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We’re #1!

Or #50, depending on the poll.  Yep, by “we” I mean Mississippi.  The local paper ran a story which detailed how Mississippi ranks worst for children’s well being.  That’s right – dead last.  High infant mortality, children living in poverty, single parent homes, high school dropouts….we’ve got ’em all.

Sometimes?  I think that my agreeing to live – and raise my child – in Mississippi was a big, big mistake.  I’m okay, for the most part, with being here.  Most of the time.  You see, I know that growing where you’re planted is the thing to do, but really?  I’m not entirely sure I’ve been planted in fertile soil.

There are a lot of wonderful things to be found in Mississippi.  The people I’ve met here are great.  I like the weather.  It’s beautiful and green.  The cost of living can’t be beat.  And the traffic?  Virtually nonexistent.

On the other hand, there’s rampant poverty, poor health seems to be par for the course, there’s not a whole lot to do, and we generally rank last in all things good and first in all things negative.

I know there’s good and bad everywhere and I pretty much subscribe to the notion that wherever you go, there you are.  But sometimes, I really think I’m cheating myself and my kid.  Smoochy is from here, so this is the norm for him and I’m not mad at his love for his home state.  I told him I’d move here and did and 99 95% of the time, I’m good.  I also know without fail that if he ever said we could leave, I’d be packed up and outta this joint before he finished his statement.  Actually, about a year ago he mentioned leaving but at the time I was like “whatever” and couldn’t really figure out where we’d go, so I didn’t pay him too much attention, and here we still are.

Reading that article made me think again about leaving.  Of course, I still don’t know where I’d go.  Maybe the Carolinas, somewhere in Texas, or the Pacific Northwest.

Do you like where you live?  Why?  Why not?  If you could relocate, where would you go?


23 thoughts on “We’re #1!

  1. Honey, I feel your pain.

    I am also NOT from MS, and married a man born and raised here.

    We actually did leave and moved waaaaayyy away, and.I.loved.it. We lived in Tempe AZ. We managed to stay there for almost four years before my hubby started cutting the fool to come home.

    I was thinking…home to what????????????

    I hate the fact that there is so little culture, so many bad schools (academics, not violence), so little exposure to the rest of the world. I really hate the fact there’s no interest in getting to that point.

    I make the best of it for one reason and one reason only. Every bit of my family is right here. Within….2000 yards of each other. For the most part, with the exception of maybe 5 members, Mel’s family is within 30 miles of us and actually closer to each other.

    If it ever came to pass, I’d be outta here so quick >my< head would spin.

    • The culture – or lack thereof – is what bothers me the most I think.

      And family is what keeps me here. I love that Lovegirl is close to her pawpaw, aunt, uncle and cousins. I have no desire to move to CA and I much prefer that she grow up near immediate family.

  2. Yeah… seeing as my mom’s from MS, I once thanked her for not raising us there. She looked offended but NONE of my cousins from there live outside of the state and only one went to college. AND most of them were married and/or pregnant by 21. Obviously this all can’t be put on the state but it doesn’t bode well and I don’t wanna be down. I say go to NC! If you go to AL or SC, you’ll be in the same situation you’re currently in. They always compete with MS for #50. Not awesome.

    • I definitely like the South.

      I don’t worry too much about the teen pregnancy/not going to college stuff – I pray that doesn’t happen on my watch. I can definitely see that I’m going to have to find plenty of activities to keep Lovegirl busy so that she doesn’t have much idle time on her hands.

  3. Um…I didn’t really answer the questions did I?

    No. I don’t like where I live.

    Here’s my list in order of preference.

    Tempe AZ
    Washington DC
    Harlem NY
    Norfolk VA
    Gulf Shores AL
    Destin FL

  4. I’m in Maryland and I love it. The cost of living here is ridiculously high though, and that’s a major downside. We’ve never even seriously considered moving out of state. If I could live anywhere else it would be Texas (Houston).

    • I always thought that if I were single and childless I’d move to VA/MD/DC. I really like that part of the country.

      But I’ve been in the South far too long to wrap my mind around what you all pay for housing. Almost as bad as CA!

  5. I live in OH. I was born and raised in OH(but a different city from where I currently live). I do NOT like the city that I live in. The only plus (to me) is the COL can’t be beat. It lacks a lot of the things I desire, mainly culture. I used to live on the East Coast (DMV=DC/MD/VA) I miss it soooo much but hated the high COL. If I could have my way I’d move to(not in any order):

    Houston, TX
    Charlotte, NC
    Marietta, GA
    Chicago, IL *I’m seriously considering this move come next summer.

    • We thought long and hard about Houston a few years before Lovegirl was born. Two things changed my mind – traffic and traffic. We went to Houston once to see The Lion King and sat on I-10 for almost 2 hours on a Saturday. And I’ll never forget the time my sister-in-law called me crying because she’d been sitting on 10 for almost 4 hours with my baby neice in the backseat because of traffic. Uh uh.

      I like Charlotte. A lot!

  6. I’m biased, obviously but other than the fact that Texas votes red, I love my city and think it’s a great place to live. It’s spread out and traffic is bad but there is lots of culture, educational and job opportunities and we have no state tax! The cost of living is great. It could be a lot worse.

