Be More Like Them

As my primary “church friend” abruptly moved away to Miami, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of loss. We had gotten close over the last few months, even if I felt I was being used for ideas and original thoughts. We had shared so many experiences, so many memories, and now he was gone. But as the days passed by, something started to feel off. His messages became more frequent, and I could sense a tone of urgency in his words. He was trying to get me to move to Florida, to leave everything behind and start anew. At first, I didn’t pay much attention to it. My reputation was growing in New York, and I was starting to make a name for myself. But as the weeks went by, his messages became more insistent. He would send me pictures of the beach, of the parties he was attending, of the people he was meeting. He would tell me how much better his life was now that he was in Miami, how much happier he was. And then he said something that struck a nerve. He suggested that I be more like “them”, that I change who I was in order to fit in. I took offense to that notion. I had worked hard to get to where I was, to establish myself as a musician and an artist. I wasn’t going to change who I was just to fit in with a group of people I didn’t even know. But something inside me was curious. What if he was right? What if I was missing out on something? So I set out on a trip to Florida, determined to find out.

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