The Desk Diaries: NOLA (revisited & revamped)

One of my best friends, ex-college roommates, and blog writer, Rachael, once said that a person’s desk should reflect who they are when they aren’t there – and that the correlation between the desk and person’s personalities can often be suspected, but sometimes appear incognito. That being said, I decided to revisit this catalogue of “Psych”/Nancy Drew investigative notes from the Indie Attic’s blog and bring back The Desk Diaries.


After a long solo road trip (aka my Jack Kerouac moment), yesterday I moved into my new home for the next 11 months with the YAV program in New Orleans, LA.  As the last to move into the house, I was pleasantly surprised to find this desk uninhabited and decided to claim it as my own for three reasons: It’s green, it’s old, and it has space for the crate of books I brought with me.

  1. Forest green and battered wooden desk, lime green lamp, & mint green walls: If you haven’t noticed, green is one of my two favorite colors (hint: my laptop and picture frame are sporting my other favorite). I also like old things, or as the hipsters used to say: vintage.
  2. Bruised banana: evidence of a 16-hour road trip and motel continental breakfasts.
  3. Memorabilia from Belfast: I love Belfast, so I do! In addition to providing evidence of my very real addiction to coffee (thanks Belfast), having these memories from my first year of YAV will give me energy and strength, and remind me why I decided to do the program again. It’s also making me miss my pal Emma, and days spent at Garnerville and The Vine. (miss you too, Mark & Leif!)
  4. A ceramic bowl full of fun things for creating and processing.
  5. Little black journal, little gold box and little blue cards : for writing, reading, connecting, and disconnecting. For thank-yous, I love yous, and I miss yous.
  6. Vivitar 35EE camera, circa 1970s: a memory of seeing Gordon at every ‘Coffee with Joan’ morning, and a TBD retro way to snap some pictures (still don’t know if it works) – which if you follow my Instagram, I definitely do an unhealthy amount of it.
  7. Southern reads: Evidence of reasons and moments that would eventually lead me here. This New Orleans picture book was given to me by my Dad before my first mission trip in 2007, and 9 years later holds more significance than I ever thought possible.
  8. My trusty 2010 Macbook Pro: Slower than molasses but still going strong. Decorated by quotes and stickers that weave together the fabric that makes up my life in all of its randomness (Dr. Swerdlow would be so disappointed in my use of clichés).

Starting up this second YAV year I’m filled with all of the feelings I anticipated before moving. Transitions have never been the easiest for me, but I keep pursuing this life that calls me to relocate and readjust myself. Keep on keeping on.

I knew I’d be missing Belfast and have trouble with comparing New Orleans to it, excited but anxious about meeting new housemates and starting a new job, checking over my shoulder 18,000 times in the shower to make sure I’m not sharing the space with a cockroach, and unable to stop wondering how, and through what people or experiences, this year will shape my life.

I’m reminded that whether I’m in New Wilmington, Belfast, or New Orleans, God is right there waiting to be pursued, and His love is waiting to be taken and shared.  I’m here to lose what I think I know about this city and its these people. . .to learn how society is hurting them, to witness how God is loving them, and to try and understand the dichotomy between the joy and sorrow that make up the city of New Orleans.

I look forward to using this desk to dissect and process my YAV year in all of its beautiful YAV messiness: from questioning God in unpublishable blog posts to receiving letters from loved ones far away, unexpected thoughts will be unraveled and learned. Let’s do this, y’all.


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The aforementioned archived Desk Diaries:

The Desk Diaries: College Edition

The Desk Diaries Vol. 3 (Hillary)

The Desk Diaries Vol. 2 (Justine)

The Desk Diaries Vol. 1 (Rachael)

The Desk Diaries: Scotland Edition

For a little taste of my themed road trip music:

Trampled by Turtles “New Orleans”

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With love from the Big Easy,

Hill xoxoxo


3 thoughts on “The Desk Diaries: NOLA (revisited & revamped)

  1. Well Hillary, Welcome to New Orleans. I am sure you are in a different place than when you all traveled there with SHYG, but we were all in different places 9 years ago! Praying this experience is another one of growing more in God’s grace and mercy and in the knowledge of His ways. Praying too for good roommates 😉 I think of the former vision statement of NWPC: deeper in Scripture and wider in Service, as I pray for you. Blessings dear one. Linda McG >


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