Last weekend I was invited by a friend of mine to attend a pool party on Key Biscayne. Then, Monday night I finally made it to a kickball game that a friend organized but is played by people I hardly know.
I was hesitant about going to both. Miami has driven it into my head that people can't have fun without being sketchy in some way or another, specifically that even the most pedestrian activity needs to have the introduction of drugs or be filled to the gills with people you wouldn't trust to leave alone in any room your house.
This is kind of a double edged sword: it's not JUST that people have a tendency to be sketchy down here, but also that I myself have a tendency to be neurotic in unfamiliar situations. I'm the one that wanders around parties cleaning up or making sure people aren't smoking in the house, even and especially if it isn't my party. I'm not always like this, but the sketchier the party is and the less familiar I am with my surroundings, the more likely I will just fade into the background and wander around emptying ashtrays.
None of that occurred at either of these events. I found myself hanging out with two mature and interesting groups of people that were very friendly, welcoming, and frankly nicer than I've come to expect.
At first I thought that the people I associate with had grown up. Then I quickly realized we both had: I was acting more relaxed when out of my element, and these people were better at keeping things chill and non-sketchy than the people I knew when I was 22.
Part of this can also be chalked up to something the thrower of the pool party/birthday girl said to me on Saturday. I had never met her before and she only knew me tangentially through a friend, but she instantly pegged me as a pessimist. Actually, specifically she said "you're always assuming the worst about yourself". It didn't shock me that she said that because it was true, but it did shock me that someone I met nearly 20 seconds ago had my number so quickly.
So I'm trying to turn over a new leaf of sorts. Lets see how that goes. Tomorrow I'm leaving to visit Washington, D.C. and more likely more introspection to come.