Barbidoesmiami

How to Stay Sane in the City of No Shame

Beyond Miami Beach…

7 Comments

As Advised by Great White Dog

I find myself annoyed. Am I annoyed with Miami? After eight years of living here?

Much has happened in that time. We lived here during Obama’s his entire presidency. When we arrived there were many unspoken agreements that had shaped the local culture over the twenty preceding years, from the wild-west eighties until the crash of 2009. “As long as we are having fun” was one of them. Being serious was boring. I was called a Debbie Downer at a dinner party, when I talked about water in the streets as a result of climate change (that BTW, had made every guest late for the party). Don’t get me wrong, I like having fun, but my idea of fun is  different from dressing in skimpy but expensive designer clothes, drinking outrageous cocktails, clamoring around celebs and music so intense that the only possible interaction is taking selfies with your “friends” (while hoping for one with that star).

Yes guilty, my initial blogs were all about those parties. As an outlet for my culture shock. And, after years of working in NYC and living in Milford, PA with small children, these parties were so alien, so different and took me so far outside myself, that it felt like something I needed, in the way that getting really drunk sometimes feels like a healthy dose of vitamin C. It wore off fast, the so-called glamorous lifestyle, one that I had always walked away from, in Amsterdam, Paris, London and New York. It just isn’t me. I like to drive myself hard and if I don’t accomplish stuff I set out to do, I get depressed. I do not dream of retiring, shopping and sitting by the pool for the rest of my life. I need to be heard and seen and not for gossip and what I wear. So when the party dust settled I got to work on being relevant in Miami, no matter what it took.

It took a lot… I gave it my best… I feel depleted… I can’t say I conquered and I’m kind of over trying (… plus I’m getting shit done in other parts of the world).

And yes, I realize it’s not all about me and I’m not alone. Three months into 2017 and this worn-out feeling is a national depression. Up and down the East and West Coast we aspired to be part of a wave of hope that Obama brought with him. One that I saw as a way to change and save Miami, with talks of rising sea-levels, an ocean full of plastic, recycling and up-cycling, the right for all kids to an inspired public education such as DASH, affordable housing instead of 20% occupancy in condos and private homes worth billions on Miami Beach, air-conditioned year-around.

But if it felt like I was swimming against the stream over the past eight years,  I am now swimming into a Tsunami. Will the already lavish parties get even bigger and crazier as the 1% feels empowered, emboldened in their greed and need to flaunt it, with Miami Beach as the perfect stage for competitive one-percenting? Living less than a mile from Sunny Isles, with its six Trump Towers, and the highest concentration of Russian investments in recent years, Russia’s unabashed imperialism is palpable. And after the cuts to environmental protection, the NEA, healthcare, public transportation, education, housing and human and women’s rights, what will happen to the other group, the full-time residents and working class whose statistics show that Miami’s income disparity is one of the largest in the country?

Yet it is all about me. Also. About what I can give and do and how I will spend the next twenty years of my life optimizing who I am, what I have learned and how I can reflect this back on generations to come. In another year the twins will leave for college. I will be free from the school calendar, driving and feeding and other hands-on mothering. I look at them, and how they act and feel, and I remember being seventeen and practically jumping out of my own skin with impatience, anger even at being told what to do by teachers, parents, the system. The nervous restlessness that I now recognize for what it is in my girls – their booster engines filled with ambition for their future and need for autonomy, propelling them forward. As I see this in my daughters I recognize it in myself, four decades older than they are, but the impulse is the same, I am getting ready for another shift.

So I am annoyed at Miami. Or I am just annoyed. I am practically jumping out of my skin with irritation at the status quo, and like a very old teenager I’m going to use this urge to amp it up some and get more shit done…

(But maybe not in Miami).

 

Links to projects elsewhere:

PORTFOLIO SITE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Author: barbidoesmiami

Barbi is a stupid model, fashion designer, writer about women and beauty, repurposeur of ocean plastic garbage into jewelry, mover from milford to miami, mother of iona kiki and leila, lover of alastair

7 thoughts on “Beyond Miami Beach…

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    Feeling the same on Harbour Island, Bah.
    Time to move on

  2. Thank you for this blog. I share the post election depression. Each day brings more uncertainty and tweets and outrageous accusations. No one with any experience is making decisions. I live most of the time in Michigan, a state like Florida, that depends on tourism. The budget for clean air and water has been cut 97% in the yet to be approved budget. There is no concern for quality life for the “unrich”. I still wear your “plastics are forever” tee, given by you to those of us on Eleuthera who helped you make beach jewelry.
    We must not ignore what is happening, so I remain active and vigilant. Do not give up!

    • Hi Lynn, thanks for your comment. I miss Tarpum Bay and would love to come back for another workshop. Maybe you can give them a hint! Love, B

  3. Amen Barbara.
    People come from all over the world to party their brains out in Miami and we get left in the wake of their trash. Hard to live a “quality” life in these circumstances. One more year and then you can decide whether to stay full time/part time or any time?! Great job and keep fighting your good fight.

  4. BTW
    Cornelia
    I agree about Harbour Island as well.
    It feels like Miami there too now 😦

  5. Oh, Barbara –this is good, really good. I love your voice. I relate. xoxo

  6. Loved seein you back on “Barbidoesmiami” again. You expressed my exact sentiments!!!! Would love to see you guys back up North when you’re ready!!

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