To stay or to go?

Have you heard about the FL red tide? I live on that water and there are currently hundreds of dead, rotting, bloated fish washed up in the inlet. You literally cannot breathe outside after 10am. It’s beyond unhealthy and there is no end in sight. The media is downplaying it hardcore (the opposite of histrionic hurricane coverage). It is completely stealing my joy. My condo has HVAC issues, reeks of mildew/ammonia unless I’m simultaneously utilizing incense, candles, room spray and wax melts and I now have a very small window of time where I may be released from the lease penalty free due to the A/C problems. I have to decide soon.

My entire gut is saying go to MD now. While the summer is still sweet. But my brain keeps reminding me that I don’t have a job offer yet, there are speed cams on every street corner and winter lasts for 4-5 months. Do I trust my intuition? Give up a bit of my independence? Stay in a place I loath, not accomplishing anything I’m striving for? A little voice in me says I should be able to succeed anywhere if my drive is strong enough, unbreathable air or not. But living off the beach is exactly how I thought it would be-shitty. Tourist season hasn’t died down and my little local slice of solace has turned into mini Miami before my very eyes. Housing prices and rent have skyrocketed while wages stagnate. This is in no way the utopia it once was.

I could send an email, put in notice and drive back up by Sunday. There is nothing currently keeping me here except misplaced nostalgia and faltering hope that perhaps the market will swing and the beaches will become deserted again. I think that’s called wishful thinking. But will I go back and feel utterly trapped? Will winter descend and shove me into a dark depression? I can’t fathom anything being worse than stepping out of your door being hit with the stench of decomposing sea life with no pool or beach available in unbearable heat; but I haven’t been in a northern winter in 7 years. Waiting for a sign.

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