What’s a Southern Girl Doing in the World?

I grew up in Alabama with a fully developed set of Christian morals and general optimism about life. I was horrified when I slowly began to learn that none of the other Christians around me seemed to have Christian morals themselves, and that I was surrounded by racism, sexism, homophobia, and every other form of group-directed hate you can think of. Also: not many people seemed to read very many books. This was problematic.

I eventually shook free of the church and that whole destructive trap of fear and manipulation, but I kept the ideals of tolerance and compassion. I became a raging hippie, feminist, idealist, and activist. I left Alabama and the bubble of the South when I was 23 and began to explore the rest of the country and a whole world full of ideas. And I learned that I don’t fit in out here any better than I did in there; my Southernness sets me apart. I’m friendly and open and loud and I like sunshine and swimming and a life lived outdoors, shelling beans, catching fish,  and eating fresh tomatoes, grits, and bread baked into tiny corn shapes.

I spent a long time drifting around looking for a place to call home, and finally decided that home is where you make it.  I made myself a nest in New Orleans and really found that to be the best of both worlds; it was set in the South, but was somehow not completely of it. It had art and culture and food and music and politics and…books. All the things you need to make a home, really. But then Katrina. Fucking Katrina. Fucking Katrina came and blew me away and now I’m back out here, in the world, building home.

This time, I’ve decided that the world is my home, and I’m making it my own one blog post at a time. It’s a bit of a fixer upper, but I think it’s got real potential.

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