my southern identity, and events back home

I’ve been trying to put my thoughts together lately on all that has been going on in my home state in the past month but am still struggling to make it coherent. I started to tack this on to my last post but felt it was going to get long.

It’s a weird feeling to feel so emotionally involved and connected but be geographically far away. It feels uncomfortable to me when people here in Utah talk about the Confederate flag and the Charleston shootings with detachment – that’s my home. That’s where I’m from. I worked in the same building with one of the victims for 3 years when I was a student at CofC. Lord knows how many times my paths crossed with the other victims, it’s not a big city.

Part of it, too, is I have this super weird Southern identity. I have been a bleeding heart liberal since I was old enough to have reasonable political views. I still am. I learned very quickly not to share this with other people in the South, and to keep my opinions to myself, as I was in the minority. I still do this now. But I’ve also developed a deep pride in coming from the South.

When I was younger, I was not completely thrilled to be from South Carolina. I was embarrassed by the conservative politics, the racism, the stereotypes that the rest of the country applies to Southerners. I carefully avoided using the word “y’all” and I never developed much of an accent.

Most of my friends growing up had family from places like California and New Jersey that brought liberal influence into my life. I was also raised in a pretty liberal Presbyterian church that taught inclusiveness and love for all people. I’m not really sure where the liberal economic beliefs came from, but I knew I was a Keynesian the first time I learned what it meant in high school, and it never went away, despite the efforts of most of my Economics professors in college.

Growing up, I always thought I would ‘escape’ to some more liberal part of the country. The Confederate flag has always been a blight for South Carolinians. I was never proud or happy that it flew on the statehouse grounds. But honestly, it never felt like it was going to go anywhere. The only option I ever felt like I had to make political change was to leave the state. The conservatism runs so deep in SC, you have to be incredibly strong willed to try to do anything as a liberal or a Democrat.

I am so happy that the flag has finally been removed, as it should have been, long ago. I wish that this could have happened without the terrible event that sparked the removal. I desperately hope that more open dialogue can take place now, and that there may be lasting affects that open politics to the middle.

I am still proud to be a South Carolinian and always will be. I am a Southern woman who has good manners but still curses a bit, and loves bourbon and fried chicken. But I also believe in values that most of the rest of my beloved state does not, and that’s ok. I can do both. And I will continue to hope and pray for progress in SC and the rest of the country.

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my southern identity, and events back home

7/12/15

Sometimes you just have to go full fatty.

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It’s been a crazy last few weeks! John is finally down to one sport a week and this is the last week. Then we get one week of nothingness and then our beach trip! SO excited. We are now under 100 days until the wedding and I am starting to get a bit nervous! There are just so many little logistical details to think about. If at the end of the day, we just get married and have some good food and some good beer, though, I’ll be happy. 🙂

A handsome man in a dark steakhouse

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It was John’s 30th birthday today! We went to High West yesterday and had some delicious whiskeys, and then Ruth’s Chris tonight. It was a very good but very rich meal. About halfway through our butter soaked steaks, we agreed we’re totally ready to eat healthy for the next two weeks. We’ve already planned out meals for the week and are going to try to be really good in preparation for the beach. 🙂

We didn’t end up doing the entire 30 days of our shred like we planned. I did about two weeks straight and then started having some knee pain, so we dialed it back. John was having a hard time with doing 3 sports and shred, too. I’ve been using an app called Sworkit for strength training and yoga to mix it up since shred started feeling really repetitive. I’m down about 3 pounds post-Minnesota madness, and pretty sure I’ll drop a bit more with our two weeks of “detox” eating coming up.

Pulled pork by Costco, rest by me

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Highlights of cooking recently: I made roasted green beans and homemade (super-cheesy) mac and cheese to go with this pulled pork from Costco. We’re going to be eating a lot of pulled pork this week, lol. We tried a honey lavender BBQ sauce that was really interesting.

Still working on my steak grilling game, but salmon turned out really well!

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Still on a major grilling kick, too! My next goal is to grill some perfect chicken with the honey lavender BBQ sauce.

Really looking forward to vacation soon as work has been super hectic lately. We’ve lost a few people recently and we’re feeling the workload. It’s going to feel so nice to kick back on the beach and have very few responsibilities for a couple days.

7/12/15