About two months ago, I experienced the worst “ghosting” of my life.
Ghosting; you’ve probably heard of it. It’s when someone disappears without bothering to explain why. Poof, gone. Forever. You’ll most likely never hear from them again.
The moment is still fresh in my mind.
I was sitting on the cold floor of the LaGuardia airport, my back rested against the wall.
After three hours of waiting, my butt was sore, and my heart ached with sorrow.
I felt the rush of people flowing past me: families reuniting, people rushing to catch their Uber, security guards monitoring the premises. Everyone had a purpose except me. I was lost.
I called my boyfriend for the fifth time.
“Do you really think Manny* ghosted me? Would she really do this to me?” I asked.
But I knew the answer.
“Yeah… I think she did,” he responded. “Your best bet is to move forward without her like she was never part of the plan.”
I knew he was right, but the mixture of anger and sadness boiled within me. It was difficult to let go, even though I knew I had to.
I grabbed my phone and skimmed through hotels.
I ended up snagging a last minute deal on Priceline. My boyfriend even offered to borrow me the money so I wouldn’t be on such a tight budget.
I discovered a charter bus would take me straight into the city for $15. I rushed into the freezing cold, handed the bus driver the cash and hopped aboard.
Guess I would be going about this trip solo.
Rewind: How it All Began
Anyone who knows me knows my favorite singer is Regina Spektor.
I’ve loved her since high school. It is difficult to describe why I love her so much. I just do. She’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but those who love her are usually obsessed.
The first time I saw Regina Spektor live was in Miami, Florida at The Jackie Gleason Fillmore Theatre in 2012. Her vocals sounded identical to her albums live. It was an experience I will never forget.
Nearly five years later, and I was dying to see her again. Finally, after years of hiatus, Regina Spektor was touring her new album Remember Us to Life. Sadly, she was not coming back to Florida this tour, so I was determined to go to her instead. After weighing my options, I decided I had to see her in New York City at the Radio City Music Hall.
The city always fascinated me. I was born in New Jersey. I remember tagging along on weekend trips with my Mom. I had not been back in over a decade and was dying to return.
Manny knew how much I loved Regina Spektor so when I texted her about my trip; she invited me to stay with her in Brooklyn. Manny had just moved to pursue journalism.
“That’s awesome!” I texted her.
“Are you sure? I don’t want to be an inconvenience at all!” I assured her.
I knew she had roommates, almost everyone who lives in the city does, and I had no problem getting an Airbnb.
“Of course! We will hang out together. I’ll even go to the show with you!” She said.
Immediately, I was relieved. I mean, not only would I have a free place to crash; I would be hanging out with a good friend from college, who wanted to attend the concert with me!
As much as I did not mind a solo-trip, it was nice to know I would not be alone.
Manny sent me sixty dollars for the Regina Spektor concert via a cash app in November (5 months before the trip!). The plans were set in stone, I thought.
Boy, was I wrong about that.
My History of Getting “Ghosted”
Truthfully, Manny was not my first “ghosting” experience. The first time it happened, I was crushed. I had met a musician at one of my favorite music bars in town.
We were immediately inseparable. It felt like I had known him forever. I was falling for him; I thought he was falling for me too. He wasn’t.
After a brief period of dating, he left without a text message or phone call. For some reason, I was certain I would run into him again, perhaps at the local bar, maybe an open mic. But that never happened. Like a magician, he completely disappeared.
That was hard. I am not going to lie, but eventually, I got over it. That period of my life ended up being one of my most creative. I wrote a lot, did yoga, attended tons of events; anything to rid myself of the heartache. I grew to love the company of myself. In essence, heartbreak was my fuel, and I grew from it.
Over the years, I had a few other mild ghosting experiences. Eventually, I became numb to the experience. I wouldn’t do it, but hey, maybe people just lacked communication skills.
But this was different.
This was a friend. Someone I had known for years. Scrolling through my Instagram, I can still find the photo of us, arms around each other, smiling on the day of graduation. I’ll delete it, eventually.
Two months before our trip, Manny returned to Florida to visit family. We linked up to see my favorite local band, and all we could talk about was how excited we were to spend the weekend in New York City.
