I moved to Miami after college. It was for the worst reason you should ever move anywhere: a boy. Ask anyone else during this time, including myself, and they’d tell you it was for a job. But the fact is, my “Monster” search (this was circa 2006, shut up) was set on Miami for one specific reason/person. And damn, does it feels good to finally admit that.
I spent seven years in the 305, and assumed every one of them would be my last; each time my lease came up for renewal, I’d question whether I was going to re-up, because “it wasn’t like I was going to stay here!” before settling on “OK, just one more year.”
Miami is vastly different than any other city in Florida, and even the country. It's sexy, it's paradise, it's ostensibly the capital of Latin America... but it's still Florida -- weird, swampy, slow-paced, easy to settle down. And it was this exact reason that made me want to eventually leave it. Nothing was glaringly wrong, but nothing was right, either. Eventually, there came a breaking point for me. The city I once loved began to lose its luster.
So I left. And this is why.
I hit a wall in my career
Miami is an excellent place to start a career; it allowed me to make massive strides very quickly. Where else can you start writing for the city’s biggest publications with your only prior clips being from your college newspaper? (Thanks, Red and Black!)
As it turns out, there's a reason for that: the "life of leisure" stereotype that permeates from the city exists for a good reason -- it’s true. If you bust your ass in Miami, you’re a unicorn. And people will want to capture you. Still, no matter how fast -- or how far -- you advance, you’ll eventually have a head-on collision with a massive brick wall, figuratively speaking.
And I’m not judging people who decide that’s enough for them. I could have easily continued to coast; it was, in a lot of ways, the more logical choice. I had arguably one of the better media jobs in the city. I could afford my apartment. I got an abundance of free food (thanks to writing primarily about restaurants). And sometimes, I even got to expense my gas!
But I wanted something more. And eventually, I got restless.