Monday, March 05, 2007

My Biggest Regret

Liz ponders:

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 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!


Mel Francis said...

ironically, sometimes I regret moving to Mississippi. Oxford is supposed to be progressive for the state because it's a college town...but apparently I have a completely different view of what progressive is.

Liz said...

I would change your comment from "ironically" to "Understandably". Again, I would point out that it's who you know. Hey, Killer and I are both going to be in Oxford in April for an art show. Meet you there? We can have cocktails and redefine "progressive". I'll also be at Whad'ya Know in Oxford... I think on the 26th.

Killer said...

It's good to see Liz keeping up with Mississippi art. The art show is April 13th. I already invited Mel.

You can't leave Mississippi now! I am going to be moving back there in a few months.

Liz said...

Are you and Mel having some sort of "secret" communica? Are ya'll talking about me behind my back? Is the new blog going to be called "Killer Rants With Mel! (and some hobo named liz that won't leave me alone)?

I shouldn't have had those cocktails. I drink and the next thing you know, I assume you're cyber-cheating.

Ibatramarn said...

Well, I do not know about the rest of ya'll, but Cali ain't that great of an "Epiphany" to have. I would much rather take a BBQ and some cold beer on the tailgate of my truck over this stuff.
But that is just me talkin', Liz, and I am finding out that ain't a whole lot to bank on! So I guess i can chalk California up to my biggest regret, as well as my undersized beer. But Hey, the booze out here is CHEAP. Want some? ;)

briliantdonkey said...

As a navy brat, I spent quite a few years in meridian, and still have step family that lives in Jackson as a matter of fact. I think it is pretty much the same as the city I more or less grew up in. Not SOOOOO big as to be a miami or NYC, yet not so small to be hickville in spite of having that reputation at times. To each his/her own. I Personally, LIKE the tweener cities myself but that is prolly another strike against them truth be told.


heather said...

after spending my childhood on air force bases and my teen years in a suburb of syracuse, my newly claimed rural hometown is the place that most feels like home. most of my regrets involve how i treated my mom and 2 sisters while a teen. i was not a nice person. getting better, but still working on it. for some reason it's real easy to treat your family in ways you would never treat anyone else.

Mel Francis said...

Since I have a hard enough time keeping my own blog current, I don't think there will ever be a Killer Rants with Mel! (what am I gonna blog about today? I have no idea!)

Yeah, the Fishdog and I are gonna be at the art show. I've even promised to wear bells. :)

And cocktails are an absolute must.

speedwobble said...

I have grew up in a small-ish city, moved to a tiny town, moved to London, UK, then back to the teeny town. I can't say I regret it, but rural life just isn't what it used to be, now that I'm used to something entirely different...

Chris said...

This hellhole isn't toooo bad. Where else can you tell people who visit, once you get to the end of lakeland drive, turn around, you are entering the hood.

I've lived other places & yet I've come back here. But most of all Killer is moving back.