You know, I will have to admit that before I ASKED my company to send me to Memphis, I did not do my homework about the place. At the time I moved here, Memphis was the murder capital of the nation. It has, apparently, dropped into second place. Yay! But on the heels of that news comes Forbes announcement of the ten most miserable cities in America. And Memphis is number three on the list. Sigh.
The article says that they looked at weather, economic indicators and crime when they were ranking cities. Shelby County has a 21% unemployment rate. As mentioned above, Memphis is 2nd in the nation for murders. The weather is nice, though! Well, not all of the snow we've had. And okay, there are those pesky tornados. One took out the Kohl's near my house last year.
The First 48, a murder solving reality show on A&E, is often shot (if you'll pardon the pun) in Memphis. I am new enough to Memphis that I didn't even realize this, even though I watched numerous episodes. I actually had to be told this by one of my co-workers. Now that I know it, I notice when an episode includes a Memphis murder. It is scary.
Quite frankly, I don't get out much. It's not that I don't want to go out. I just work a lot of hours. So by the time I get home, I want to do absolutely nothing. But I do think about it when I am walking from the grocery store to the car. I think about it when I am leaving the campus late at night and going out to the car. I think about it when I am walking from the mall to the car. And I think about it when I am home and I hear a BUMP in the other room. (But that would scare me no matter where I lived!)
If there is anything about Memphis that makes me miserable, it would be things like conservative thinking, religion being used as a weapon of fear, segregation and an over-emphasis on race. It does sometimes feel like I have moved backwards in time. Having lived in places like northern New Jersey, Phoenix and Atlanta, I find Memphis to be somewhat contained at times, with only a very few people pushing up against the heavy walls. But, since I don't get out much, I am basing that on only a few experiences. So maybe all of that is wrong too!
I am content to be here for now. Are you content to be where you are?