For the past two years I’ve taken several weeks a year to head down to Miami from my home in Raleigh, North Carolina for a “Life Break.” I used to live in Miami for about 12 years and am fortunate enough to have a place to stay when I go down there. I was feeling overwhelmed and lost in life, so spending several weeks in the sunshine was a very welcome break indeed. I just returned from Miami several days ago with something more valuable than a few weeks of fun in the sun so to speak.
I went down to Miami with the intention of spending time with my fiancé swimming, getting together with some of my great friends, frolicking about on different adventures, reading, and just relaxing. However, what I returned to Raleigh with was something much more powerful than just recharging my batteries.
I’ve been trying to figure out for some time why I have not quite felt at home in Raleigh since I moved here three years ago. I have met some wonderful people who I get to see on the weekends with my fiancé, but I am lacking something extremely essential in my life. Community. I usually go about my day waking up, exercising, working, and dealing with whatever caregiver headaches pop up my way as I just can’t seem to keep a steady one. The best part of my day is when my honey comes home to me at the end of the day. On the weekends we usually pop around town a bit to meet up with some friends if they are around, but my happy place is truly in the water or near the water.
I’ve always underestimated the concept of community until recently. My whole life I’ve kind of been a loner you could say popping around the world, moving from home to home, and while I have good friends around the world I’ve never really stayed put anywhere long enough to build a real sense of community except for in Miami. I’m not sure if it is being paralyzed or the fact that I am in my mid-30s, but I want to build a life in an environment that makes me happy with people around me who have known me for a very long time. I’m not going to have children, so Aaron and I need to find where we fit in this world to build a strong community of people around us. I don’t think Raleigh fits the bill in the long run for me particularly because as I get older the nerve pain I suffer from gets very severe during the cold winter months. So, I am pondering the idea of moving back down to Miami in the next few years. Continue reading