Content? Yes. Even enthusiastically happy, especially after a couple of vodka tonics. BUT I do have one major regret in this otherwise ideal life.
I've never lived outside of Mississippi.
I know what you're thinking "But it's Mississippi! WHY would you want to leave that Utopia and move somewhere like Chicago or Montana or San Francisco?" Ok, you're not thinking that, but it felt good to pretend for a moment. I've been to Chicago, and Montana and San Francisco. I love them all. I'd move to any of them (I'd have to think a little bit about those Montana winters) pretty quickly too. But yet I'm here, I've been here, and it looks like I'm staying here.
I keep thinking that next year I'll look into what else is out there but do you know how quickly a next year can sneak up on you? 35 years later and I'm living 20 miles from the hospital where I was born. I never thought it would end up like this. I always thought I'd have a more cosmopolitan lifestyle. After all, I love the city with the activity and skyline and culture and, if I can't have that, I love the mountains where the air is rejuvenating. Yet, here I be! I be here. San Francisco rubs that in my face all the time. The best of both worlds... that bitch.
Believe it or not, Mississippi does a lot of things right but the right things are in pockets. In that way, it's like New York, Los Angeles, or where you live. My state ranks at the bottom of everything good and the top of every "worst of" list. I think your perspective of this state depends on who you associate with. My friends, like Killer, are adventurous and open minded. They value education and aren't racists or bigots. They know how to have fun and they are nice to each other.
So why do I contemplate leaving? Because Jackson, with beautiful historic homes (the ones that weren't burned) is being eaten alive by drugs and crime. Since we're putting up with all that shit, we should have some perks, like cheap groceries or gas. Yet the cost of living here isn't what the statics report. Yes, you can get a house in Jackson for $90,000 but most of those are in the ghetto where gun fire will keep you up all night and your pets get stolen. Forget having a nice car; in some neighborhoods that's nothing more than an insurance claim. Unless you can pay $300,000 for a house in Jackson, you should consider the suburbs. With suburbs come better schools, very little crime and higher costs of living. Yet salaries here don't really mesh with those costs of living. The number one source of revenue for this state is the government... and that's not government agencies employing people, that's ME paying for them to be jobless.
There's my regret. I love Nashville and Knoxville, Chicago and San Diego, yet I've settled here. I have friends all over the country and, thanks to Chad, all over the world. I've had many of my friends for YEARS- like 20 years. I think that's because we all grew up here where bonds are strong. It's like we've survived Vietnam and swore our allegiance to each other at 18. Unless you're from here, it's probably difficult to understand how complicated loving this dysfunctional place can be. Yet many of us do love it and even those that go away always consider it home.
But I want out. I'm thinking about posting my resume on Monster.com and seeing what I'm worth. Do you think they'll hold it against me when they see I have a Mississippi address?
What about you? Regrets?
Now I'm all sad and shit... Time for a cocktail!