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.
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.
I grew up in the Protestant church, so I heard a lot of messages about marriage from an early age. Whether subliminal or direct, my family members, friends, and leaders taught me lots of things about what a healthy marriage should look like and how I should prepare myself to be in one.
I don’t really subscribe to most of the things I was taught about marriage anymore. There are many reasons for this and I won’t get into it all right now. But the main message I want to discuss today is the idea that I should be preparing myself for the person I would marry.
Let me start this off by saying that I love my boyfriend and dating him is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. He makes me happier than anything, and he is my very best friend. I wouldn’t trade our relationship for the world.