What it Means to be a Southerner:
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I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a Southerner. I wouldn’t trade my heritage for anything, it’s made me into who I am. When I think about growing up in the South, I’m reminded of a particular Bible verse. No not John 3:16, anyone growing up in the South should know this one by heart whether or not you grew up Southern Baptist.
The verse I’m reminded of is Isaiah 41:10-12. (AMPC)
“FearFear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.
11 Behold, all they who are enraged and inflamed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; they who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish.
12 You shall seek those who contend with you but shall not find them; they who war against you shall be as nothing, as nothing at all.”
Why in the world is this verse important to me. Well, to be honest, growing up in the South was both wonderful and difficult. The South follows you wherever you go.
Go West Young Man:
As a young bride, my good-looking groom took me across the nation one week after our wedding day to Phoenix, Arizona. Now, he had lived in Phoenix before, in fact, Bryan had lived in many places before. To me, this was a culture shock. Even more shocking was the fact that a fellow employee took one look at me upon finding out that I was from Mississippi and his gaze trailed down to my feet.
“But you are wearing shoes?” He said.
“Yes, I’m wearing shoes,” I replied a bit confused.
“I didn’t think people from the South wore shoes.” He said with a gaping mouth and rounded eyes.
“Yes, we wear shoes in the South,” I said trying to keep my composure.
I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that someone, maybe lots of someones, had this terrible, awful impression of Southerners. But of course, I let him slide, he was from Hong Kong, China.
Proud to be a Southerner:
I didn’t tell him what I had seen growing up or the cards dealt me. His assumption was that anyone from the South was dirt poor and ignorant. Where did he get this assumption from?
That was three decades ago. Things have drastically changed. Though my Southern heritage has its dark secrets, it also has its beauty.
Life can be and is many times, difficult. But with difficulties come preservation, tenacity, resilience, the fortitude to be so determined that “just surviving” isn’t acceptable. You have to Thrive![bctt tweet=”Life can be and is many times difficult. But with difficulties come preservation, tenacity, resilience… the fortitude to be so determined that “just surviving” isn’t acceptable. You have to Thrive!” username=”ceajones”]
Life was hard growing up in the South. I suffered great losses at an early age. I’ve made many mistakes and have carried Regret on my shoulders for many miles in my journey. I look back at the times when being a Southerner was still a strange mysterious thing… and I smile.
What are your favorite memories of being a Southerner?
This Month’s Reads:
Summer isn’t summer for a local living in a Beach community where tourist season is at it’s peak.
What Summer looks like for me:
- Very, very long lines – EVERYWHERE.
- Learning to be Extra Patient at the grocery store.
- Avoiding Walmart at all costs!
- Getting gas earlier rather than later.
- Not letting out secret spots that all locals protect.
- Avoiding most public beach accesses on Saturday and Sunday.
- Making the most of the beach in the late evenings.
- Setting up Camp in my back yard till school starts back.
- Taking the back roads.
- Always looking in both directions before pulling out at a traffic light, at least 6 times.
- Counting 30 Mississippi’s once the traffic light turns green, BEFORE I go.
During the summer, I load up on books. and sit outside on my swing and read.
Here’s my most recent:
This is one of my favorite movies. I am a sucker for a Romantic Thriller. I picked this one up because I recently decided to dive into writing my own, or least giving it a go.
This was an amazing read. It’s a very detailed account of a young woman in her twenties working as a journalist for the New York Post when her world turns upside down. She is one of the first to be diagnosed with a rare and new form of autoimmune disease. She was at death’s door but what’s worse, everyone thought she was psychotic at best and possessed in the least. This memoir is her personal journey in developing this disease and the heart wrenching stories of those watching her transformation before their very eyes. This story has created a basis for many in prior historical events that were considered demonically possessed to be investigated as the origins of this disease.
This came out as a movie in 1998. Set in the changing world of the late 1960s, Girl, Interrupted is the searing true story of Susanna Kaysen, a young woman who finds herself at a renowned mental institution for troubled young women. I had never watched the movie, but the book was intriguing.
I had checked both of the books out for a short story I was working on and submitting to Dark Markets.
You may see a trend here, I’ve given in to writing dark tales. But as in most dark tales, good overcomes evil. But in all my stories, Good ALWAYS overcomes evil.
I’ll give you an update next month on both the short story and my “novel in the making.“
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