Vegas! NYC! Paris! Dubai! It seems as though almost everyone wants to be anywhere except where they are. A roach-ridden, piss-smelling alley deep in the slums of Asia is preferable to the place you’ve been all your life, no? Okay, perhaps I exaggerate, but I know many of us would jump at the chance to be anywhere, anywhere, but here (wherever “here” may be for you). My sister was married in June in Miami, and it solidified the theory that my life would be glorious, amazing, fulfilled and a constant ass-shaking carnaval (where my beads at?!) if I told Lil’ Rhody to kick rocks. Oh, Miami!
The ocean wasn’t brown and red with seaweed, it was a green I had never seen. The clouds weren’t gray and heavy with storm, they were fluffy balls of cotton candy which I could almost reach out and bite. The churrasco melted on my tongue and the mimosas made me “aaaah” with every sip. I laughed and laughed and didn’t mind when the sun burnt the heck out of my shoulders and thighs. The salsa was drums and trumpets and lyrics that shook me to the core. Stretches of highway and bridges didn’t make me carsick for once and I wanted to take in all the sights, every sight, all at once. What I’m trying to say is, reds weren’t just red and the heat wasn’t just heat and it was absolutely brilliant. For the first time in quite some time, I felt inspired, at ease and with an appetite for life. I laughed wholeheartedly when my cousin turned to me at the beach, spread his tattooed arms out against the bright sky and screamed, “This is Miami! FUCK C.F.!” Aaaah, I would give my liver to be there again (actually, wait, no I need that. I’d give a lung). The hardest part was getting back on the plane and knowing, “it’s back to reality.” It’s back to the dying of leaves and Scarborough beach and Ramen noodles and dull people.
It’s not just the sights and people and food though, is it? It is the chance to boldly start anew, leave all you know behind. It’s the chance of creating a new history and destiny, a new story. It is a feeling of success and independence and freedom and fun. It’s the exploration of the exotic and the unknown. It’s about leaving your troubles and worries somewhere else, folded neatly in the recesses of your mind. It is being yourself or being someone brand new, you get to pick! It is paving your own path, taking the reins on a thus far wayward and blind journey.
But realistically, when we think about it, it’s about leaving that burdensome, clunky feeling that has attached itself like a thirsty, greedy leech to the middle of your chest – the ever-present heartache – behind. Always. And freeing yourself of that heavy, painful anchor, if only for four days, is one of the best feelings in all the world, no matter where you are.