On Sunday night, while minding my own business on Facebook...
yeah...you know where this is going right?
I came across this:
I was born in Mississippi.
Hated Mississippi, was ashamed of my state and "couldn't wait to get out."
I didn't like telling people I met that I was from Mississippi because of the stereotypes and preconceived notions I felt people had about my home state.
When I got married at the naive young age of 20, I moved out of the town I grew up in and 3 years later moved to Tennessee...actually a town on the Tennessee/Kentucky line.
Out of Mississippi.
I raised two babies and started my fledgling teaching career outside of Mississippi and for 6 years worked for the Department of Defense Schools where I experienced diversity and progressive attitudes in bulk.
I developed a very healthy appreciation for military families during this time.
My babies were young, and my husband was a football coach.
Our 7th year of marriage was one of the toughest, and he was never around.
I wanted to go home.
So we did. (We actually went home because he got another coaching job...but that's another story for another day).
The move home was rough.
Much of what I had experienced professionally and personally in an area of diversity was squashed pretty quickly when I came home.
This was probably my first bout with pretty serious depression.
I would go through the motions each day, trying to be happy, but would sit at night, just waiting for the next day to begin.
I broke down in the kitchen of our new church one night, and my church family rescued me...literally and figuratively.
Fast forward a few years and I had the opportunity to do some serious traveling: Chicago, Boston, Oakland, CA, San Francisco, Washington D.C. ...
I spent 3 years traveling to Oakland every other month, working with other education professionals from all across the U.S. ...talk about diversity.
No place is perfect, however, and even though I enjoyed these travels, while appreciating other points of view and experiencing different cultures and lifestyles up front, I still developed an appreciation of home.
When the plane would touch down and I would look out of the windows to see the familiar landscape, my heart would always feel warm.
There's no place like home.
I would return to my home state invigorated.
Invigorated and encouraged to make change.
To work within the system to offer our students a voice and the very best education available.
Fast forward again to ending projects, admin changes, and choices made on our campus that I didn't agree with...I pulled myself out of the professional ring.
I slipped back into somewhat of a depression here.
Why the heck was it so damn hard to get my state on board.
I know the answer now.
I suspected it before.
But, I know it without a shadow of a doubt now.
As long as we allow individuals who thrive on drama, outdated notions of equality, questionable ethics, and blind conformity, we will always be last.
I don't have the fight in me right now.
But my kid does.
I support her and all the other young women of my state who do indeed give a damn about progress.
They stand up and fight the old crotchity ways and are clawing at any way possible to find their voices.
I won't stop supporting them while trying to love everybody.
Even the fool in this FB post.
I unfollowed him by the way.
The Hide button wasn't enough for me.
I probably shouldn't have because obviously he needs those of us who disagree with him to keep an eye on him.
I suspect he feels like he can use the drama to help get him elected to Washington since that strategy appears to be pretty successful in these here parts.
He blocked my kid though.
Good for her.
95% of his commenters are from outside the state...because he (or probably a staffer) deleted all the comments from outside the state and blocked those whose opinions he refuses to hear.
Mississippi is my state.
This man may technically be my state senator.
But he is not MY state senator.