Friday, May 9, 2008

A Whole New World

My boyfriend Michael flew in from England a few days ago. I picked him up at the Miami airport (which, by the way, is the most confusing and hideous airport in existence) and thus began the show: meet the family- see the hotspots- learn a little Spanish- get a tan. Basically- a welcome into my world.

Of course I’m thrilled to have him here, to see him again, and to share this particular part of my life with him. Those are the givens.
What I didn’t expect to experience is the newness with which I am seeing my own life.

With Michael in Miami, I have the opportunity to see my hometown through a new set of eyes. It has been said that once in a while we should look at the world through a child’s eyes. I beg to differ; just look at the world through a foreign boyfriend’s eyes and you’ll be well on your way to a new you…
All of a sudden, summer in Miami is no longer the hot and muggy few weeks a year when I am forced to suffer long dinners with family members I don’t even like. Instead, this city is the place where I became me.
Maybe all it took was someone who loves me enough to want to know about my past to come here.

Where I am perfectly content to sit by the pool reading a novel, Michael has asked me to take a tour through my old Elementary school. He wants to drive by the park where I had my first kiss and sit in the room where my Girl Scouts meetings were held every Tuesday evening for almost ten years.
I never thought to go back there.
These places- these buildings and rooms- are simply that: buildings and rooms I once occupied- trees I fell out of, streets I scraped my knees on, and hallways in which I always marched a step behind the cool kids and a step in front of the losers.

But for Michael- these are the places that formed me. This bench or that tree are the points of reference of my history, directing him through the winding path that has somehow turned into my life. They are the tangible reminders of the stops I made on my way to becoming who I am now. And I’m enjoying this new Miami.

Suddenly, Miami is beautiful- paradisiacal, in fact. It’s fun and it’s interesting- bright and alive. Miami is an entirely new place and I have my boyfriend to thank for that.

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