Tag Archives: Life in Miami

I think I’m falling in love…

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By: Shea Harris

A while ago, I wrote the cons about living in Miami. I’m not going to lie, I got a bit of backlash but those were my feelings at the time and they’re still true haha! Although I had two separate blog posts about how Miami is overrated, it’s not all horrible. There are a few things I cannot change about the city (i.e. rent and traffic), but I’m making the best out of living here. To be honest, I think the thought of staying in Miami for an extended amount of time scared me. One of the very first questions I’m usually asked is do you plan on making Miami your permanent home? I don’t think I’ll be able to answer that question for sometime though, but here are a few positive things about this city:

Beaches

The beaches are absolutely amazing. I don’t really have to deal with going to the beach during the summer time because it’s pretty much always summer in Miami. Whenever I’m having a rough day from my 9 to 5, I can always count on the beach to relax me. If I just need to write a blog post and have some me time, the beach is always there for me (unless it’s raining of course). I’m not a South Beach type of girl though, I’m more of a Hollywood Beach type of person. Hollywood Beach has a serene family environment, a legitimate strip that doesn’t separate you from the beach and it’s just everything I need. When I first moved here no one really hit up Hollywood, but now everybody in South Florida hits up this beach!

Family & Friends

Many of you know that I moved to Miami not knowing anyone, but all it took was for me was to put on Facebook that I was moving. A dear middle school friend reached out to me and from that moment on, it was smooth sailing. She introduced me to a host of beautiful people and I built my own relationships. I’m so glad I’ve met some pretty genuine people who support me and care for me like we’d known each other for years. Not only have I become friends with some amazing people, I now have a second family. All it took was for my cousin to contact his line brother and his family took me right on in! When Hurricane Matthew was approaching South Florida, I pretty much packed up my whole apartment and toted it over to my new family’s home. Instead of me staying in Miami the weekend before Thanksgiving, I ended up traveling with them to the Orlando Classic. It’s crazy how I’ve only known them a short amount of time and I feel right at home whenever I’m with them.

Events

I promise you it’s always something to do in Miami, no matter what the weather is. I think out of this entire year and a half I’ve lived down here, there may have been one weekend when I had no clue of any events occurring. 9 times out of 10, there are events occurring Sunday through Saturday of each week. It’s kind of insane and overwhelming how many events happen at one time down here, especially on the weekends. It’s honestly so many things going on that I have to pull back at times and remember that I need to take care of self. Whenever I’m in doubt about what events are occurring, I check Eventbrite, social media and of course you can never go wrong with Wynwood.

Anytime someone asked me How do you like Miami? My answer would always be I mean it’s okay, I don’t think I’ll stay here for long. Here we are a little over a year since I moved and things have changed drastically! I’ve met amazing friends, a family has adopted me and I don’t see myself leaving this city anytime soon. Well, until God tells me to pack my grip and get to moving! Are any of you all in a new city? How do you all feel about it? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

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Miami is OVERRATED

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By: Shea Harris

Last year, around this time, I informed my family and friends that I’d be moving to Miami, FL. There were tears, laughter and excitement from several parties, but when it came to my emotions I was a bit lost. I knew it would be a dramatic change, but I didn’t really have any feelings about moving. Everyone around me was speaking about the palm trees, South Beach, the beautiful weather, but not me. I was thinking about work and making new friends. I didn’t have that great of an experience networking in Durham, NC so I had to redeem myself.

I moved to Miami with an open mind and didn’t really have much to go off of. I’d only been to Miami once to get on a cruise ship. I heard Miami was simply amazing and paradise, but those thoughts didn’t run through my head. It’s been almost a year since I’ve moved here and baby this place is overrated. It’s pretty much blazing hot year round, I rarely hit up the beach and the people are interesting to say the least. I kind of stay away from the touristy areas because, well I’m not here for the glitz and glamour.

I’m going to dish out 5 cons about living in Miami

(Don’t worry, a pros list will soon come)

  1. EVERYBODY KNOWS EVERYBODY.

So here I was moving to Miami thinking I was going to meet a crap ton of people and network my behind off. Let’s just say it didn’t necessarily work out like that. Each time I went out to make a connection, I met an individual who knew one of my peers. Everyone down here attended Florida International University, Florida Atlantic University, University of Miami or they’re in a sorority or fraternity. Sweetie let’s face it, Miami is small. It’s difficult to meet a new person because you all will be connected some way some how.

