Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Indiana Mindset

Today I wanted to quickly update you before I start in on my usual eye opening writing! :) I am proud to say that I went for a walk last night for the first time in about 2 months. I could only walk a mile without being tired but at least I did it. I also did not binge last night after binging every day for the last couple of weeks. I am hoping to get really serious about taking care of ME! Also, I saw my therapist today and we delved into some issues about Grad School and my personal beliefs about me and my abilities. It was eye opening and is helping me to get a grasp on some of these irrational thoughts that absolutely plague my mind.

Today I was thinking about my mindset and where I get it. I grew up in southern Indiana for those of you who weren't aware. Indiana is obviously a small state in the midwest that is known for corn, farming, the Indianapolis 500, basketball, and the such. I am from a very beautiful part of Indiana that has gorgeous colors in the fall, full green trees in the spring, rolling hills as far as you can see, and swaying corn stalks that make you think you are looking at a midwestern postcard. A part of me is really proud of where I come from and some of the things that you learn being from the midwest/south. I have a good work ethic, deep respect for my elders, the knowledge of taking care of myself, and can cook like nobody's business! I also have a healthy bank of completely stupid sayings and a cute little accent that comes out when I am a little tired or have had a few drinks.

Here in California, we laugh a lot about my upbringing with redneck jokes and assumptions about what it must be like to hang out in Indiana. I hear a lot about rebel flags and Wal-marts and I can handle the heat. There is a part of me that isn't so happy that I am from Indiana too. I have a very horrible past that sits back in Indiana and sticks its tongue out at me and says "you'll never escape!" Indiana, on the whole, is full of a lot of really disturbing things. It is almost normal to be pregnant before you graduate high school. It is certainly normal to marry someone that you can't stand just because he either got you pregnant or my favorite...I LOVE HIM! It is customary to either be verbally or physically abused by your spouse, male or female. It is not often that one graduates college and it certainly isn't run of the mill to go on to an advanced degree. It is not far fetched for someone to be related to their husband before they get married (I am not kidding) and it's unheard of to marry someone of another race, just because you love and honor that person. As you can see, I am not really a product of my upbringing. I defy so many of the norms of my roots that it's scary!

Today I was thinking about the actual Indiana mindset. There is an attitude in Indiana that is so disturbing that it makes me physically ill. It is absolutely normal in Indiana to hate people because they are successful. Let me set up a scenerio and you can try to picture it.

Sally Jo is walking through the aisles at the local grocery store. She stops at the peanut butter and gasps at the outrageous price of Jiff Creamy and before she knows it, she hears her name being hollered (word for yelled in Indiana) across the store. She rolls her eyes a little as she notices that the person yelling is none other than Jessica, a girl she went to high school with. She didn't graduate with Jessica because Sally was in labor on graduation night with her firstborn. Sally ended up dropping out and now has 3, count em, 3 young-ins. Jessica runs up to Sally and gives her a hearty hug and says "How are you girl?" Sally throws out her best attempt at "Great" and asks Jessica what she has been up to. Jessica begins telling Sally that she has moved to Northern Indiana and is now the Editor of a very successful magazine that comes out of the Michigan area. Jessica had graduated from Indiana University in Journalism and gone on to meet a man she really enjoyed and married him and is just now pregnant with her first child at 30. Jessica is beaming at how happy her life is and Sally is seething inside.

Sally goes home to her less than perfect trailer and sees her husband that has put on about 60 lbs since their courthouse wedding and looks around at her filthy house in disgust. She then does what any self-respecting Indiana housewife would do. She grabs the cordless phone and heads outside to call her friend, Beth. Beth answers and Sally proceeds to tell her about running into Jessica and that Jessica was terribly self-righteous and snotty. "She thinks her crap doesn't stink Beth. She thinks just because I don't drive a BMW and have a rich husband that I am worth nothing. She works for some magazine but I am sure she slept her way to the top. Yeah, she's pregnant, I hope it's her husbands!"

This is an actual story from Indiana people (names have been changed to protect the innocent children involved) who don't feel happy with themselves so they must bash successful people. I have been fearing success my whole life because of this but NO MORE. I am going to shrug off my Indiana mindset and forget what those people think and become all God wants me to be! I am excited to see how they respond when I come back to be Persimmon Festival Grand Marshall because I am a successful writer, speaker, therapist, mommy, wife, and have lost 225 lbs total. I am going to be a sucess story and for all that it's worth..I hope they hate me!

By the is what God says about it in Eccl. 5:18

"Here is what I have seen to be good: it is appropriate to eat, drink, and experience good in all the labor one does under the sun during the few days of his life God has given him, because that is his reward."

If you are from Indiana and reading this..I assume you don't have this mindset because I wouldn't be friends with you. I appreciate the fact that we have overcome! Free at last...Free at last..Thank God Almighty we are free at last! Have a great day ya'll and I love you all dearly!


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