Obsessing Over The Tampa Move

Me in dust pink retro dress

Dress ($40) / Heels ($27)

One time as a teen, I was ranting and rambling about something I reallyreallyreally wanted (no idea what) and my Dad finally turned to me and said calmly and deliberately, without addressing whether or not I had any shot at getting whatever permission/item I wanted,

“Maya, you have the ability to obsess like no other.”

After being stunned into silence for a fraction of a second, I couldn’t help but burst out laughing at his spot-on remark.

One of my personality traits (flaws?) is that when I want something, I REALLY want that thing. And when I’ve decided I’m over something, I’m really f*cking over that thing. That last sentence makes me sounds like more of a bored, hair-tossing, clever-one-liner-delivering Cool Girl than I am. (Lord knows I’m pretty much incapable of clever one-liners… unless they’re puns.)

When it comes down to it, I think the traitflaw has more to do with my obsessive neurotic side. The side of me that can’t stop talking about a topic consuming my mind, even if my brain is telling my mouth, “Stop. Your friends don’t need to hear a detailed rundown of Master Acne Clearing Plan Number 337. They are probably bored and being polite.”

Like, Totally OVER It

Well, ladies and gents, it’s been about a dozen years since my dad remarked on my mad obsessing skillz and not much has changed.

And the thing that I am OVER, and currently obsessing about changing, is Stephen’s and my current apartment–and city! I’ve over the two hour+ daily commute which, despite my podcasts and audiobooks, has started to feel a bit like solitary confinement. I feel restless and impatient in the car, and I can’t help but feel like I’m wasting my time. (Today it was an hour and five minutes there and an hour and a half back!)

Ten to thirteen weekly hours in the car. Whoa. Those are hours I could be spending with my husband, or working out, or cleaning, or working liquor promos, or ….you, know, just doing anything other than being in the car.

I’m also over our apartment itself. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a decent size for a one bedroom and in a fantastic location; however, it’s old. I’m over the 1940s pink tile bathroom and the carpet that needs replacing and literally microscopic closet and lack of a garbage disposal or dishwasher.

Okay, now I’m starting to sound like bratty fifteen-year-old Maya. In the overarching scheme of life, there are far worse things than driving a significant distance to a job that you love, or living in an apartment that has character.

A Semi-Adventure

I have to say, I’m also excited about Tampa in and of itself. The move feels like a contained adventure of sorts. A city like Tampa is sort of like Goldilocks: not too hot, not too cold, just right. I used to say that about St. Pete, but now my definition of “just right” has changed a little.

I also think Stephen and I feel that our big San Francisco adventure was cut short in some ways. My acne/lack of income was the driving force behind our move back to the South, although by that point Stephen was also worn down and ready to get the heck outta there. Watching your fiancé starve herself for the better part of two years, becoming the defacto breadwinner as your partner’s bank account nosedives alongside her body weight, and just going through the general growing pains of your mid-twenties, is hardly a cakewalk. We were both ready for higher quality of life, and ready to feel like we were living in a city rather than fighting against it.

I don’t mean to complain. I feel like this keeps morphing into a whiny post and I truly don’t mean it that way.

What I’m trying to say is that Stephen and I are ready for a fun change, a *semi-adventure* if you will. A change that isn’t too big of a risk. A change that opens doors to new experiences but still keeps us close to lots of family members. A city where we can be that young professional couple in business attire having a crisp glass of white wine at 5:42pm in a laid back little restaurant on a Wednesday. You know? 😉

We haven’t really had that phase of life yet, and I’m so so ready for it!

I mean, in a way the transition to Young Childless Professional Couple started with the move to St. Pete. But until a few months ago, I was still trying to model. I wasn’t struggling with full-fledged disordered eating by any means, but I almost struggling with my lack of one, if that makes sense. I wasn’t scary skinny anymore, but I felt huge in my size 2-4 size body. Crisp glasses of white wine in laid back little restaurants were always accompanied by a side serving of guilt. I remember when I had way too much self-discipline to drink something with calories in it, I’d reminisce darkly. Sometimes it was like my food issues were a security blanket that someone was tugging through my tiring fingers. Needless to say, I’m now happy that my blanket made it to Goodwill.

The past two years, we also weren’t struggling financially like we were in SF, but I was struggling with my self-worth. Freelance writing for Stephen’s company (and doing a little local modeling) didn’t make me feel like a career woman at the end of the day. I mean, I’ve always known I’m a decent writer, but it’s not like my husband could fire me if I weren’t, you know?

Essentially, I felt like a bit of a failure– a chubby-thighed failure at that.

Me in dust pink retro dress

A New City for a New Life Phase

You might be thinking, “What do a healed food relationship and newfound career confidence have to do with moving? Can’t you have those in St. Pete?” and the answer is yes, of course.

But you know I’m all about symbolism. In with the new, and in with some more new to go with it!!

I can see it now: post-model but pre-parent Maya, living a life of business casual and white wine and gym trips and Thai takeout and emails and sunny days by the pool. (Another thing I’m looking forward to is an apartment with AMENITIES! By the way, we’re renting after all. We don’t know Tampa at all yet, so it seemed silly to buy before we’re truly familiar with neighborhoods. Plus the whole “there could be a mini housing crash in 2019” hypothesis scares me.)

I’m ready for an uninterrupted mini-adventure. A last semi-hurrah between now and parenthood 2-3 years from now. I’m ready to bring my new sense of self to a new place. A bigger place with an international airport and more neighborhoods and more stores and more venues and more coffee shops and more bars and more restaurants. And have I mentioned less of a commute…?!


“Great weather, isn’t it Maya?”

“Yes, it’s gorgeous! I can’t wait to take advantage by going apartment hunting again this weekend. Have I told you I’m moving? What are your favorite neighborhoods in Tampa? How far is your commute? What was the name of that coffee shop you said you liked??”

Someone bust out the duct tape before I alienate myself. It’s freaking Tampa, not NYC. Even so, this girl is obsessing like no other… 😉

Stay Tuned,

Your Soon-to-Be Favorite Tampa Resident