  1. PEOPLE DON’T REALLY SUPPORT YOU LIKE THEY SAY THEY WILL.

This sounds pretty harsh, but let’s just keep it real. Everyone is trying to have a come up and no one is really worried about you. I try to support people as much as I can but its coming to an end now. It’s so frustrating giving your time, energy and effort into others and their ventures but they don’t do the same for you. This place is all about being seen and not heard. As long as you post it on social media…it happened and you’re poppin’.

  1. EVERYBODY IS A CREATIVE.

When I first started creating, I was a bit nervous about beginning because EVERYONE is doing it down here. It’s difficult for people to notice you when so many around you do the same thing. Instead of being a blogger that talks about everything, I narrowed my topics down to self care, life in Miami and young professionals. To gain more exposure, I made sure I was specific with my audience in order to have genuine readers who were interested. Even though I’ve narrowed down my topics, I still don’t receive the support I expect. It’s a dog eat dog world out here in the 305.

  1. TRAFFIC IS TRASH.

9 times out of 10, there’s always traffic. You can invest in a sun pass, take back roads, take the main highway, you’re probably going to be in traffic. The only way to avoid it is by staying in the house. Okay I’m exaggerating a bit, but don’t get upset traveling these Miami roads. If you are easily annoyed and have road rage, Miami will bring out the worst in you. Prior to moving here, I was working on my patience and I must say, it’s gone out of the window. There’s always accidents and some type of hold up on the road holding you back from getting to your destination.

  1. RENT IS A JOKE.

On the first of every month I look at my bank account like:

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Paying over $1100 for a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom in Miami is annoying. Just thinking about how much money I could still have if I didn’t need a place to lay my head, take a shower, store my items, etc. is frustrating. I knew I would be paying an arm and a leg for rent, but I didn’t know I would be giving up two arms and two legs! Renting an apartment down here is comical to say the least and nothing is included. Water, electricity, trash, washing machine, dryer, all of that is separate!

I’m sure this was hard to read for a few Miami natives, but there’s a reason why I named this blog Shea What’s Real 😉. What are some of the cons you deal with in your city? I’d love to hear them!

Being Black in Miami.

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As many of you know, I’m a southern girl from Charlotte, NC and I’m used to being in my little Carolina bubble. I’ve been around various cultures during my time in the Carolinas, but not quite like the ones in Miami. Prior to my moving here, so many people told me I needed to brush up on my Spanish and prepare myself for the “culture shock”. I was raised on Frankie Beverly & Maze, The Electric Slide and of course to hate the Duke Blue Devils (sorry Duke fans). I knew what it was like to attend a majority black high school and have majority of the city know your family members. What I didn’t know while living in the City were the different Island cultures.

I only knew these classics as far as Island music goes:

Welcome to Jamrock x Damian Marley

Sim Simma (Who Am I) x Beenie Man

Redemption Song x Bob Marley

Dude x Beenie Man ft. Miss Thing

I’m Still in Love With You x Sean Paul ft Sasha

When I went out for the first time in Miami, I probably only heard two of the songs listed above. Everyone around me was winding to the music and the lyrics were flowing out of their mouths so beautifully. I felt so left out and confused. I couldn’t relate to majority of my peers because I didn’t know the music and I didn’t know what the artists were saying. As I began to meet people and continue going out more, I learned more about Dancehall and SoCa music. Back home we just called everything Reggae and Lord knows I apologize whole heartedly for not knowing any better. I’ll just say this transparently: being black in Miami is not common.

What I mean by the above statement is its very rare for black people in Miami to just be BLACK. There are Haitians, Jamaicans, Trinidadians, Bahamians, etc. Just about everyone who looks like me knows where their family is from, except me. I’ve actually had the following conversation a few times:

Shea, where are you from?

I’m from Charlotte, NC.

No, like what’s your ethnicity?

Ummm, black.

Having that conversation with someone who knows where their family originates from is a little defeating at times. I recall years ago inquiring about my ancestors and what country we come from originally. The furthest we could go back to were my great great grandparents as freed slaves in Wadesboro, NC.

I wish I knew where my family came from so I could indulge in the culture and have the connection with my people. Fortunately, I’m surrounded by so many amazing cultures and people I’m often adopted by many. For example, when I went to Carnival Miami I represented Jamaica and Nigeria because of my friends. I didn’t know any of the songs, but I jammed to it like it was Webbie and Boosie.

I’m so open minded with life as it is now that I take an extreme interest in learning about different cultures and their food. I’m used to eating pig feet, neck bones, collard greens, chitterlings, macaroni and cheese and chicken gizzards. Down here its curry goat, légume, tasso, soup joumou, oxtails and so much more! I haven’t tried any of those dishes yet, but I will as long as they’re pescatarian options.

Any of you all in Miami or other cities going through the same thing as me? How have you handled it? Let me know in the comments section!