who marched before, and as we enter 2018, I feel compelled to continue that collective — #WeHaveThePower is my personal mantra for 2018.

In everything I do, say, and believe, I know #WeHaveThePower.

CGGJ Tip for the New Year—

Make your mantra:

  • bold
  • simple
  • inspiring








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