With very little sanity left in me, I unceremoniously left hum-drum Miami. I was barely alive. No. Hold on a second. I’m not going to sugar coat this nor will I add rainbows to my experiences. There’s no burying the hatchet. You want the truth? Well here it is. I was psychologically and emotionally bruised. Yada. Yada. Yada. Same old story. Right? I’m not trying to sound original. I was exhausted of trying to breathe in a culture which I could not relate to and I harbored profound and genuine animosity towards. Miami was and still remains the very anti-thesis of my Soul. It eviscerated me.
Desperately crawling into my 30s I never looked back at that cataclysmal period. Why? Those years were a creation of incessant havoc, to say the least, where happiness deserted me and betrayal was like Judas’ kiss.
However, having lived through all that, I will never underestimate life again. It’s one bitch of a teacher. Now, in speaking to those who are in the “roaring” years, I listen to their life experiences and cannot help to think, Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt.
What I learned in my 20s:
Leave high school where it belongs. In the past.
Girl talk was not really that fun.
You’ll blindly make decisions and fall flat on your face because of it. Learning nothing from it, you’ll make the same mistake over and over again.
Never be someone’s doormat.
Celebrating your 21st birthday is more exciting for those around you. While you’re just going along with it, wishing the night would end.
You’ll never fancy your roommates. And they do come from hell.
People will only speak to me. Never listen.
You will outgrow certain people and feel guilty about it.
If you stay long enough in Miami, a part of you will inevitably die. And you won’t even know it happened.
You’ll tread the walk of shame often.
Hanging with the boys is a lot more therapeutic.
If you want to have a career, this is the time to work towards it.
I found comfort living in recluse.
You’ll put yourself in situations that are bad for you.
Everyone has a purpose, if you are a means to that purpose, then people will show interest.
The more the friends, the not the merrier!
You’ll lose sight of things and gain perspective in others.
Your reality will change your dreams.
Cynicism will blind you.
You’ll learn to make $20 last you a whole week because you’ve decided to spend your entire paycheck on non-essentials. Most of the time, you won’t even remember where all your money went.
Don’t lose your smile. Once it’s lost, it’s difficult to find.
I’ll continue to want to save the world.
My mother is my soulmate.
You’ll betray your convictions.
High school really was not all it seemed to be.
Not attending my 10 year high school reunion was a phenomenal idea. Why would anyone subject themselves to high school again, even if just for a night?
You’ll take someone’s feelings for granted and spend the rest of your 20s feeling sorry.
Being married is not equivalent to being monogamous.
Hypocrisy is a shameful exercise.
You’ll realize many relationships/friendships can be toxic, and although it may take time, you’ll rid yourself of them.
University of Miami was just a dream.
You will lose faith in people.
South Beach is tacky and that’s putting it mildly.
You’ll continue to be everyone’s shoulder to cry on.
I don’t belong. I don’t need to. I don’t want to.
In your times of wanting to escape, you’ll find yourself pretending you were a werewolf, actually made sense.
Integrity is an endangered species. So is loyalty.
Dominican Republic was to open my eyes leaving my Soul con Alas (soul with wings).
You’ll question Catholicism and the concept of religion, finding yourself walking away from it all.
You’ll realize you are too liberal to be Catholic.
Religion does not define me or identify me.
Don’t pretend to be in love.
The cohesion of books, movies, and music are a growing investment in keeping me alive.
You’ll begin to lose the common thread in old friendships.
Men will always be infantile.
Since these are the narcissistic years, you’ll find people thinking they are better than you and taking you for some kind of idiot.
You’ll lose all faith in life.
People will call you naive just because you believe others are kind.
And more pain.
Family can at times let you down. –And when they do, you’ll always forgive, but you’ll never fully recover from it.
Your feet will always touch the ground. There’s no time to fly.
Bitterness is a seed that persistently grows, if you let it.
Struggle is repetitive, inescapable, and powerful, especially with no lifeboat nearby.
What I wanted in a man and did not want.
Vanity. Like Carly Simon said, “You’re so vain. You probably think this song is about you. Don’t you?” – An inflated view of yourself will blind you from rational decisions because you’re thinking of your own best interest.
Learn to forgive.
I fell more in love with my roots and agonizingly yearned to see my country.
People will have no problem using you.
Friendship in itself took a step down. Several steps down.
Wanting to escape and finding ways will become a constant.
There are people who do want to hurt you and they will.
In the absence of a boyfriend, you have self-discovery. It’s a special ride you’ll be on. Dive right into it!
Listen to your heart. People have their own agendas.
Living on my own was one of the best decisions I made. It brought equilibrium and solace.
Don’t settle. You’ll only resent yourself for it.
There’s a whole other person inside of my mother. A person I admire.
Love is not the one that makes you feel bad about yourself.
I enjoyed my solitude more than I ever thought I could. I passionately desired it.
The term best friend is used loosely, and as a result, everyone will call you their best friend.
Wake up and smell the coffee.
Miami’s jargon will become more repugnant. Hence, speak well.
Life is always an uphill battle.
Keep the pretty little liar friends away!
You’ll finally understand the old adage, “When it rains, it pours.”
Those you love most, will devastate you.
You’ll find peace and answers in the most unexpected places. For me, that was the Buddhist Temple.
My sister will surprise me. She’ll demonstrate courage and loyalty at a time and age, when I never even knew she had it in her. I’ll always admire her for it.
Friendships are not forever.
I’m not always ok.
Friends can really suck.
Marriage is an institution I do not want to be a part of.
There is a difference between feeling lonely and being alone. (I never felt lonely)
My brother was my first friend in life.
You can expect the unexpected from my father.
My uncle can also be my friend. A great one.
Leaving Miami was the best decision I ever made. It was the start of a trajectory that will save my Soul.