    • Houston is great except for…the traffic. I just can’t do it. I’d be a nervous fool for real.

      I’m definitely going to try and meet up with you next time I’m there – I’ll just remember not to call after 9!

  7. My fam is from the Sip too WOW!!! I love to visit wouldn’t want to live there even though we have all types of land to build houses on. I’m in Cali. Been here my whole life. We are currently in a viscal crisis as a state and I wouldn’t mind moving to Oregon, the state of Washington, or New York.

    • CA is definitely out of the question. It’s home, but I’ve never had any desire to move back.

      Y’all politics and budget have been bad for a while – my Mom (works for the state) and I were talking not too long ago about Ah-nuld’s proposition that state workers should work for minimum wage until the budget passed. Yeah, no. And I well remember my parents being paid with IOUs. Again, no.

  8. I live in the Chicago Suburbs , and I do love most parts of my location. I love how close I am to the city ,without being in the city ( Im anywhere from 30 minutes away to 1 hour 15 minutes, depending on traffic and time of day ). I do not like the number of killings that has occurred in the last 2-3 years. I am so thankful that my grandparents came up to Chicago – actually my maternal grandfather got kicked out of the Sip , but thats a different story – and raised their kids up here. I have visited the family in good ole Mississippi , and I enjoyed the ride down more than I enjoyed the visit all together. I am seriously considering moving to someplace hot… or at least with better winters.

    • I’ve never been to Chicago – I’m thinking we’ll visit next summer.

      Funny you should mention your grandfather getting kicked out of Mississippi. Somebody in my family was kicked out as well and that’s how my Mom’s family ended up in Arkansas…

      • Not to get into anyone’s business…but how in the world can a body be kicked out of a whole state?

  9. I was raised in Ms too and there is no way I could live there again. Most folk say being right over the state line in Memphis is the same as living in Ms but I disagree. I really don’t want to raise my kids in here, but seeing as there almost teenagers I guess I already have. My hubby and I often talk about re-locating to someplace warm, maybe Austin.

    • “Kicked out” was the wrong term for me to use. Way back in the day my maternal grandfather’s father (grandfather?) stole 2, maybe 3, chickens to feed the family. Somebody ratted him out and he ran so as not to be killed. He ran from MS to AR. This was back in the 1800’s – shortly after slavery was abolished. Or so the story goes.

  10. Suppose I’m in the minority. I love Mississippi, I’d stay here forever. I wouldn’t mind if Aidan stayed here forever. However, I was also born and raised here, and am a prime example of what you can be, despite being from Mississippi. I think that part of the reason we’re in the shape we’re in is that everybody who could leave, did leave.

    Home is simple, like I like it. Where I grew up was simple. However, I was still made aware of the great big world out there because we traveled a lot. Though there aren’t any broadway shows, I can still take Aidan to the Children’s Museum, or the see a play, or to a kid’s concert, or to the movies. I can still shop at the mall like anyone else can. But, I’m a homebody — I don’t need a lot. I’ll stay at home and cook alllll day. I guess I would have to actually live in a different place to experience all the “experience”, but the several months I lived in Atlanta made me juuust fine with coming back home.

    As far as raising a child here, not very concerned. I think the South is the perfect place for a boy to grow into a man. He’ll have all the opportunities I present him with, and more will be given to him. I look at it like Mississippi won’t limit him, it’s his foundation. It’s my job to build on it.

    • I agree that one of our problems is abandonment by those who could really affect change in the state. I think lack of opportunity – professionally – is the reason that many people leave. MS is great for people in certain fields – doctor, lawyer, teacher, nurse – but not so great for other, less prescribed fields. Personally, I know I’m significantly underemployed and probably will be unless I go back to school. Again.

      I’m a homebody, but I miss options. I don’t like having to wait so long for something I deem interesting to come to town. If I want to go out on a random Saturday, I’d like choices which extend beyond a club or dinner and a movie.

      Aidan is – and will continue to be – just fine, no doubt.

  11. I’m from Philly,of course..:-)
    Came to DC to go to Howard U, went back to Philly after undergrad for 12 years, now back in the DMV. I love it here. I’m a serious city-girl, who lives in the suburbs. I love the City life, I just don’t (won’t ) reside in the city. The COL here is ridiculous that’s why so many of us don’t live in DC, we tend to live 20-40 miles outside. Which leads to the other problem…TRAFFIC!!!!!! There is absolutely NOTHING positive that I can say about that. We are the 2nd or 3rd most traffic congested area in the Country. But I can’t beat the cultural activities, the museums, the resturants, pretty decent night-life, the educational opportunities, the job market, the proximity to Philly,NYC, the Carolina’s, and the Atlantic shore. And I like raising my son where it is the norm to have daily interactions with people from all over the world. This is why I’ll stay at least until retirement.

    If I were single and my parents were younger I could live in Seattle or in Brussels, Belgium.

    • All those positives you listed? That’s what I miss about big(ger) city life! Never been to Belgium, but it seems absolutely lovely. I’ll have to put it on my list of places to visit.

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