Yes, your majestic beauty is plain to the naked eye. So many flock to Miami for the endless cerulean skies and the glittering jewel toned waters; indeed, the superficial gaze will find this city enchanting. It really takes a relationship with her to fully understand and appreciate how far beyond skin deep the treasures of Miami lies.
In many ways, we grew up together. During childhood years, where we were surrounded by those ‘older and therefore wiser’ than us, we lived a life with not much freedom but with quite a lot of simple joys. None of us could foresee what the years to come would bring; growing pains, shedding of various skins, responsibilities beyond our imagination and yet with them great pleasures as well. And so we entered that turbulent teenage phase, where everything was ‘now’ and nothing mattered in a way that it could only matter at that moment in time. We thought we knew so much, didn’t we? In a way, we did…and yet we were blind to see that there were many who only intended to use that ‘wide eyed wonder’ vision of the world to their advantage. Even as the nights of endless parties went on, even as the DJ played another song and the strobe light pulsed with our very own heart racing, we sensed that a change was upon us. Things could not, would not, stay as they had been for long. It was unsustainable, and the next phase was to come sooner than we even realized. Suddenly we were thrust in to an adult world, where thoughts of real estate and mortgages, ‘long term goals’ and ‘settling down’ now became part of our day to day vocabulary. Not to say that either of us was necessarily ready for this; obviously, based on the insanity of the outcome and fallout to shortly follow.
That’s the problem with growing up too fast; you don’t realize until it’s too late that you have gone past any point of easy return. No, it would have to be a painful process, but the lessons would be learned. At that point, you and I came face to face. We finally were forced to stare each other in the eye and decide that we would make it for ourselves, in our own way, or go down in a ball of flames trying. Well, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but you know what I mean. There was nothing to keep us from fully delving in to this next stage of self discovery, and so together we grew; bumped our heads against many walls, came out with plenty of scrapes and bruises, but we were slowly finding it. Our voice. Strong yet subtle, beautiful in it’s imperfection, as honest and open and true as it can be without risking the overexposure that brought much grief in those ‘turbulent teenage’ years and the time of growing up before we were ready. In many ways, our own personal power is now far greater than many of those who sought to dominate us in the years before. In other ways, we are still learning.
And so, that is why this moment is bittersweet. Sure, my move is not far. I can visit you at will, on any whim that I please. It isn’t ‘goodbye’, it’s ‘see you soon’…but it’s so hard, when you have become a part of me, and in a way, I have become a part of you. Of course it will be easier as time goes on, and I learn of new things to love in wherever I end up calling ‘home’. I know that this is just another step towards the next phase of growth, and I am excited for it in many ways. It’s just that no matter where I go and what I do, no matter how much I fall in love with another place and how I may grow in it, you will always feel like my true home because it has felt as though we have been side by side in this journey. Even when you weren’t ‘home’, you were always home in my heart.
I carry you deep in my skin, Miami. I love you, and have the greatest desire to embrace you, take you with me everywhere I go. And so, I will.
“You and I, we were always strong. It was enough to keep me on.”