I'm glad you asked.
I've lived in Memphis my entire life. I've been blessed to travel, and I've appreciated what other places have to offer: different flavors, cultures, sights and sounds. But as my plane lands at Memphis International or my windshield shows the approaching, familiar skyline, my heart feels right again. Do we have issues and problems? Of course we do! But guess what: SO DOES EVERYONE ELSE! As I've traveled coast to coast (and beyond), I've discovered that EVERY SINGLE CITY AND COMMUNITY deals with their own unique problems - many of which look exactly like ours. It's always bothered me that we're a city with an inferiority complex. Its become an unfortunate and self-perpetuating habit - one that many people are passing down to their children. And in today's ever-shrinking world, social media comments range far and wide and paint us in a way that is - in my opinion - inaccurate and undeserved. I've had several friends lately who have had to pursue jobs in other places. They had to pack up their families and relocate (having a job is pretty important). None of us know what tomorrow may bring - life has a way of moving us around. So let me take this opportunity to share a few things that I LOVE about Memphis. I love that we're real. What you see is what you get. We get up early and work hard. Other cities can turn up their noses. We're not afraid to sweat and get our hands dirty. I love our kindness. People smile, and hold open doors for each other, and help those who are down on their luck. We're the city that "leave a penny". I love that we speak our mind. We're GOING to tell you what we think. In a world of deception, that's refreshing. I love that barbecue smoke is in our DNA. Not some fancy finger food. REAL food...the kind you roast over hot stones for hours and hours. I love that honest, soul-baring music has always flowed through our streets and hangs thick in our sweet Southern air. I love that our Memphis Tigers and Memphis Grizzlies bring us together again and again. It continues to remind us that we all share common bonds and gives us another reason to greet and celebrate with complete strangers. I love that there really aren't any "complete strangers" here. Everyone has a connection in some interesting way. I love that we're comfortable in our bowties and suits....or our overalls and boots. I love our big front porches and how we can just sit and swing. I love the smell of Grandma's fried chicken. The taste of iced tea. The feel of a hot biscuit in my belly. I love fields of cotton bolls that sweep to the horizon, magnolia trees and their white blooms, and the cool shade of a giant oak on a rich, humid summer day. I love the rich, thick sounds of evening cicadas as barefoot kids chase fireflies over warm grass. I. LOVE. MEMPHIS.