Birmingham, AL

" I used to be someone who was like, “Fuck the South” and “I hate being from Alabama” but now I can honestly say that I love it. I am grateful to have been born in Birmingham specifically because Birmingham is the most liberal and accepting part of Alabama. I am super lucky and super privileged to have the parents that I have. Cause’ you know we are in the bible belt and they definitely, well, I wouldn’t have known I lived in the bible belt as a kid if I didn’t leave my house. I recently went to Tennessee with my friend Lily. We went to Del Rose, Tennessee. We were really close to this place called Pulaski. There is this little place called Yellow Deli and it’s just adorable and I could just talk about it forever. When I travel around the south more I am continuously struck by how beautiful and unique the southeast is. First of all, I think the, as a person who cares about plants, herbalism, and the earth, I think that it’s the best place to be. When people summarize the south as this desolate place and are like, “There’s nothing there but a wheat field.”  I am like, “Yeah. And I think that is beautiful.”

Maybe major consumption, food, comes from other places but people do have farms and live off the land here more. If everywhere was like New York City the earth would shut down. The dirt is not meant to be covered by concrete everywhere. Sidewalks and roads and cities have their place just as much as dirt and grass and plants and worms and bugs do. The people in the south are really beautiful too, and maybe you don’t see that on CNN when folks are yelling and being racist, and my friend and I on our drive to Tennessee and we counted more confederate flags than many would think!  The racial issues are unfortunately real and is something that needs to be fixed but it doesn’t make all of the south and everyone in it, like bad people, or racist or unable to change. Much of the country ignores the beauty here and doesn’t think about us down here. I feel like some of my friends from the North who are forced to think about the south tend to look down on us and like I love them, um, but that’s upsetting.  I say to them well, there is just as much growth here as there is anywhere else- believe me.”