Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

October 2, 2017

The Woman I Want To Be.

      While I love many of Britney Spears' lyrics, "I'm not a girl, not yet a woman," from the song of hers with the same name, seemed to ring true in my life for the last few years especially. I surely can't be the only 90s girl who at one point thought that song was written just for me! However, my 23rd birthday was last month, and this one brought all sorts of new revelations that past birthdays haven't. This was the first one birthday in many years that my main occupation hasn't been being a student. Now not only do I live away from my parents, but I now live completely on my own, in a new-to-me state as well. I have a full-time career, and a second job with running this blog. I'm now responsible for all of my own major decisions, and it's both extremely scary and very liberating. It dawned on me shortly after my birthday this year that I don't think some of my favorite Britney lyrics apply to my life anymore! I'm definitely not a girl... because I am now a woman! 

      If you had asked me five years ago when I started blogging where I'd be at age 23, my answer would have probably been different. I'd wouldn't have ever wanted to leave the Carolinas, and I would have told you that I'd be hoping and praying to meet my future husband before finishing my freshman year of college! Clearly none of those things panned out... but God's plan is always more beautiful than our own. He is control over the plan for our life, but something I have control over is the type of woman that I want to be, as I continue to grow older and mature even more! Today I'd like to share with you the type of radio personality, blogger, coworker, friend, daughter, current single woman and hopefully someday future wife that I want to be: 


     *Loves the Lord through both her words and her actions. I don't want to be known as a Sunday Christian. I want my faith to live through my lifestyle every single day. I want to be a light for Christ in a dark world. I never want to become vain- I always want to point my earthly successes back to Him. 

     *Loves those with different morals, lifestyle, and political beliefs the way that Christ did, not the way that the modern world creates division. Everyone is a child of God, and I want the love that I give to others around me to reflect that, in a non-judgmental way. I want to become confident in speaking about the things that I believe, but in a way that doesn't offend others, and instead points back to my faith. 

     *Continues to wait until marriage, and honor the promise that I chose to make to God when I was in high school. 

     *Makes attending church each week on Sunday morning (or Saturday/Sunday evening - depending on service times of the church) as necessary as showing up for work each day on time. Time spent in worship, prayer, and studying in the bible amongst the company of believers is essential, and I never want to take that for granted. 

     *Is a mentor to younger girls, either by volunteering through my church or another Christian organization, through future radio shows, through this blog, or a combination of all three.


     *Learns to respect the fact that my parents will always still be my parents, and not my "buddies". I want to take an interest in their lives as much as they do in mine, and learn to keep my temper when they disagree about a decision that I've made. I want to continue to show them how thankful I am for the fact that they encouraged me pursue to pursue my dreams, both educationally and professionally!

     *Seeks out healthy friendships, and when I find them I seek to cherish and nurture them. A good friend should be treasured and loved. On the other hand, when involved in a friendship that is becoming toxic, I don't want to hold back in cutting the ties. 

     *Doesn't rush into relationships- whether those are romantic, friendships, or career based. I've learned in my younger years time and time again that "instant intimacy" always backfires, and the best relationships in life are those that develop naturally and with time. 

     *Is honest. Finding out that you've been lied to by someone close to you, especially again and again for a long time, is heart crushing. The truth can hurt, but never as much as a lie, and you can never fault someone for vocalizing the truth. 

     *On the same note, can recognize the familiar signs of a compulsive liar, and prevent myself from continuing to be burned by those types of toxic individuals.


     *Is a good financial steward. Continues to live within my means, and prioritizes putting money into savings accounts. I want to be generous with my money (especially once I've finished paying off school), and shower those that I love with gifts, and tithe regularly. 

      *Says yes to travel experiences over frivolous things. Who thinks thoughtfully about material purchases, but never hesitates to buy a plane ticket that will lead to new adventures or time well spent friends and family. 

      *Takes pride in financial independence. I want to educate myself about financial concepts that are currently unfamiliar to me: things like taxes, investments, etc. I want to continue to maintain excellent credit. And I want to encourage my fellow single female friends to do the same!

     *Learns to know when to say yes, and when to say no. When to say yes to stepping outside of my comfort zone, and trying new experiences, and also when to say no to things that aren't right for me. I want to know myself well enough to know when too much is too much, and to never forget about self-care. 

     *Who chases her bucket list dreams with a passion. No matter how weird or silly some of them are, or unattainable-seeming others might be. Those are my dreams for a reason, and they should be pursued.


     *Never loses sight of someday becoming a nationally syndicated radio host. I don't ever want to forget the feeling of when I was growing up and falling in love with the power of radio- I want to be the power and share that with a new generation. I don't ever want to forget the sacrifices that I made in my young 20s for my career. Even if God's plan in the future takes me out of radio for a year or two... I want to keep my eyes fixed on the prize. 

