It's the night before my wedding day, and I find myself staring out the balcony of the Epic Hotel in Brickell, which, fatefully, is the same city view I used to get lost in, every day, four years ago.
I had just moved back to Miami after spending two life-changing years in L.A. It was my first time living on my own in my hometown. Brickell was a fitting neighborhood for me. After all, it was just beginning to bloom, and, well, so was I. When I moved into the 32-floor apartment, I was a pretty awful publicist in a relationship. When I moved out, I was a freelance writer-turned-associate-editor for Miami magazine and a single, 20-something on a windy road to inner-discovery.
My path, like many other girls' paths, was no yellow brick road. It was bumpy, and I hit several dead ends that called for some serious U-turning. But that was all part of the fun.
I met some great people along the way. Some who were only there to get me through a few miles and others who I felt were worth keeping for the long haul. My future husband, for example. When he changed my flat tire after date number two, I figured this guy could totally come in handy throughout the road trip of life.
But there were also a lot of times when I was alone, and only I could coach myself through it all. There's nothing more fulfilling then finding your way with nothing else other than your inner compass. I totally recommend it.
So, tomorrow I'm getting married. And no, I don't think this is the end of the road. I think of it more like I'm starting a new map. You know, like in the game Zelda. Hey, I grew up around a lot of boys.
They say relationships are an opportunity to grow. And since this one is going to be for a long time, I may as well be on my way to becoming a damn California Redwood. But I don't mind. I hear there's a great view up there.
Nikki Novo is a personal development writer and the author of The Art of You & Me, an inspirational blog for the whimsical type.