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The SoUS Story

Welcome to the SoUS Life Site! This is the story, and I am sticking to it.

To Begin

I have never believed that I had to be any singular thing. I’ve never believed that I had to be either a princess, or a brain, or a jock. I’ve always believed that I could be all of those things, and maybe that makes me a bit of a basket case too. Breakfast Club metaphors aside, I think it’s important to explain a little bit about who I am and what I hope to accomplish with this company.

A picture of Emily Bentley and her husband.

Looking Back

In the sixth grade, I was a class representative on the student council. I was on the basketball team, the scholars bowl team, and the Continental Math League team (think Mathlete). I danced ballet, and I played Brigitta in a young David Redman Scott’s production of the Sound of Music. My parents were a little saintly and maybe a little nutty for supporting all of my latest schemes. I was only one of their busy children after all. But I remember anxiously planning each week for the first time to make sure that I could do everything, not let my grades slip, and excel at the things that were important to me.

In high school and college, when I started planning my busy months and years, I would look back on that year and smile and sneer a bit at that little girl’s weeks. My months and years as an academic, high school and collegiate track athlete, praise and worship leader, sometimes artist, and nursing assistant in the ER taught me new things and broadened my perspective. And time passed.

Over the past few years, I have been blessed with new family, new friends, new homes, new jobs, and all the fun and stress that comes with them all. I’ve nursed and tube fed infants through the night. I’ve nursed family members on hospice through the night. I’ve cheered at track meets and high school graduations. And I’ve cheered on new crawlers and walkers. I’ve gotten some whopping doses of beautiful and complicated life, and “busy” has taken on fiendish and fabulous new meanings.

Over the last year, I have been blessed with working on a new project at work that has taken me into rural and medically underserved parts of my community. It has taken me to new places personally and professionally. We have spoken locally and nationally about our experiences. Our team is hoping to have a greater impact on our communities in meaningful ways.

Looking Forward

All of these things have been rolling around together in my head. What else can I do for my family, my community and myself? I want to take some chances a bit off the beaten trail. My day dream is to scale up to a community-based lifestyle network with a special interest in health and education. I’d like to provide positive inclusive media, community-building networking, and associated creative product lines.

But what is really doable? What can I accomplish as a mom working full-time? I’ve been interrupted no less than ten times in the time that it has taken me to draft this blog, and I am convinced that is a conservative estimate.

To Close

Now, I know what you Gen Xers are thinking. This millennial forgot about the criminal. I didn’t! I’ve just never aspired to be one. I’ve never been able to sell anything that I don’t believe in. So, I am starting small. Writing about things I know, and creating things I love.

My husband has always taken me in stride. He has more variation in jobs and activities than I do. So, when I said that I wanted to do something like this, and I said “I think I can do this!” He simply said, “I know you can.” So, I know that I’ve found someone, who like my parents, is a little bit saintly and a little bit nutty for supporting my latest scheme.

So, here we go. Housed on this site will be the SoAL (Southern Alabama pronounced “soul” because it is just So Alabama and So US) blog dedicated to lifestyle on the Alabama Gulf Coast, and the Toward All Seasons Blog, a lifestyle blog dedicated to the pursuit of moving somewhat gracefully toward all seasons of life. They are hosted by Southern US Enterprises, LLC (SoUS) a limited liability company by Emily Bentley.

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