I wrote a Jackson, Mississippi travel guide for Design* Sponge, you can read here. It was nice to think of my city from a different perspective and explore all of the new restaurants that have opened. I love any chance I get to brag about Mississippi, since we seem to get a lot of negative attention. We are a poor state and have all of the negative statistics that follow that, but Mississippi is so much more! Time moves slow and easy here. Maybe it’s the heat, maybe it’s just our Southern way. To sit back and “visit”, have a conversation with time. A round of jabs back and forth, with long pauses of comfortable contemplation about the world around us.
When I was younger I found this frustrating. I couldn’t wait to leave rural Mississippi and surround myself with noise, chaos, and the speed of the city life. I was ready for an adventure, and I felt there was a good reason this was the home of blues music. My bags were packed and I was never looking back.
As an adult, I have come to appreciate every still moment and the art of slowing down. What I found to be stubbornness and isolation to a progressive world in my youth, I now understand as a pool that springs creativity through choice or rebellion that is different from anywhere else. William Faulkner said, “before you an understand the world you have to understand a place like Mississippi.” We all have a Mississippi, our roots, the place that makes us who we are. I realized that it was my own insecurity over what people thought about me because of where I was from that I struggled with, and not the place it’s self. After many years away Mississippi, known for her hospitality, took me back and I learned to love myself a little more in the process.