The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me
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by Josh Lee
2013 Spectator Ron - The Spectator All Rights Reserved
        One warm night in June, I met the perfect guy: handsome, athletically fit, and smart, no, brilliant. Not to mention he wasn't half bad in bed. We had an amazing summer together, falling in love. Texting each other twenty three hours a day, sharing heart emoticons and smiley faces, even a week away in Monterey and San Fran on the bay. We spent glorious nights cuddled up in each other's arms in a beautiful hotel room overlooking Union Square. We had to make the most of our time together because he was leaving to study abroad at the prestigious Oxford University in only a few months. I didn't want to think about it. I knew it would happen and it did. I called him to wish him a safe flight. We promised to video chat when he got to Oxford. And we did, and via that video call, he called it quits.
        As usually happens after a serious breakup, my world seemed to shatter around me. The security of having a relationship, that special bond you feel with someone else, how safe you feel wrapped up in their arms, feeling their heart beat and feeling yours beating in unison; it was all gone. At the time I was too busy crying on the phone to my two very best girlfriends. At the time I was too busy convincing my aunt not to call him up and ream him out for breaking my heart. At the time I wouldn't have thought that it was possibly the best thing that had ever happened to me.
        No that wasn't sarcasm. Really. It's the truth.
        Ask anyone that knows me and they'll tell you that my top two priorities in my life are a stable, successful relationship and a stable, successful career. I hate being single and I hate being bored. Nothing productive comes from being either of the two.
        But back to my now-ex. We'd agreed to stick it out for the long haul until he came home from the UK. Obviously, he changed his mind. But before that happened, we'd agreed that we would spend the holidays together when we could both take a break from school. We discussed him coming home and me going to England. As great as LA is, there's no way I would give up a trip to Europe. And so it began. We would begin our winter with a romantic rendezvous in London. From there we'd cross the channel to Paris. I want to see Amsterdam, he wants to see Rome. We agree that we'll do three countries. I got so excited. It would be my first trip to Europe. It would be an adventure. And who better to do it with than my boyfriend?
        So in a moment of irrational rage I decided that he was not going to take away my holidays abroad. No. I had my heart set on it. I would go alone. Christmas Day in a hotel room somewhere in Europe by myself? Fine. Screw him. I would still have an amazing time. I cried myself to sleep that night feeling the acid in my stomach rising to my throat.
        And as the days went by it started to seem less and less irrational. I started to think about it seriously: researching flight options, looking at how to get from country to country, and what I wanted to see. A week had gone by since we'd broken up and I'd started to make my peace with it. I'd also started to lay down some concrete plans. I'd decided on flights and destinations, I'd found the best deals on hotels, I was ready. Two weeks had gone by when I finally typed in my credit card number on the Air Canada page, booking my flight from Los Angeles to London via Toronto.
        Here I am, just over three weeks later, looking forward to the greatest adventure I've ever faced. It's crazy when you think about it: traveling Europe alone for three weeks. But that's when you think about it. I think it's totally and completely logical. I leave Los Angeles on December 14 and return on January 7. It's going to be crazy, it's going to be wild, it's going to be amazing and exciting and beautiful and scary and breathtaking all at once. I just hope I survive it and live to tell the tale to all of you.
        In the words of Jake Shears, "This is my life, this is my dream, this is my belief, it's my fantasy. I still haven't found what's going to set me free, this is my year of living dangerously."