We finished the last of our drinks and headed out.
“I’ll see you in March! Can’t wait,” I said.
“I can’t wait either,” she replied. “We’ll keep in touch until then!”
And we did. We texted every few weeks.
A week before the trip, I messaged to confirm. She told me she would meet me at the airport so I did not get lost.
A few days later, I messaged her lightheartedly about how cold it would be when I arrived Friday.
Then the trip arrived, and she was suddenly impossible to reach. What happened? I guess I’ll never know.
Things People Ask When You Are Ghosted
For whatever reason, people find it difficult to process the concept of ghosting. If it has never happened to you, it’s hard to understand.
The first thing everyone asks is, “Did something happen?!”
That’s understandable. I asked myself the same thing; the answer to this question is a resounding “No.”
Of course, I did what anyone would do: I checked her Facebook, Googled her, messaged all of her friends. No response.
Immediately, my mind went to catastrophic conclusions:
- Maybe she died.
- Maybe she’s in the psych ward.
- Maybe she was arrested.
All of these options ran through my head, but every time I called her, the number went to voicemail.
I decided to have my best friend call her instead. Shockingly, her phone rang.
“It rang! That bitch! I can’t believe it!” My best friend texted me back.
That confirmed my worst suspicions: She had blocked me and was ignoring me on purpose. She knew I had flown to New York to meet up, and instead of communicating, she decided to ghost me. I have no idea why.
Most people who are ghosted assume they will hear from the person again. Yet, in my few ghosting experiences, the ghoster never re-appears. They “disappear forever.” You never get an explanation.
Conveniently, Manny is not active on social media. She never was. I knew this about her, but never thought much of it. I asked why once, and she said she did not like it.
Fair enough, I thought. Social media can become overwhelming. However, considering the circumstances, I do not believe I am the first person Manny’s ever ghosted.
See, a ghoster usually only ghosts people they know will have a hard time contacting them again. A ghoster rarely ghosts a family member or co-worker. These people can hold them accountable. They can easily find them.
In the case of Manny, she knew I did not know her address. She knew I would not be back to NYC anytime soon, and most of all, she knew I had no method of contacting her. She decided it was easier to ghost me than communicate canceling the trip, so she did.
Moving On: Making the Best of Every Scenario
If you’re wondering about the rest of my trip then rest assured, it was amazing. Yes, I was still upset about what had happened, but I made the best of the situation.
I posted about my experience on social media and was pleased with how many friends reached out to make sure I was okay. One friend called to give me a ton of recommendations and assured I would have more fun without “Manny.”
Throughout this entire experience, I was never scared about wandering the city. In the city, you never feel alone. Also, I am also part of a Facebook group called Girls Love Travel. It has over 300,000 members and most of the girls in the group travel solo. They always inspired me, and my introverted nature loves the idea of traveling solo anyway. I can plan whatever I want and do whatever I want.
Funny enough, I ended up posting about the situation on Girls Love Travel, and I discovered there was a meet up happening the exact Saturday I was in the city! How awesome was that?
I ended up meeting a handful of girls who had traveled all over the world.
Later that day, I befriended one of the girls. She told me she had booked a hotel in the area. Instead of booking a second night on my own, I stayed with her and we shared the costs. I also gave her my extra Regina Spektor ticket and that night we enjoyed the show. We also got lost in 20-degree weather but that’s another blog post. 😉
Throughout the weekend, I explored thrift shops, ate pizza and walked Wall Street. I saw Regina Spektor and she was spectacular. I learned a lot about myself and grew from the experience.
Part of me vowed to never trust people again. I wanted to take this experience and make it a negative one.
But that’s not a way to live. People suck sometimes, but I can’t live my life only trusting my family and best friends; I just have to always have a backup plan in case things don’t work out.
I still have not heard from Manny, but I have plenty of evidence that she is fine. I hope whatever compelled her to vanish heals in the future. Maybe she’s struggling with something. You never know what is going on.
I look forward to my next trip, and whether or not it’s solo or with a friend; I will make the best of it, despite the unexpected challenges that are thrown my way.
After all, that’s part of the fun right?
& That’s the truth