I have realized the cultural label I've been looking for to best describe my experience from growing up in rural America is "hick." Both "redneck" and "white trash" always felt close but had some fundamental pieces that weren't quite right. Hick is perfect, though.

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Hick, to me, implies ignorance with earnest naivete. Redneck implies brash, obnoxious, and contrarian (and usually racist). White trash implies extreme poverty, abuse, and addiction. Weird, arbitrary venn diagram circles to draw, I guess.

The further I've gotten from my origins, the more I've wanted to understand them, I guess. I used to feel like I had no identity, but there is one there. It's maybe not all that interesting, broadly speaking, but it's nice to feel a deep connection to something these days.

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