That’s right I did it, after just about seven years I have escaped Florida unscathed. No face eating, no alligator men, no stand your ground shooting, no headline. I made it back to the realest state without a hitch. Sure, I haven’t had a proper plate from Zaxby’s in who knows when and have no idea when to use “no cap,” but I’m here. I stepped away this past couple of months to properly close out the Florida chapter of my life. Florida was and always will be my second home. I’ve been up and down every part of Florida pretty much besides the sketchy panhandle, and although strange here and there I had some good times. I never really felt like I belonged in Florida. A degree, a job, and seven years later one could say I did belong for the time being. Which ultimately is what life is all about, we’re all meant to be exactly where we are in the present moment.
Wrapping things up in the sunshine state was easy for me. I went to the beach, ate at a couple of my favorite spots, and got drinks at some of the bars that I’ve grown up in over the past half decade. I’m a firm believer in knowing when it is time for me to pack my shit and leave. Always have been. I was always the first kid awake fifteen minutes before nap time ended with jacket and bookbag in hand. I’ve kept this mentality throughout life, you would think with how many times I’ve heard the phrase “The bell doesn’t dismiss you,” that I would be deterred but no. I always had my books packed up before the bell. This then translated to me almost never giving Corporate America a minute past five of my time. So, of course, the same could be said for leaving my apartment for the very last time. Don’t get me wrong I’m going to miss the shit out of my first place of my own, but when I tell you I was gone so quick. No sulking, no list of people that I had to say goodbye to, just me and my tightly packed car.
So what’s next? The dumbest question anyone could ever ask you. Cause what really is next? No one knows. And I for one refuse to stress about what is in store for future Joseph. I’m all for enjoying the present. Luckily, God blessed me with a good gig after college. It didn’t take much schmoozing to get my boss to be cool with the thought of me permanently working from home in Georgia. While I’m still exploring other avenues it is nice to still have a constant flow of revenue. So what’s next? Making money, enjoying my loved ones, and hopefully, some solo wins on FortNite.
I can only chalk my successful evasion of “Florida Man” up to me just not being for a lot of bullshit. Somewhere around 23, I realized that being home was way more
washed lit than being in everything. Many of the people I met in Florida I just disconnected from as the years went by. Realizing that chilling with myself was greater than keeping up temporary connections with temporary people. And with a good proportion of the “Florida Man” headlines being a case of someone being in the wrong place at the wrong time I kept myself out of that wrong place.
Well here I am, back with at least five Waffle House’s in a 10-mile radius. Look at me being the closest I’ve been to my support system since I was a teenager. So what’s next for me? Lots of Sunday dinners, a real fall season, and seeing my homies more.