my name is rebekah. i live on a farm in a darling townhouse (with my new husband!) by the tombigbee river in the black prairie of north mississippi, a small but marked portion of the deep south. in my state, we have been long looked over for our rich heritage of writers and musicians. long looked over, perhaps, because such a history is out-shined by the high numbers of impoverished, uneducated, and unhealthy citizens. it's a shame. but for me, it's also a privilege. because change is always happening. in the smallest of ways. and only those of us close enough to live and breathe in such situations have the blessing of being able to see it before anyone else. to love it and know it and thrive in it and push it to thrive before the rest of the world gets in on it. 

my town holds the gems of mississippi university for women, an ever-growing culture of small town, downtown life, and a story-wealthy river. my alma mater, or nourishing mother muw, holds many of the most precious memories of my life thus far. courses that molded me, mentors and teachers who inspired me, and friends who grew with me. many who visit these lands, who don't know what they need, can easily see a backwards town. we have no target, no barnes & noble, and no starbucks [so far (thank you, jesus)]. i see a series of little engines that could: a darling cheese shop that also sells the best chocolate truffles, charming coffee houses, music-makers & lovers, an increasing interest in volunteerism, a new level of professionalism, a flourishing art scene, and constant, never-ending opportunities for progress. we also love trees, and trees love us.

i always wanted my life to be about music & literature. the talent required for the former is not such that i possess, but since falling in love, it is my life now. and as i have always loved music, and as i always knew i would marry a musician, i should say i'm rather happy about that. there can be nothing more grievous than for you to realize things do not happen as you wish. and conversely, there can be nothing more gratifying than when they do. unless what happened that you didn't wish for was better. and that's just the most gratifying thing of all. i write no masterpieces. i write my story, and sometimes, i like to write someone else's stories. i have no shopping fetish, like many women, in the form of shoes, clothes, makeup, or jewelry. in fact, i can't remember the last time i purchased any of those items for myself. books, however, will be a constant passion of mine. it is common for me to purchase something i know i could not open for months to come. because about thirty more books await me. and that doesn't stop me. writing and reading are my dreams. i want to be an editor and a librarian and an english instructor and above all, a writer. i want to explore my identity as a woman - expanding my understanding and desire for gender equality; as a southerner - expanding my belief that whether or not i'm a woman, i should know how to make fried chicken, cornbread, and an array of soups; as a wanderluster - expanding the ground my feet have tread; and as one who hungers for a better life lived in consideration of the environment from growing my own food to meeting the needs of my neighbor. i believe in the healing power of silence, laughter, baked sweets, music, and jesus. always jesus. these are my dreams.

but for now, i work in the nonprofit realm. i signed away a year of my life to the united states government with nine other brave women to efforts of eradicating poverty through health and education in the state known primarily for its numbers in those things. i hope i can do those stories justice, and make them known, whether they are to be overlooked or not. it's a start.

l'arc de triomphe

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