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Recently while wasting my life away on the gram I kept seeing these countless colorful umbrellas all over my timeline. Fortunately, I couldn't keep my inquisitive spirit at bay for much longer, so I hopped in my car and made my way to Coral Gables (a small upper crust Miami suburb) to discover what I would later come to know as the Umbrella Sky Project.

The Umbrella Sky Project is a temporary pop up art installation brought to Gables to liven up and encourage spending on a block comprised independent boutiques and restaurants.

As I drove up and searched for parking I felt my energy shift immediately, I felt a level of excitement and unadulterated joy that was directly related to what I'd soon be experiencing. To be real, at the time I wasn't sure if the excitement was organic or if it was because my "umbrella" IG posts was about to fuck these hoes up. I know, I know, I am not nearly as evolved as I think I am either.

Back to the reason I'm writing this: as I pulled up, what I didn't count on was some of the thoughts that would come to mind; it's almost like the umbrellas were an array of paints and my mind was the least stubborn of canvases, soaking in every hue and texture, ultimately spitting out the most thought provoking and enlightening of art pieces. While slowly traversing the cracks in the pavement beneath this uniquely gorgeous sky as the filtered rays punished my skin, I thought about how nice the shade felt and reflected on my own experiences around my light and darkness. The more I thought, the more I recalled often blocking my own light because the responsibility of shining bright sometimes felt like too much. How often did I sabotage perfectly great situations because I wasn't mature or responsible enough to step into my own power and embrace the experience? Was I not ready? Was I not willing? Was I not able to take a moment and appreciate where I was and what was at stake? In truth, as I think back to those times, I don't know the answer and the cliche "everything happens for reason" just sounds like a great excuse in the form of an umbrella I used endlessly to shield me from the heat of doing and being more.

I'd like to think that I've come a long way from ducking and running from the heat of life, but I still have to keep encouraging myself to keep reaching, keep grinding, keep clawing and keep shining bright as fuck. As far as I think I've come I'm also constantly reminding myself that it's okay to keep an umbrella close for those scorching days when I need a reprieve from it all, and even then, I try to be sure to let a little light in, because dimming who you are to assuage your own or someone else's insecurities isn't serving your true purpose on this planet.


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