For almost three years, I spent every Tuesday morning calling Luis at El Bulli and every Thursday afternoon emailing their reservation inbox, hoping to get a reservation. I told him that I would fly out that same day, if necessary. After 2-3 months, Luis recognized my voice, expected my call, started sending me responses that weren’t just the standard form email.

No matter how well I got to know Luis, the answer was always the same: sorry, we don’t have any reservations. Altogether, I called him 116 times, and sent him 129 emails. I tried, I tried, and I tried. And I failed.

It may seem trivial to most of you because it’s just a restaurant reservation. But for me, it was more than a reservation: it was a promise, it was gift, it was the fulfillment of a desire and a wish. And it taught me that sometimes, no matter how hard you try, no matter how hard you work, no matter how much you want something, some things just never were meant to be.

I’ve been learning that lesson a lot, these days.

It’s never an easy thing to come to terms with, but often, learning something important is hard, heartbreaking, and world-changing. But when it’s the truth, sometimes you just need to hear it.