15 years ago on this day Jan 3, 2004.
I never thought that 15 years later…
The first week of January 2004 would end up being one of the most memorable times for me in my life. It was the beginning of a New Year, It was exciting to think that 2004 was going to be the greatest year my life… with all the promises Mark Zuckerberg made me while we were discussing the upcoming launch of thefacebook.com Mark lit the biggest spark of hope in my heart that my struggles in life will soon be over. I was also turning 20 years old in a few days and I was being a bit of a smartass to Mark about it. I remember joking around with Mark about him being so young and how I will no longer be a teenager in a few days but He will still be one for 5 more months. Even though Mark was only 5 months younger than I, I liked being silly teasing Mark about being younger and looking about 14 or 16 years old at 19.
When we were discussing the anticipated launch of thefacebook.com and making plans I mentioned that my birthday was in a few days. Mark said he didn’t realize that my birthday was coming up so soon, He then said “If I would have thought of it, We could have lunched thefacebook.com on the 5th a day before your birthday but with your birthday 3 days away that is way too early to launch thefacebook.com .”
Even though it was impossible, That was the most thoughtful thought in the World… It made me feel very appreciated and valued for the help and support that I offered Mark. Nobody had ever made me feel valued, listened to and important like Mark had often made me feel.
During the evening Mark and I had gotten into some deep discussions about the future… Mark said if thefacebook.com really takes off He’ll help me out and make me really rich. Right away I said “I don’t believe you.” because it sounded too good to be true. Mark replied “I’m serious, I won’t pass up the opportunity to change your life.” I then said “I’d seriously be forever thankful if he made me a Millionaire.” That’s when he corrected me and said “I wouldn’t make you a millionaire…” followed by a long pause which in the moment felt like forever… then followed up with saying “I’d make you a Billionaire.” Keep in mind none of us really knew the real potential… This was just 2 teenagers day dreaming together of possibilities and etc. but the day dream bubble popped when reality swooped on in real quick after he said that so I said “I don’t have that kind of luck in life.” That is when I also said “One day you are going to forget about me and you will never honor your promise that you made me. Because nobody ever remembers the people that were there for them in the beginning of their success.” I said that because that is what I believed to be true. Mark replied with disbelief in what I had just said and asked me why I had thought that way and I said “I’m always forgotten by people.” and Mark reassured me that moment that he would never forget me and will honor his promise to me no matter what.
I said thefacebook.com will be so big that he will end up being super rich and famous… We’d lose touch and I will never be able to reach him ever again. Because he’d be so sheltered and will probably even have bodyguards and everything making it impossible for me to ever reach out to him successfully.
Mark laughed and said “I doubt I will be that Rich and famous… it’s not like I’d be building things like Bill Gates.” I said “That doesn’t matter… I just have a feeling thefacebook.com will be huge.”
I then said “We need to make plans now that we will never lose touch.” Mark laughed and said “We won’t lose touch.” I said “I really fear that we will… and we need to make sure it doesn’t happen.” so we discussed several different ways that I could always try to reach him… one of the agreements was to keep the email account that we communicated through active for the next 10 years… just so I will always have that security knowing I will never be able to lose touch with him no matter what… at the time I didn’t have a cellphone we didn’t text we e-mailed, and of course there where several other plans in place beside that.
Looking back How right was I about everything?.
During our more serious discussions during the first week of January Mark wanted to figure out how to divide shares in thefacebook.com among investors and offered me a small percentage of his personal shares… He said I’d be a silent partner that way. While I was very ecstatic about the offer I also felt a lot of doubt. I really did so in that moment I got up off my computer chair and knelt down on the side of my bed and prayed really hard… like REALLY REALLY HARD to God that… I hope that he was listening to everything Mark and I had been discussing… and that Facebook really would be the biggest success… and that all these promises would come true so that I wouldn’t have to struggle in life anymore.
Life was just so hard for me… and still is… in fact it got even harder bearing this burden I’ve kept to myself all these years, as well as the various forms of vulnerability that comes with it all. For example, I opened up about my story and my true identity to a well known and respected professor from Harvard. Long story short a year ago he flew down to my city uninvited and unannounced and was peering through the windows of my home. After that I blocked him across all forms of social media. I attempted to expose him but he threatened to sue me for Defamation of character, Slander and Libel. So what does a poor vulnerable girl with all credibility taken from her do?…EXACTLY!!… Nothing. I can’t even mention who he is or say all the terrible things he has done. He added alot of stress to my life and while I lose sleep over this individual every night, There is no justice for myself and many others, and that is the latest struggle added to my life. This is why I never wanted to publicly reveal my true identity to anyone, but I thought if this man is from Harvard and well respected I could trust him, Bad mistake.
Now back to the main story as I was praying I heard Mark sending several more messages so I hurried up with my prayers so I could get up to read what Mark was saying which turned out to be more promises… and more reassurance. He then said he had to go and we said goodbye for the night and that is when I immediately went to my Mom’s room and jumped on her bed and layed beside her… and said “Mark Zuckerberg wants to make me a Billionaire! One day. Not a Millionaire but a BILLIONAIRE MOM!” my Mom looked at me in disbelief and said “I don’t believe that.” I said “No really Mom! he’s a computer genius! He has made several websites and things already! and he really promised to help us better our lives.” My Mom then said “What is his name again?” I said “Mark Elliot Zuckerberg.” I then said “Lets write his name down on your Calendar so we never forget this day.” So on My Mom’s 2004 Calendar on the month of January she wrote Mark Elliot Zuckerberg.
A year later the early months of 2005 my fears became a reality our friendship and communication got severed due to a huge disagreement.
Few months later December 2005 my Mom and I moved out of our apartment because we couldn’t afford the rent. A few years later My Mom was cleaning her room and That calendar ended up on a table in her room and happened to be opened on that page. I was in my bedroom when my brother happened to walk into my Mom’s bedroom He then glanced over at the calendar and I heard him say “Mom, Why is Mark Zuckerberg’s name written on your calendar? You don’t know who Mark Zuckerberg is.” I heard my Mom reply “Your sister made me write his name down a long time ago.” My brother then immediately walked into my room and said “Why would you get Mom to write Mark Zuckerberg’s name on her Calendar?” I simply said “Because he was my friend.” and I didn’t bother saying anything else about it. My brother looked at me and said “YEAH! OOOKAY! you aren’t even on thefacebook.com ” I said “That is because I was the first person to ever delete my facebook account.” He just said “Whatever.”
Shortly after that I signed up for a new facebook account and that was when I attempted to reach out to Mark Zuckerberg but Dustin stepped in and humiliated me publicly on Mark’s facebook wall for all to see… this was approx. 2006 or 2007. It seriously devastated me I was so upset that someone could be so cruel to me.
So just like every New Year on this day… I relive those memories and Hope that Mark will remember me as facebooks anniversary approaches.