By Arella Ramirez
Every now and then, I find my morning thoughts interrupted by past friendships that have inexplicably changed. This interruption opens the door to inner demons I have yet to face.
I start to reflect that I’m missing an essential part of who I am because of this unresolved tension. I give much of myself in relationships, so when people walk out, it’s like my vulnerability, my sincerity, my openness, a part of me has been snatched unwillingly.
I did not always feel the need for companionship. Just shy of 20, I began to flirt with the debaucheries of Los Angeles’ rambunctious nightlife – dancing under fog machines and poor lighting with an ever-growing contact list I had no intention of bringing back.
Women flashed their Colgate smiles stained with shades of merlot tightly gripping an old-fashion with their fresh manicures- a beam of perfection. Stilettos a mile high to accessorize their attitude, yet their perfect sun-kissed Hollywood skin was thickened by life’s hard knocks.
My ultimate goal was to embody these flawless women as my rite of passage into adulthood.
Yet, my naivety in glorifying empty vessels would hinder my capacity to develop healthy bonds in the future. Attempts at connecting with people led to insipid conversations without ambition and passion. I could not handle seeing my own imperfections in the mirrors they held up and longed for the platonic friendships with the colorful creatures of the night. I preferred to fly wildly with the night owls who in our drunk stupor would never force me to reflect on—me.
Stress became the only outfit I knew how to wear well. I truly felt alone. Yet, this emotional weight from the past made me recognize that the only relationship I should care for is my own. Only I could give myself closure, rather than occupy my time wondering what if. I’m thankful for the people who tolerated me in the midst of all this haze.
I don’t want to pretend that I was not in the wrong, when in fact I could have evolved my way of thinking.
Years later, I can admit that. But maybe the most important lesson in all of this would be that the essential piece of myself I felt missing was within all along. I just had to pay attention