The night I came to terms with the fact that I lost our relationship was one of the strangest, loneliest nights of my life. I remember that night vividly.
I was alone in an empty studio apartment in the middle of Hollywood lying on the bare, cold floor. I questioned my existence. How had I gotten to this place? A month prior I had a dreamy life; I had a lovely house with a garden and a gorgeous, green-eyed man with whom I shared it.
After years of building, it was all gone. Like a wooden tower struck by lightning, my life was quickly engulfed in flames. They were flames I couldn't extinguish. Ashes of confusion and sadness were all that remained in its wake.
I listened to strings of rain hit the window between the chirping of a smoke detector. Tears cascaded down my face as I lit a candle and turned on Fleetwood Mac. In the words of Stevie Nicks... “Thunder only happens when it’s raining, players only love you when they're playing.” Truer words have never been spoken. I took the lyrics as confirmation: I'd lost you for good.
As time passed, in the studio apartment I now call “home,” I tried to make sense of our disconnect. I misplaced you somewhere along the road... somewhere on one of my many detours. The dubious blueprint of my life was never set up nor executed for true success.
It’s possible that our connection was compromised during one or many of my overnight drunks. I went on those often. With every glass of champagne, every sip of chardonnay, your burdening thoughts became less heavy on my heart. You were usually right but the truth was tough to handle, so I drank you down until I couldn't hear you anymore.
Also possible – and equally likely – is that my soul center separated from you when I so willingly surrendered my life to the false love of a man. It must have killed you to be a quiet bystander as I ooed and aahed for all his accomplishments while simultaneously ignoring my own.
It must have devastated you when he turned his back to me to better receive attention from other women, and there were many. And he was one of many for me, too. It seems I had a penchant for saving those who didn't want saving... for saving anyone but myself.
It wasn't always like this with us, though. You and I used to be very aligned. I remember nervously showing up to cheerleading tryouts freshman year of high school. I wasn't sure if I had the tenacity to make the team but it was your energy, your smile and your confidence that led me through the gymnasium with ease, acing the tryout.
I remember looking at you in the mirror that day. I remember feeling true, pure self-love. I knew the world was mine and that my wildest dreams were achievable. 10 years later, I remember looking at you in the mirror on an airplane to California; an exciting new life of possibility was ahead. I was smiling ear-to-ear the entire flight.
It was never my intention to lose you; It was never my intention to lose myself. I lost you on shallow dates. I lost you in the shadows of skyscrapers with fake friends. I lost you in the fiery depths of whiskey bottles that silenced all our hopes and aspirations.
I suppose I just grew older, jaded. I stopped listening to you, to us, to the love and light that lives inside. Laughing and playing was quickly replaced with dinner parties and lunch meetings. I started to pay more attention to my outside appearance while allowing my inner spirit to grow stagnant and stuck. Life became less about feeling good and more about fitting in.
As I survey the damage and slowly find you again, I have to stop and wonder how many others have also lost themselves. How many women have lost themselves to a man? How many women have lost themselves to unrealistic expectations? How many women have questioned whether they were made from a broken mold?
Understand this: it is okay to lose yourself for a little while. Sometimes, its only when we are lost that we can truly be found. We are and will always be worth the search, worth the discovery. If you've lost yourself or if you feel lost right now, simply look within. The essence of a woman can never be truly lost, but can always, always be found.
By: Raquel Reyes
Raquel Reyes is a Writer, Reiki Healer, and Spiritual Enthusiast. She currently teaches Writing Workshops for Women and resides in Los Angeles. In her spare time, you can find her practicing yoga, enjoying foodie life, or hiking with her dogs, Abby & Morgan.