I’m getting the chance to go to Miami. For free.
I haven’t made a decision yet, and it would only be for a day or less if I did go, but it’s definitely an intriguing idea now that it’s in my head. I want to go. I want to leave home for a day and experience the completely unknown.
That might sound a bit dramatic, but here’s what I’ve discovered about myself in the last half hour: I like adventures, but I like adventures that allow me to stay within my comfort zone.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: really, dude, that’s not some deep, enlightening, discovery, that’s called stating the obvious.
Mock if you will, but I really did not realize that before! I’ve been wanting to go to DC for four years now. If nothing else, I’m at least persistent. I’ve been trying, I’ve been fighting, I’ve been praying, all so that I could experience the magic of DC, even if it was just for a couple of months.
But Miami. Wow. Where do I began? Everybody already has their stereotypical images they conjure up when they hear of certain cities and countries, and the image for Miami is the beaches. The white sand. But looking it up just now, trying to see what places I could go to that would constitute a typical Miami visit, I was taken aback. The culture is so…different. It’s so…Miami. I feel as if I was looking into a world that was almost un-American, so used to the Houston culture I’ve become.
It’s not, however, just because I’m sheltered, or because I haven’t visited many places. I’ve experienced America as it is in New York, DC, California, Chicago, Colorado. All different Americas, and the only places where I’ve felt like I wasn’t in a foreign land were New York and DC. Every other place on that list felt foreign. As if I was in another country, not just a couple hundred miles from home.
So here’s what I’ve realized about myself: my comfort zone, even within new places and environments, is limited to the hustle, bustle, intelligentsia of policy. I love DC. (or at least the image I have of DC, but let’s not go into the romanticizing I tend to do with places). But I love it because of what it stands for. I love it for the people who live there, the ones who create policy, who discuss politics, who write for newspapers, and political magazines, and policy journals. I’m a policy wonk. I’m someone who’s at home on twitter with my close to 400 “friends” who are always, at any given moment out of the 24 hour day, talking about policy. Or the news.
So, if you were to plunk me down in the middle of DC, I wouldn’t just be at home, I’d absolutely love it, no matter how foreign and unfamiliar it is.
But Miami. Now that’s an whole ‘other story. It feels foreign because I wouldn’t be within the mentally familiar realm of policy and the news. I don’t look to Florida when I’m looking for a good analyst on subject x (x, of course, always having to do with policy); I look toward the East Coast.
It felt good figuring that out about myself. I started feeling kind of strange looking up Miami. Uncomfortable, but not really sure why I was feeling uncomfortable. Why should I not enjoy a trip to Miami when I would jump at the chance to go to DC? Well, there you have it.
I think I still want to go, it’s always good to push yourself out of your comfort zone, and I think I would still enjoy it, but I might have started panicking if it was for more than a day. 🙂