Part 2: Work toward your initially fake goal unless a better idea comes along, which it won’t.
The more I thought about it, the better going to Europe sounded. Who cared that going at all was something I said on a whim? I thought of Mr. Brandmeyer, my high school English teacher, “How do I know what I have to say until you say it?” I said I was going to Europe. It wasn’t a lie, but until it came out of my mouth, I didn’t know it was true.
I chose Wales because the majority of the country speaks both Welsh and English, and the cost of living is cheaper and safer than Scotland, Ireland, and England. I figured I ought to try somewhere that is mostly or entirely English-speaking. After all, if I moved to France, learned French and ended up hating France, then I will have learned an entire language with no one to speak French with (Also I am a lazy American, but the other reason sounds better.)!
I did my research, crunched the numbers, and decided I would live in Wales for one year, beginning January of 2017.
I was also trying to figure out what to do once I got back from Wales. If I was still with The Artist (Arizona boyfriend), by then we would have been together for two years, so of course I would try to factor him in. When I got back if he still had a semester or two to go and/or planned on continuing to live in AZ, maybe I could make a home in Phoenix.
This is what I told myself:
It was a great idea! Phoenix was close to campus and a major city. Perfect for a budding writer in love with an artist who lived on a nearby college campus. I would meet new people, and gain new experiences. His friends would hopefully become mine. I would live where it was warm and cacti roamed free -or something like that.
Or maybe I would move back home. I’m from Southern California so it was likely The Artist would make plans to move back to the same place after graduation. Arizona isn’t exactly the hubbub for creating a career. Ah Southern California, the perfect place for a budding writer in love with an artist who lived nearby.
The beauty of this plan was that as a writer, I could live anywhere. The only reason I planned to return to the U.S. at all, aside from if I couldn’t make a life for myself abroad, was The Artist. He was nice, kind, sweet, thoughtful, and adored me.
I broke up with him on March third, exactly two months after we started dating. I know. I’m a monster. I’ll get into this another time, but for now you can just say I’m a monster, I’m okay with that.
I got through the final semester of my college experience, and was lucky enough to be asked for an interview by a school reporter. Apparently my story of going to Europe was the most interesting, or my photo shoot was the most entertaining of the bunch, and I got onto the front page of the school news magazine in the senior issue (15 minutes of fame: achieved).
All the while, I worked at both school and at the retirement home, and set money aside for my wanderlust excursion. It was my best prospect and I loved it!