Bianca Knows Best ...

and helps a small-town girl in the big city.


Dear Bianca,

I moved to Memphis three years ago from a small town in Mississippi. I wanted to experience life outside my tiny rural community, but things haven’t gone as I’d hoped. Looking back, moving to Memphis was a very bad idea.

I’ve had a string of undependable roommates, crappy jobs, no luck in the love (or sex) departments, and I’ve made “friends” with the most self-centered, gossipy group of people I’ve ever known. Now I’m considering moving back to my hometown, but I feel like a failure.

I’m scared that if I move back home, my old friends will tease about not being able to cut it in the big city. I really wanted Memphis to work for me, and I’m debating whether I should re-invent myself and give it one more go before I give up. Any tips?

-- Jaded Memphis Transplant

Dear Jaded,

Seven years ago, I moved to Memphis from a smaller town. And I know it would be devastate me if I ever had to move back home. I’d feel like a failure in that situation too.

I don’t think you should give up yet. Memphis, with all its Dirty South grittiness, has a lot of soul and plenty to offer. Sounds like you just made some poor decisions about who to spend your time with.

Try moving to a new house or apartment in a different area of the city (if you can afford to). Explore new places to meet people. Enroll in art classes or get involved with a craft group or book club. That’s a great way to make a whole new set of friends.

Stop going to the same old restaurants and bars where your self-centered friends hang out. You’ll surely meet new people if you change your scene. Maybe you’ll even meet a potential love interest. Further your luck in the love department by signing up for or

As for crappy roommates, develop a screening process before handing over the house key. Or better yet, if you can afford to, try living alone. Living by yourself means never having to clean up after anyone else, never sharing food, and not having to worry about who owes whom.

When it comes to work, be happy you have a job in this economy. But don’t give up on landing your dream position. Continue applying for work until you’re happy with the job you have.

If you’re still not happy after making all these changes, maybe you should pack up and head back to Mississippi.

Got a problem? E-mail Bianca at

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