Last night was a perfect Memphis evening. I met a friend and went to Willow Park to watch the Hi-Tone team get crushed in one of the most enthusiastically doomed kickball games ever. I ate a Legit Supreme at Jerry’s, crashed an apartment complex pool with all my clothes on, and sat on my porch, drying out and talking, until late late.
While I was at Jerry’s, we got into a conversation about why Memphis is a great place. There was a small consensus: Memphis is great because nothing here comes easily.
In this town, nothing is handed to you. Staying positive in Memphis requires overcoming a checkered history, chronically low civic self esteem, and the fact that other people constantly suggesting the easy way out.
I’ve thought about the easy ways out quite a bit. There seems to be a lot of conversation about them lately. Conversations that start with “have you ever thought about moving to (insert “cooler” city)”. Conversations about where I see myself in five years, doing the work that I do in a town like this. Questions about why I chose to come back here, buy a house and make a life.
Choosing Memphis isn’t always easy. I’ve joked about feeling like I’m married to the city, like I have to stay with it and make it work, no matter what.
But here’s the thing about Memphis: there’s loads of opportunity. In other cities, if you want to start something – a business, an event, a flashmob – chances are, someone’s already doing it. Here, there’s plenty of room to experiment, to try, and to learn.
Memphis is a city full of secrets. Some of the most amazing places and things here are hidden. You have to work to find them, but once you discover that amazing hidden patio or unguarded pool or bar in a warehouse neighborhood, there’s a thrilling sense of victory and discovery.
Living in Memphis can make you more open minded and willing to try something new.
Living in Memphis makes you strong.
(Thanks to Zach, who submitted this reason to love Memphis back when the blog was in its infancy.)