     *Loves on orphans and those in foster care. I've never had a strong desire to be a biological mother, and as I've gotten older that desire hasn't really changed at all. But my heart for wanting to help babies and children who don't have families is huge. I pray that my future husband will share the same passion! If marriage isn't in the cards for me for awhile, I don't want to let that stop me from helping these children. 

     *Never loses my creative streak. I want to always make time in my life for hobbies and personal developments - sometimes the best medicine of all is putting work away and letting yourself dive into a creative project.

     *Stays a morning person. This is a new one- my morning radio internship in broadcasting school is what finally turned this former perpetual night owl into someone with a new appreciation for the early day. Now I have a whole new perception on mornings, and it's been magical (and also a big help to my migraines). I want to keep this! 

     *Remembers to always send a handwritten thank you note after a generous gift or action. 


     *Never loses her love of 90s and early 2000s music, especially one hit wonders. 

      *Always keeps a well-maintained lingerie drawer... not necessarily because of a man in my life, but because every woman deserves to have nice undergarments for themself! 

     *Loves the things that I love and not being ashamed of that. Whether that means continuing to expand my collection of Starbucks mugs, dropping random knowledge of geography and radio fun facts, dancing extra enthusiastically to music by Pitbull or LMFAO, and quoting That 70s Show and How I Met Your Mother frequently. 

     *Never forgets the two best medicines to any problem: laughter and dancing.

     *Who never, ever, ever forgets what means to her. 😊

Thank you Alyce Paris for the beautiful dress that I'm wearing in today's photos! Photography by Amanda Rose Photography.

      God Bless,

    xoxo Annaliese



  1. Annaliese, I love this SO MUCH. You need to print this and read it often. :) love that you've thought through these things and that you have these convictions to pray over!

  2. I LOVE this post girl!! You have such a wonderful heart and the woman you want to be is definitely showing through in all you do. You should be proud of what a wonderful role model you are!

  3. I loved this post and it is filled with great goals. Reading the Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey was great when I was first out of college and has helped me work towards paying off my student loans. Jess at Just Jess

  4. Annaliese, first of all-these photos are absolutely stunning, you look like a princess! Second, I love this post-you are so inspirational to me and I love how focused and driven you are!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style

  5. Beautiful post Annaliese! You are a beautiful woman inside and out! I think it is so important to understand who you are and stay true to your values and principals while constantly growing and evolving. Like you I don't have the biological drive to have my own kids so I want to adopt or be a foster parent when I am emotionally and financially ready one day. You are a wonderful role model for young women, I am sure you will have many opportunities to help mentor younger women over the years in your career, blogging and your faith <3

  6. This was such a beautiful post dear. I think things often don't happen the way we had planned, but that's just the mystery of life. I love that you stay true to your values and what you said about cutting ties with those who bring toxic energy into your life. Thank you for the positive reinforcements and beliefs xx

    Sending light & love your way,

    My Lovelier Days

  7. Such a wonderful post!!! <3 I was thinking about you on my drive home when Toxic came on the radio! I definitely always thought that "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" was about me, haha!

  8. This is so sweet! I love how you really shared from your heart! It's so important to remember to build ourselves up while we're advocating for other women too!

  9. Adore this post from the beautiful photos and getting to know more about you. I always admire how you stick to what you believe in!

  10. This was such a fun and uplifting post to read! I think it's always important to remember to grow as a person and change for the better! And your photos are all so gorgeous! Thank you for sharing! :)

    xo, Chloe //

  11. What a great post! Each year brings something different unexpected with a lot of learning. Sounds like you have a good plan. Trusting in God is always the most important.

  12. Love this so much! I'm totally with you on thinking life will be one way and things going completely opposite, but everything happens for a reason!

  13. You're such an inspiration! I have no doubt in my mind that you are and will continue to be that woman just through reading your posts - you're a beautiful soul! Also, these photos are gorgeous! Love that dress!

  14. What a fabulous post! You look absolutely beautiful in that dress, but you are a beautiful soul, too!

  15. This is such a beautiful post! You are doing a great job and are inspiring to so many! Also you look beautiful and I love that dress, so cute :)

    Kristen |

  16. Wow, this dress is just stunning on you! Love this post. So many wonderful things you want to accomplish.

  17. This is such a beautifully written post, accompanied by photos of a beautiful person!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

  18. This was so beautiful! I love reading this like that! Also, you look gorgeous in that dress!

  19. Such beautiful photos at one of your favorite places! You are full of so much wisdom- loved reading this post.

  20. You look STUNNING in this post, Annaliese, and I absolutely love everything you wrote!


  21. This post is so incredible and it is a true testimony to who you will be! You have God planted in your heart and you are shining brightly, radiating his love and grace into everything you wish to do and to be. I just know that God has incredible plans for you and He will use you to impact the world greatly.

  22. This post is amazing and I love your outfit! Always keep striving to be the woman you want to be!


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