Letter from the Editor
Photo by: Jessica Bachmann

I’ve been getting a lot of signs lately asking me to decide who I am, where I belong and what my place is in this world. Nothing too earth shattering, mind you. For example, one of these signs came while watching the 1998 Disney movie Mulan and hearing the song “Reflection” whereby the lead character is having an existential crisis about her purpose in life. The other came while enjoying the 1997 Disney movie Hercules with the stirring lyrics from “I Can Go the Distance” ringing in my ears. Maybe it’s just an overriding theme with Disney movies. Maybe I’m getting more out of these songs now that I have more life experience…and the subtitles are on. Maybe I really need to reevaluate how much time I spend on Disney+ watching movies from my semi-youth. All of these are viable possibilities.

But as I read through this issue of Lagniappe, the Disney heroines and heroes of my childhood are pushed from my mind.

I’m humbled by the achievements of our Sustainer of the Year, whose admirable Junior League of New Orleans tenure reads like a To Do list for even the most ambitious fictional character. Rise through the ranks to become a well-respected leader. Face herculean challenges in the form of a hurricane unlike any New Orleans has seen in recent memory. Together, with the combined efforts of your tribe, emerge victorious. And that only gets us as far as 2005!

I’m impressed by the efforts of our Community Affairs committee, whose advocacy panel offered Junior League members the opportunity to engage with local non-profit and government leaders. I’m inspired by the tenacious mothers of children with disabilities refusing to let everyday challenges dictate the expectations set on their child’s success. I’m introduced to real-world champions of the finance industry in our continuing vignette spotlighting women leaders creating a representative future for New Orleans. It’s an embarrassment of riches to be affiliated with such an inimitable collection of women.

Yet upon reflection, their involvement in the League served as the impetus for these women to become so committed to improving the lives of those around them. Classic self-fulfilling prophecy.

Around this time each year, League members start to consider where they see themselves in the year ahead. Placement for the 2020-2021 League year will begin in late April. Now is the time to contemplate how far we’ve come, what we still want to achieve and which path will ultimately allow us to realize that goal.

So, before you jump on that next Buzzfeed quiz promising to tell you which princess you are: Stop. Breathe. Read these pages. Then look in the mirror. Then look inside. Who will be the next Sustainer of the Year? Who will be the next advocate for those in need? Who will be the next CEO of your company?

Is it you?

It can be. It will be somebody, so why not you? Be your biggest champion. Believe in yourself. Become the catalyst for the change you want to see in your world. In other words … just keep swimming.

Letter from the Editor

Kristin W. Durand