Devoted to DFW

I identify as a person who is interested in the world — someone who is cosmopolitan, or worldly. I know how obnoxious that sounds, but it’s true. I love to travel and learn about different places. That kind of wanderlust sometimes makes it easier for me to take where I live for granted. Dallas is always not as cool as the place I’m dreaming about, not as cultured, not as progressive.

Then I read stories like this one: The Whole City Needs to Pay Attention to What Is Happening in West Dallas. Stories that detail how much critical work there is to be done right in my own backyard. I sift through education data and realize the how high the stakes are for kids in the same communities I grew up and worked in, where only 14% of high school graduates are college-ready. I learn about poverty statistics that show “Dallas has the highest number of people living 185 percent below the poverty line of any American city and the second highest number of people living 100 percent below the poverty line”, and I think about the problems that need to be solved right here in Dallas. I feel deeply hurt by injustices like the murder of Jordan Edwards, and I feel like there are more young black men that need to be empowered in this city. I also see the multiculturalism, the resistance, the hip bars, the opportunities, that make this city as good a place as to live as any. The food is also awesome.

I could flee to a “cooler”, hipper city and pay more $1000 more in rent to explore my identity as an urban millennial and expand my horizons, or I could double down to face the challenges in my own city. This is the self-created dilemma I’ve been trying to figure out in recent months. There are certainly good arguments for uprooting and taking adventures, but I’m not sure I was taking those into account. Now, I’m not sure I could leave this city now with so much left to be done, and with so much left to discover, and eat.