A week ago M and I went back to my hometown of Jackson, MS for my friend Marty's wedding. I reprised my role as a bridesman (like Nancy's wedding 3 years ago) and a amateur videographer. The wedding was great and I am very thankful to have been a part of such a great celebration. The Hitts are like family to me and I wouldn't have missed Marty's wedding for any reason. My top highlights from the trip were:
- Walking Mrs. Hitt (the mother of the bride) down the aisle to her seat.
- Being in attendance for 10-15 speeches from Marty and Matt's friends and family at the rehearsal dinner was very memorable. Specifically Mrs. Hitt gave a great, touching speech about watching Marty grow up.
- Seeing a bunch of people (Rev. Poole, St. Andrew's friends, etc) that I haven't seen in a long time.
And then there was the random highlight that I didn't expect....something that I hadn't ever really thought about as an adult. There was the fact that when I left Mississippi this time I could imagine myself living there again. Now this isn't a revelation that should get any particular blog readers too excited, since it probably doesn't really mean that much. It is just the type of feeling that I never have had before and I would like to try and examine the reasons why.
The main reason that I can think that living in Jackson, MS would be enjoyable is that I no longer think of what living in Jackson is not and instead I just focus on what Jackson is. In the past (when going to college in Ohio or looking for jobs) I had always discounted Jackson because it isn't a big city. It isn't progressive politcally or socially. It isn't something new and exciting. There aren't any professional sports teams in the NBA, MLB or NFL. There isn't even a big university in the city. And then of course there is the huge factor that Jackson isn't a city where there are many jobs for someone with M or I's work background. Jackson is a city that is missing a lot of things that makes living in a city like Minneapolis desirable.
However, when you focus on what Jackson is then you realize that there are a lot of things in its favor. First and foremost I enjoy my family and having my parents, sister, brother-in-law and nephew near by is a huge advantage. However, there are other reasons that have made me think highly of Jackson. There are the incredible people who offer a hospitality that I find lacking in Minnesota. I don't know if is because I have known these people longer, but I just feel comfortable being myself around pretty much everyone there. It isn't a struggle to make friends or feel included. One example is that I can go over to Johnny's place and feel instantly part of his circle of friends.
Also, besides that Jackson offers a city with no traffic and a very affordable cost of living. If we could find a jobs there then it is almost guaranteed we would have more free time, more friends and a better home. We might not have as many options in the city, but New Orleans and Memphis are only 3 hours away. Again I am not saying that it is feasible for us to move to Jackson, but for the first time ever I think that it would at least be considered.