The day I arrived at New York it was New Year’s Eve, after eight hours on the airplane my mother and I arrived to JFK . I previously asked my mother to come with me so she can help me settle in the city, but honestly it was a lie. I asked her to come with me because I wanted to stretch the time of our goodbye. I knew she was the person that will hurt me the most to say goodbye to.
I remember my boyfriend (at that time) and family, from my mother’s side, picked us up from the airport and welcomed me to my new ‘home’. It was nice to be reunited with them and realize that those were going to be the people I will count on and be surrounded by from that moment on.
After dropping my luggage in Westchester, I got ready to go to my very first New Year’s Eve party in Manhattan. While getting ready I looked myself in the mirror and realized that I was in New York, and it’s the city I just moved in!! Holy Smokes New York is my new home, I thought. I had to celebrate it big because I was starting a new chapter of my life in such an emblematic day.
On our way to the city we had to take two trains and then walk to the party which was a couple of blocks away from the train station. It was extremely cold that night and my high heels were killing me, as matter of fact I felt I was getting sick but nothing was going to ruin my night. I had the assurance to start my “new life” with the right foot.
The party was at Capitale, such a beautiful event venue, it was so fancy, it was crowded and the music was awesome. We met up with some friends and then started taking advantage of the open bar. A couple of hours later, our dinner was served and I decided to take a group shot. While the guys were getting ready to strike a pose I leaned back, without noticing that there were candles behind me -yes, what you are thinking right now actually happened-. I said “1,2, 3”and I see one of my friends in panic and I thought “why would he want to look so frightened in the picture? I never said let’s make weird gestures”. Little did I knew that my hair was on fire, yes ON FIRE! My boyfriend looked at me and screamed like he was about to be murdered. Luckily he was smart enough to not throw me the drink he had in his hand and instead his first reaction was to hit me in the head with a huge big piece of bread to turn off the fire.
I was beyond scared and everyone was looking at me. My hair was coming off and I wanted to cry. I ran to the bathroom and I was praying to God that I didn’t lose a big portion my hair. I looked at the mirror and saw that I just burnt a short layer of hair and it was hard to tell, I was glad to have that on my favor. The only bad thing was the smell of burnt hair, it was really bad but I said to myself, not even this will ruin my first night here. I came out of the bathroom like nothing happened and had an awesome time. I did the countdown until the clock reached twelve o’ clock and saw the ball dropped on a huge screening while cheering for a great new year with a glass of champagne. I danced all night and I laughed so hard at all the funny faces that people will do because of the smell of my burnt hair.
When I was going back home, I remember that since I was a kid at 12am, along with the fireworks for New Year’s, we used to burn huge rag-dolls made of old clothes. The belief is that when you burn old stuff you leave the negativity behind and leave space for new things to come. At that moment I came to the realized that a strange force didn’t want me to break my tradition and decided to use my hair as the rag-doll’s replacement.
This was totally an indicator of how things were going to be here, things were going to get tough and I will have to learn to pull through. It was a reminder for the future, that I should never allow anything ruin my moment, not even having my head on fire, literally.