Confessions of a Southern Gothic

Good evening. I am very likely at the mid-point in my life. I am 44 years old and if I am lucky I will make it to the same age as Adam West, who died today at 88 years old. Of course this is barring an intervention from Singularity or a confirmation that God is a real thing or there is some force I am not aware of that will allow me to exist beyond this brief time on earth. It is a little humbling to realize that I am half way home. That between myself and an eternal blanket of darkness is likely just 44 short, tumultuous years. It is both beautiful and places me in a harbor of anxiety and fear. I cannot believe I got here so fast.

But I have to admit this is an amazing life. I am a person who works in education for a living. I get to travel, think, and write for a living. I get paid pretty well. I live a solid middle class lifestyle and get the honor to be married to a beautiful woman who has been my wife for 20 years whom I met in college and fell in love with since moment one. We have a daughter whom we do not deserve because she is stunningly beautiful, smart, witty, funny, and caring. I live in a great community in a nice house with a beautiful back yard and it is in a safe and diverse town. So far, things have been pretty good.

Sure it was not always that way. I am a child of divorce, my father died 12 years ago from decades of substance abuse. My family did not come from money nor did they get classical educations. My mother has worked for too long and too hard but is now doing as well as she deserves. She is finally getting the respect that she should. I have seen 49 of the 50 states and have lived all over. But what I keep coming back to is that I am a southerner first.

And that is the point of this post and will be the point of this blog, from now on. I am a committed to the idea of being a Southern Revivalist. I believe that for my 44+ years left to be of value I need to rediscover my personal and regional roots and understand who I am as a man and a southerner. Just so you know, when I say Southern Revivalist I am not interested in the racist, hateful past of the south. I am not a Confederate. I believe that that south has a hurtful and shameful past that we must speak about in the open. I am a classic Southern Liberal who believes that we must own up to our past. But this blog is going to be about all of the things that make being a Southerner a wonderful thing. So I am going to revisit my personal history by exploring and learning how to do the following well. I will write about them on my blog. They are as follows:

  1. Food – there is a beautiful cooking culture in the south. A combination of African, French, English, and Latin roots this food is delicious and satisfying and should be refined and respected. I am going to learn how to make classic Southern food that reflects the entire region.
  2. Drink – from sweet tea to craft beer there are endless options and I want to enjoy most of them and let you know about it.
  3. Music – pretty simple, no South, no Music. Blues, R&B, Country, Rock, and Jazz were all born here. I will listen and write about them.
  4. Books – Southern writers are amazing. I will read their books and learn from them.
  5. Travel – There are so many beautiful towns from Charleston to Chattanooga there are great places to live, work, and play. I think it is important to visit them and learn from their history and culture.
  6. Education – s many great American universities are located in the south and there are so many options. As topics on education arise I will write about them from a Southerner’s perspective.
  7. Lifestyle – Being a Southerner is a matter of lifestyle including diet, exercise, gardening, football, basketball, politics, and other topics on being a true southerner.

I want to learn about where I came from. I want to be more connected with my past, my present, and my future. This shall be a labor of love. I have never been so aware of where and how I need to express myself and live my life. You don’t have to read it, you don’t have to like it, you don’t even need to know it exists but this blog is going to be a catalog of my Southern Gothic life. I will cook, listen, think, and work to better understand my roots and myself. Because I suspect outside some sort of medical miracle or just being wrong I will only be here for so long. I need to use that time to better understand who I am, and to catalog it.

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