I actually began taking notes / writing this big post on Sunday as I was flying back to Arkansas from Dallas. I took a small airline from DFW to Hot Springs. For those of you lacking aviation knowledge, because of the size of the plane, we were flying lower than your normal jet. In the midst of my trip, and my writing, things changed very quickly as we entered a storm. I am usually a pretty good flyer, but this was a ride like none I’d been on before. We were bouncing all around. Up and down, over and over. The worst part was all the lightening you could see. It was so crazy. I was accompanied by 3 other passages and two pilots. As this is all happening, one of the pilots is trying to speak to us, but naturally no one could hear because of the rain / wind. I am not saying I thought I was going to die, but I didn’t feel great about the situation at all. I thought about turning off of airplane mode to text my family and friends, but I just continued to read / write because that is what I do… I can be freaking out on the inside and no one will have a clue thanks to my outward calm appearance. I couldn’t stop thinking about all the characters that oddly have died on Grey’s Anatomy due to plane crashes (s/o to the Grey’s fans). Gosh, I love my pop cultured obsessed brain (another addition in the last 5 years). Of course, then I turned on Taylor Swift through my headphones. I also prayed and had a nice long talk with God.
As I continued to write through all the large bumps in the sky, our pilot went in for a landing. At first, for 2 seconds, it felt like things were going down, not in a good way. Remember, I couldn’t hear. Then I realized that they were actually attempting to land the plane. That happened, as smoothly as possible, and we were on the ground. I felt peace, but quickly realized that I was not in Hot Springs. We came to a halt and they turned off the plane… finally I could hear them. Long story short, we landed in Texarkana because the storm was only going to get worse and there was no way of knowing what was ahead or how much worse it would have gotten. They arranged for an uber (yes you read that right) for the 4 of us passengers and our pilot. We then drove 2 and half hours back to Hot Springs. I didn’t know any of these people’s names… You know me, I tried to make friends, but no one was in a particularly good mood. We got in the car, started driving though the storm and Taylor Swift comes on the radio. As a looked at my basically empty note on my phone, where I had begun writing this post around the time we entered rough altitude, I began to laugh. I am sure they all thought I was loosing it, but I had the perfect realization to recap the past five years.
My time as Southern and Thankful as well as my personal life over the these years was just like that flight. I started the blog, and in my mind quickly found some success. Life was good. Sky’s were blue. I envisioned making a big career out of Southern and Thankful. I thought about all the followers I would get, all the people I would impact, and all the money I could, hopefully one day make. AKA I thought I was going to land in Hot Springs at 3:35 like expected. You know that didn’t happen and you know I am not some famous blogger with millions of fans. I have always been pretty open on how my life has changed and what I have been though instead. God had another plan.
Things got rough and things got dark, both in the sky and in my life. I fell in love with pop culture. I gained wonderful friendships and lost some that I thought would last forever. I prayed a lot. I felt alone. I couldn’t hear or understand when those I trusted gave me advice. I watched a lot of Netflix. The sky felt like it was falling. I stopped writing (for a short time). I could not see. It was scary. I wanted my Mom. I looked ahead. Nonetheless, I had faith. I trusted my pilot and we eventually landed.
*hope you are still with me*
It was in an unfamiliar place, with some unfamiliar people. My head felt clear. I looked back behind me at what I had come through and realized my own strength. I picked up my things, plugged in my phone, made new friends, and took a small break before getting back on the road. Granted this was not the path or way I saw my life going (AKA the way I saw getting home), but it was okay and maybe it was better. That is the beauty of life, sometimes we never know. Oh, and don’t forget, Taylor Swift is always on the radio, especially in moments of major epiphany.
Two years into Southern and Thankful I was freaked out because I felt like people only knew me as that, they didn’t know my name. I realized Southern and Thankful + me are one and the same. These past 5 years have been remarkable. There have been up’s and down’s, but God has always provided. As he will continue to when the sky gets dark again. He has a plan for me, for this brand, and for all the things to come. I have said that many times in many posts, and this one will not be the any different. Just as Christ landed my plane, and found me a different way home, he will do the same for you, and has done the same for me over these past 5 years.
*i am almost done, promise*
Our 5th birthday party theme is “Make sure your friends are okay.” That is largely because if my friends and family did not check on me, I would probably not be okay. Whether that is by a simple text or a surprise visit, it makes all the difference.
In honor of this, I have restocked all my past lines / designs in t-shirts and….
THEY ARE ALL AVAILABLE FOR $5.00… for one week at the online store. You can order online and then pick up at Coker Hampton, or I will ship like normal.
My hope is that you will buy your favorite SAT shirt, and send to a friend. Remind them you are thankful for them, tell them you love them, and make sure they are okay. Also, feel free to get one for yourself. They are literally $5.00. A percentage of these proceeds is going to Project Semicolon. Project Semicolon is an organization dedicated to the prevention of suicide. Let’s celebrate this anniversary and do some good!
Thank you for loving Southern and Thankful. Thank you for believing in the brand and in me. Thank you for reading posts, liking my pictures, commenting the nicest things, and buying t-shirts. Thank you for wearing them all over the world. Thank you for sharing my impact on you. Thank you for being Southern and Thankful. Thank you for flying in this plane with me, no matter the conditions.
Southern and Thankful