I'm from Alabama. Haven't lived there in 10 years but I am a southerner. I left there wanting everything opposite of what I grew up with. I stopped going to church, went polar opposite on my political views and you would NEVER find me listening to country music.
I still remember very vividly making that cross country trip to Missoula, Montana in my box on wheels Volvo, blaring my collection of Ani Difranco cd's, and feeling incredibly liberated.
I went to a Christian school, came from a conservative family and just wanted to do things my way.
Funny, how life comes full circle. I am now the opposite of that 24 year old version of myself. I rekindled my relationship with God and it is much more fulfilling and personal now that I found Him myself and not because I had to go to Bible class everyday or my parents made me go to church.
I don't resent where I am from. I used to be embarrassed that I was from Alabama. Not because of its "country, backwards" stereotype but because it is still stuck in time when it comes to the way white and black people interact. I realize that racism is everywhere I have lived in the last 10 years, it's just more blatant down there. More accepted. I do resent that.
I have never been ashamed of my passion for Alabama football, but that too has intensified. Mr. Nick Saban and his talented recruits may have been somewhat of a catalyst in that process. Roll Tide!
And lately, I have become obsessed with country music. I can hear my dad after reading this now, "Shut chur mouth! You're listening to country music? I knew you secretly liked it when I played Box Car Willie and Marty Robinson when I drove you to school."
I don't know how it happened. I heard Gary Allan's song "Watching Airplanes" and had to hear it again. I hopped on iTunes and then I just couldn't stop. I caught myself singing Alan Jackson and Montgomery Gentry while I was working out at the gym the other day!
I couldn't stand that music before.
Now don't get me wrong, I still like my Missy Elliot and Janet Jackson, you won't catch me on "St. Louis Country" on KMOV and I enjoy not living in the South. I appreciate home more by living a couple states away. I have just broadened my horizons in more ways than my musical interests. I find that it makes life even better when you open your mind to new things, even the ones you would have never considered at one time.