I’m not the type to like spotlights. I tend to see parties about me pointless as I have my own ways on celebrating victories. But one celebration back in the days, my family told me that celebrating with a party is not only about commemorating the occasion itself but to share that success with the people who helped and supported you to achieve the such. It was a moment of realization that:
a) being proud of one’s achievement is never wrong, to be happy about it is not wrong either
b) party celebrations are about the celebrant AND the people, not just one or the other
My 18th birthday arrived and as it is a special birthday in a woman’s life, it was a customary to celebrate it in an upgrade fashion. The thought of people rejecting my invitation was terrifying. The thought of having to socialize in the sea of people was exhausting, and the thought of avoiding social awkwardness was dreadful. Despite all of these, I pushed through with the right mindset that I shall have no expectations and simply do my best to be a good host. The night ended with me on my bed wearing a huge smile on my face and overflowing happiness in my heart. I promised myself I’ll be a better host next time and just have fun.
I knew I only had two crucial occasions in my life to constitute a party celebration – my turning-of-age and my college graduation.
Yesterday came. It was my college graduation day. I went to a colleague’s grad party a week before and seeing that our common friends took time to attend his ceremony and inquiring about whether they could go to mine, I reserved ten seats for additional guests. Nobody arrived. People soon texted and messaged and chatted apologies for cancelling their commitments. But that morning I promised myself that I would not let anything ruin my day, so I kept moving. I had already invited guests for my simple celebration that evening and there is in no way in hell I’d let anything go wrong. I was following the credo that a celebration is about the celebrant AND the people so I wanted to feel happy and make everyone happy. A few hurdles arrived but I breezed through them with this mindset as motivation.
At first everything was going well, I was shifting from one table to another and approached anyone trying to single themselves out. I was able to resolve important issues with high school batchmates and it brought me such huge relief that I can begin the next chapter of my life leaving those issues behind. Everyone was chatting, eating merrily, dancing and laughing. I was happy, and I was happier seeing the people I care about happy and celebrating with me. But then the surprise came.
A close friend of mine (who happens to like me very much) set up this big surprise for me at my room. After their set up I entered the room with the feeling of joy seeing cut outs and letters posted on my bedroom wall, and a teddy bear with roses on my bed. I appreciated the gesture very much and I expressed it to him dearly. After so, we rejoined the other guests and there were only two circles left. My RCY friends and my high school friends. As the RCY circle were very much capable of turning the party into a party, I spent most sorting out issues with my high school batchmates and catching up after missing out on years of connection. Everything was going very well until my previous boyfriend arrived.
See, my RCY group is very close with the person who surprised me. Apparently, they favored him very much that as soon as I got down from the surprise, they filled my ears with how wonderful it was of him to put such an effort for the said surprise and they were witnesses to it. Soon I was in a hot seat with the said person as a witness while they grill me on questions about love and relationships specifically between him and my previous boyfriend. I was tearing up but I held on, smiled and answered honestly. But I was crushing inside because I was clear with the said person that I was not in any way having romantic attractions with him. I was crushing because they were saying offending things about my previous boyfriend within his hearing range and I knew it was unfair for them to judge him so because it was my fault that I’ve showed them how suicidal, depressed and struggling I was when we broke up. I was crushing because they were putting me in a position to confirm any romantic attraction with a person I had clear terms with that we’re just going with the ride and see where it leads.
While all of these were going on, the circle of friends whom I thought was my family started leaving. The other reason I was fine with spending more time with my high school batchmates was because they’re not staying for the night and I have the rest of the night ’til morning with my RCY group to make it up. In the end, they all left. The PLMUN friends and my high school batchmates were the ones who stuck with me ’til morning. Every batch of them leaving was sending shoots of tears and chest aches. Here is the group of people I thought who valued me.
Apparently everything became worse when I had the chance to talk one-on-one with my ex for kind of a closure. He was never going to show up but the series of events led him in doing so and it was the only chance I saw to finally put the matters to rest. I was beginning a new chapter and I didn’t want to have a baggage. Since they were very close with the friend who surprised me, the friend became so down in the dumps seeing the two of us talk privately, the entire RCY group was empathizing with him that their energy also went down. When I was asking the said friend what’s wrong to open up what’s bothering him, our foundation of honesty broke down and he just kept smiling and saying everything was fine even though it wasn’t.
It was not about me or my guests celebrating anymore. It was about his feelings and my villainy.
It was very considerate of him to put an end to whatever our deal was at the end of the day, so I slept feeling self-destructed and in tears. This morning I asked my PLMUN friends if they had fun when they quietly nodded and one of them slipped saying ‘only this morning.’ (Because I was with them one long moment this morning before they left)
As soon as everyone left, I broke down and I was left with the following emotions:
1. The crushing pain that comes with the realization that I am not as important and valuable as I thought with the group I thought I was. With so much rejections that day and nobody staying, with the pressure of pushing me into a relationship I’m not ready, with the pressure of putting someone’s heart as my responsibility… I just broke down.
2. The outmost guilt I have for showing so much vulnerability during my ‘moving on’ phase to them that I wasn’t able to highlight enough the good things my previous boyfriend just to balance the scale because they now they’re seeing him as a huge a****** instead of a decent human being with issues just like everyone else.
3. The guilt that I wasn’t able to be a good enough host to make everyone feel happy and not leave any group behind.
4. The feeling of regret why I let my relationship with the person who surprised me foster when I knew from the start this ending bitterly was a possibility. The feeling of inadequacy that even though I tried every step of our journey together to be completely honest, transparent and making sure that we’re always on the same level of expectations, apparently were all useless. I am now the girl who broke an innocent person’s heart in the eyes of the many who only see his efforts.
5. The feeling of getting so sick of apologizing for everything I’m doing that makes sense to me but does not to others even though it has nothing to do and/or SHOULD HAVE NOTHING to do with them anyway.
6. The realization that even if you only ask the people around you to prioritize you for very few chosen moments of your lives that are most important, you will not get it.
Right now, all I want is to just drop everything and stop apologizing for being myself and for being who I am, stop letting other people’s unhappiness get in the way of mine, and stop all the pretentious relationships that show facades of appreciation and love when it’s nothing more than just a conditioning. And so I shall.