I was standing beside his car, waiting for him to come out of the building. Leaves were falling from the tree down to the pavement, and the cold February air was brushing my hair. The moment he walked toward me, it felt like a scene from a movie. He was grinning from ear to ear and looking like a Hollywood star in his sunglasses. He reached for the passenger door and opened it for me. My knees turned jelly and I almost melted on the floor. He was such a gentleman. We talked about work and life and where I came from while he was driving. We were having a great time until he saw a guy’s name calling on my phone. I wanted to explain who that person was, but he suddenly turned cold and never uttered a word since then. I thought we would have a special connection from that moment forward, but he already judged me for something I wasn’t able to defend myself for.
I was expecting a birthday surprise. I know this was a silly thing, but I guess when you were the one helping people come up with birthday surprises, you couldn’t help but expect something nice when it was your turn. I arrived in the office the day after my birthday with no greetings at all. Nothing. Nobody cared. Nobody made an effort to know that it was the most awesome day in the year for me. It occurred to me then that I was the person on the bottom of the pack. The one they could get rid of any time of the day. So I left without a word. I walked away. Because that’s the only thing that you can do when they take you for granted.
I didn’t like to attend parties because I hated being in a crowded room and feeling like I never wanted to be there in the first place. But I knew he would attend the party that night, so I confirmed the RSVP in my email. I had prepare a first conversation dialogues. I poured my favorite perfume in my body. I wore the best shirt in my drawers. I lived the fantasy in my head on my way to the party. I did everything to be closer to him, but he was with his group of friends and I was with my home-girl. An hour passed by and still no point of contact. When I built up the nerve to reach out to him, I learned that he already left the party. I dressed well and thrown myself in a place I didn’t want to be in just for nothing. I went home, sat on my bed, and blamed myself for expecting somebody else to give me the happiness that I wanted.
It was the eve before New Year’s Day and I was hoping he would send me a message or ask how I was doing. It was only few months since the last time we saw each other. I assumed I still mattered to him just as much as he mattered to me. But as soon as I realized that there were only two minutes left before midnight, I knew he wouldn’t bother remembering me anymore. I stood up from where I was sitting and went outside to watch the sky erupted into different colors. The night was so beautiful and magical yet I felt so incomplete on the inside. The worst thing about holidays is that they can bring out the loneliness that you’ve been avoiding for so long. And I was awfully soaked in feeling lonely on the very first hour of the year.
Growing up, I had this belief that if you’re successful, everyone will love you. That if you have plenty of money and a lot of people recognize your name, you will automatically be fulfilled in life. I spent most of my energy grinding and hustling because I knew that by working extremely hard, I would get anything that I wanted in this world. Now I’m not saying this is wrong. I think it’s amazing and respectable to push yourself to achieve your goals. But I learned that dedicating all your time in making sure you’re doing everything right will only exhaust you and let you down in the end. Because the truth is, not all your wishes will come true. You can put your entire heart into something and sometimes it will not be enough. You will be disappointed time after time. You just have to learn to shrug off your feelings, walk out at the back door, and keep looking for that one thing that makes your heart complete.