So much has happened in my life since I last blogged that I’m nearly paralyzed with the task of the retelling. Best to just jump in with both feet and create the renewed good habit of writing daily . . . initially because Sprite said so but mostly because it’s therapeutic.
Last weekend, my past came to visit The Zone. Back in the late 1980s, when I was a young, single attorney in Miami, I had a group of women friends who were considerably older than I. It’s best to describe them in the roles that I knew them: The Realtor, The Hotelier, and The Developer. They were mentors and friends, and they pulled me into the center of the burgeoning South Beach renaissance. Those were the “Miami Vice” years: shoulder pads and sherbet colors paraded around under big hair. My girl-posse had money, connections, and the undeniable wisdom of 40-something women. I had the brains, the charm, and the willingness to learn. We lived and worked on South Beach; we frequented each Art Deco hotel as it opened and feted every Art Deco Weekend. I haven’t seen these women in nearly 20 years.
A few weeks ago, I had breakfast with The Breakfast Club (Belle, Calvin, etc.). I told them a story about The Hotelier’s very first Chanel handbag. After Belle and Calvin left, I looked up to find my past meet my present: The Hotelier was seated at the next table. Two decades and a lifetime later, The Hotelier’s formerly flaming red hair is now completely white, but her animated, thick, New England accent is exactly the same. “Hotelier?” I called to her. “I would know your voice anywhere. What on earth are you doing in The Zone?” The Hotelier looked at me quizzically until I introduced myself, and then she shouted in disbelief. “Alto2, is it really you? I’ve lived in The Zone for nearly three years.” And we spent the next hour catching up on the preceding twenty years. Since that fateful morning, we have run into each other a few times at the same spot.
The Hotelier decided that the girls should get back together and put together a reunion. The Realtor and The Developer drove over from the East Coast, and we spent the weekend reminiscing and catching ourselves up on each others’ lives. The Realtor, the hippest single mother I ever knew, is now a grandmother and completely finished with the whole Miami and South Beach scene. She is retiring to North Carolina next month. The Developer, who is actually a CPA by training, quit rehabbing Art Deco properties and went on to earn her Doctorate in Psychology. She practiced psychology for a while but has recently closed that practice and gone back to accounting. I came to know The Developer better last weekend than I ever knew her twenty years ago. The Hotelier lost most of her fortune, lost her younger son to a drug overdose, and raised her only grandchild on her own.
Here’s what I learned about myself last weekend:
- The Realtor inspired my interest in real estate.
- The Hotelier fueled my passion for Art Deco design.
- The Developer-cum-Psychologist and mother-of-three-boys assured me that “this too shall pass” with my kids and that I am right to be strict in raising my boys.
- I am now the 40-something woman, and I am as wise as my old friends.
I need to weave a lot of discipline back into my life now: to blog daily, to get back to walking and exercising, and to be accountable for what I put into my mouth (and what comes out of it). If you’ve read this far, thanks for coming back to The Zone. Even if no one reads my blog, I still need to write it . . . for me.