This weekend was lit. It was one of my best friend’s birthdays and she came to Miami to celebrate it with me. It was ridiculous. We drank, danced. smoked, and partied until we couldn’t stand the stilettos under our feet. But this story isn’t about all that. It was about one of the girls who came who I hadn’t seen in years.
I had not seen her since my college days at UM. Without getting too much into the details of our debauchery, just know we painted the town red almost every night in those days. Whether it was New York or Miami, we were always in the hottest parties, the hottest AFTER parties, and we were always surrounded by important people. It was the wilder of my wild days, and she had all the energy I needed. From dancing all night with celebrities to sunrises at rooftop pools, we did it all. We did a lot of shit we stopped talking about eventually.
Then life started happening. She went back home to New York, I proceeded to finish college, and we started growing up. She really grew up. She kind of disappeared. While the rest of us were still taking our twenties slowly…she got into a very committed relationship and kind of just, stopped going out, stopped coming to the parties, and stopped being social.
I really don’t know the details of the relationship she got into. All i know is that it was one of those relationships that suck you in. She became a shell of herself. The one girl who had so much confidence that it seemed like she had enough to spare for the rest of us; the one girl who had a certain energy that most people were automatically drawn to, became withdrawn and quiet. I’ll be honest, I didn’t check on her too much as the years went by. I know first hand how those relationships are. They’re one of those things in life you can’t pull anyone out of. You have to pull yourself out.
Have you ever not recognized someone even though they looked the same? That’s what happened when the girls first got here this weekend. I hadn’t seen her in years and as I looked at this beautiful girl in front of me, it still took me a couple minutes to realize it was her. She was beautiful as ever, but she seemed to blend into everything else. Her colors were muted.
Then the weekend got started. I don’t know if it was Miami, or the fact we danced like we were teenagers again. It was like watching the Monalisa being painted. Her colors were coming back. She began to stand out again. Next thing I know, we were shunning suitors away from her every 5 minutes. Somehow the spotlight had turned on, and it was on her.
I don’t know too much about toxic relationships anymore. I went through one, but that was ages ago; its been ages ago since I was a shell of myself. What I can remember is that you can lose yourself trying to please someone else. You can lose yourself trying to be perfect for a damaged person. I know the personal hell love can create for some people. I know it can change you. I know it can make you question every single thing you thought you knew about yourself.
I see people change all the time. I hate it every time. As we get older, we’re going to go through a lot of tough shit, and that shit is going to change you, there’s no way around it. However, its never too late to come back. It’s never to late to find the light.
And at the risk of sounding cliche, you know what the fucking “light" is? Finding a way back to yourself. Whatever fight you may be fighting, or wound you’re nursing, the light is always the path back to who you really are. Life is not about learning, it’s about unlearning.
And as I watched her sway her hips to the music, as I watched how she hypnotized everyone around her, I realized she was even more beautiful now that she learned how to color herself back in. It’s never too late.