Three years ago, the day before I was to move to Rome for three months, my then-boyfriend broke up with me for being too crazy. I spent the day sobbing hysterically to my parents, in the car, at my best friend’s birthday dinner (which will forever be known as “Remember that birthday party? Yeah, the one where I cried!”), and trying to decide if I should give up on going to Rome. I was terrified – scared I wouldn’t be able to function without him in my life, scared that my sadness would be compounded by being away from family and friends, scared, as usual, of everything.
That night, my best friend came over (thankfully, she still liked me after I cried at her party). We went on a milkshake run to Jack in the Box, where we were pretty much put on lockdown, thanks to some crazy fools in the parking lot with knives and guns (or something – I actually can’t remember what went down exactly, only that it was creepy and the JITB employees advised us not to leave, and then there were cops). We spent the evening laughing with my parents, and around midnight, I called the then-boyfriend and he said he’d made a mistake.
I took him back, which, in retrospect, was not the smartest idea (I mean, come on, we broke up for good five months later). I went to bed late and woke up early, and on January 7th I started the rest of my life.
Looking back, I realize I learned a lot that day. I learned that sometimes you really do need to let go. I learned that family and friends – and milkshakes, maybe minus drug deals/shankings – can cure most things. And maybe most importantly, I learned that you just have to get on with your life. That sometimes that next step is really, really hard to take, and all you want is to curl up in a safe place with people you love, but once you take it? Things get more amazing than you could ever imagine.
So here’s to January 6, 2007, the day I prepared to embark on the biggest, scariest, most life-changing adventure of my life (thus far).