|This is the graphic I usually use when|
I write about being a non-trad. I've
used it for so long I can't remember
where I got it.
So it's been on my mind the past couple of months that not only did I do college weird, but I also made it weird for others. I don't know why I didn't think about this before now. I probably should have figured it out, given the number of questions about long-term relationships that I used to field on a daily basis, or the time one of my classmates said during a TV-centered conversation, "You watch Friends? But that's our parents' show!" and I had to lie down.
But obviously Peak Weird (God, please let this be the peak!) for my college friends was reached a couple of months ago, when the post-college whirl of engagements and weddings was interrupted by the news that one of their classmates had lost a spouse. When so many of my young friends are still undecided about whether a long-term commitment to one person is even something they're interested in, this happens.
And I would be remiss if I didn't give my UT friends all the credit and kudos in the world, because the outpouring of support and kindness I've received from them is just as real and heartfelt and thoughtful and appreciated as it has been from every other group of friends I've managed to collect. Some of them came to the funeral. Some sent cards. One of them took the time to find just the right poem that she thought would lift my spirits (it did). All of them have sent text messages or Facebook messages or phone calls that have brightened my day and reminded me of just how blessed I have been in this chapter of my life, the chapter called "college," the one I'm finally leaving behind after this weekend.
But the point is, you're not supposed to be summoned to a classmate's spouse's funeral a couple years after graduating college. That's just not the way it's meant to be... and yet it happens. And while I would rather have not been non-traditional in this particular sense, had I been given the choice, I don't think I'd trade all the other senses of the word for anything.