How To Make Friends: My Post-Grad Thoughts On Relationships That Count

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I used to have 8234839234 million “friends.” And I put quotation marks around the word “friends” because I use that term so lightly.

College was a dream for me. While the school I went to wasn’t perfect, I was too enamored with it to notice it’s flaws while I was there, so I danced through those four years with a big fat smile on my face. Sure, I had plenty of tough times in college, namely some difficulty adjusting to the academic rigor of the school I went to and a couple of ugly relationships, but otherwise I was the girl who’d hijack the high school guests at your dinner party to convince them to think about applying to the place I loved so much.

And one of the things that made my college experience so spectacular were all the friends I had. Don’t get me wrong – that makes me sound really popular or something, and we all know that I’m a huge dork and a really big ball of anxiety who sometimes cares way too much about what other people think. Not really a picture of “cool.”

But in college, it was way easier to make friends and maintain them. That is, if you have the definition of friendship that I did.  Continue reading “How To Make Friends: My Post-Grad Thoughts On Relationships That Count”

Finding Wholeness: How Meaningful Connections Change Lives

 

 

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These are some lovely folks I feel so privileged to know.

A few months ago, a girl named Austen Dunn died suddenly from a brain aneurism. Austen was the kind of person everyone wants to know and wants to become. She was quietly and brilliantly talented, incredibly warm, and accepting of everyone who came into her path. She thought deeply and loved hard. Four weeks before she passed, I grabbed lunch with Austen and her best friend in a small coffee shop on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where we talked about mental health and her aspirations to become a therapist. The world lost a wonderful human.

One of the things Austen was passionate about was the concept of communitas. You can watch a documentary she made on the idea here, and essentially the notion behind communitas is that shared experiences is how we build connections with others.

I’ve been thinking about communitas ever since Austen’s passing. I’ve been wondering what it means for me as I hold the people around me a little tighter in the wake of her death.What does connection mean? What does wholeness in our personal relationships and in ourselves look like? Continue reading “Finding Wholeness: How Meaningful Connections Change Lives”