Last night I turned on to an all too familiar street and felt the usual bubble of laughter rise up in my throat as I glanced at the cross streets of my apartment: Bruce and Wayne. One can’t help but love living at the corner of the Dark Knight himself. It’s just one of the many things I love about my life in Miami. But I also have a love-hate relationship with this city.
Maybe it starts from the feelings of this being such a temporary city. It’s less that my program is for two years and that the entire vibe of the city, it’s focus on tourism the lack of a built-up pool of young professionals, makes Miami resonate with the fleeting nature of something that is here today and then gone tomorrow from your life. And then there’s the feeling of excess. The inflated looks of superficial body parts enhanced at a whim and those who make South Beach and its neighboring islands their playground, next to some of the most have-not panoramas in southern America. It also doesn’t help how worked up I can get over Florida education policies that I see fall flat almost every day in the classroom.
Yet, Miami is also the site of a building filled with children who have taught me some of my greatest lessons in life, and reaffirmed my career ambitions. It’s the current home of people who proved to me that some of my closest life-long friends could still be made post-college. It’s the city that reminded me that life begins again in the summertime and how to fall in love with the ocean.
That’s why Miami will always stick with me as one of my homes. Miami makes me feel. I’m not passive towards this home. It makes me shout and curse and rest and relax all in a single roller-coaster day. Miami’s dichotomies are its pain and its wonder. And as my second year of teaching begins next week, I’ll once again begin the job of figuring out just how this tumultuous relationship will work itself out, as it always, so magically, seems to do.