Hi there! I just wanted to let you know that I really love your blog. I spent most of my childhood in New Orleans, LA so I consider myself partially Southern. I've always wondered how much of a different person I would be if my family hadn't moved away, so I was wondering if you had any ideas about who you would be if you didn't spend your whole life in the South?
Thanks for you time! :)
Thank you so much for asking such a thoughtful question! I, too, have often wondered what it would be like if I hadn’t been raised Southern. When I first thought about it, the only word that came to mind was “identity”. Being Southern is in my blood, it is a word that can describe me through and through. If I were any other way, I wouldn’t be me.
At first, I wonder if I would even have the same values. I am not saying that people who are raised every where else but the South lack them, but the system in which we are brought up is different. Some families put more towards teaching their children to tough it up, be brave, never cry. Some teach them the value of money and what money can buy. I think if I were raised in any other place, I would value my own existence differently.
If I weren’t Southern or if I wouldn’t have spent my life in the South, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. This doesn’t necessarily mean I look down on anyone who isn’t Southern. In fact, having pride in your family heritage and your upbringing makes or breaks you. And don’t get me wrong, we have our problems like any other family, but not a day goes by that I don’t love them.
I think that is the deepest lesson from being raised Southern. My family taught me that love is the most powerful thing in the entire world. Money, classism, and what you own has nothing to do with the definition of yourself. If you can say, I love my family, you can say that you love yourself.