Back in college, I had a pretty tight group of friends.
We took classes together and studied together, we went to performances and shows to support one another, we stayed up late at night discussing politics and talking about what we hoped we'd do in the world.
We were idealists and we were dreamers.
We believed that we could go out into the world and do and become something and someone that mattered.
Not because we were entitled and believed we should be able to do these things, but simply because it never dawned on us that we wouldn't be able to do what we put our minds and hearts to.
The commitment and inspiration with which we left our college years propelled us into the futures that we're now living.
My senior year of college was my favorite of these years.
I felt more confident with who I was as a person, and I was able to enjoy my friends more completely because I was starting to actually like myself.
That year, during a late-night practice session (I lived in practice rooms for much of my four years- they're the rooms where I wrote my first songs!) my friend Nathan knocked on the door.
He needed to talk to me.
He had something important to tell me.
I braced myself.
I always brace myself in these situations. I think it's human nature, but even though I find myself an optimistic person- when a conversation begins with, 'we need to talk' or, 'I need to tell you something', I immediately assume the worst.
So, I braced myself.
'I need to tell you that I'm gay', Nathan said.
To which I simply replied, 'I know.'
And with huge smiles and looks of relief, we hugged, and I sang him my newest song. He knew me and I knew him better in that moment than we had before.
We were dreamers.
Nathan always believed that I'd 'make it' as a musician. He never hesitated to tell me so.
And I'm making it. And he never misses a chance to tell me that he's proud of me.
With this particular group of friends, during our many late night talks between rum & coke refills, and Oreo/ Dorito snack sessions, the topic of marriage and family would come up from time to time.
None of us were in serious relationships, so we all spoke in hypotheticals...
What type of person we'd love one day.
If and when we'd ever have kids.
What kinds of jobs we'd have.
Where we'd travel.
We were dreamers.
In all these conversations, it never occurred to me that Nathan didn't have the same rights at the time.
We could all hypothesize about getting married someday, but as a straight person, my hypothetical was actually legally possible. His was not.
When you're not the one lacking in rights, you tend to forget there's a lack of equality.
Nathan has a way with words. He always has. He's a talented writer, with beautiful things to say, and is always equipped with the right words and tools to say these beautiful things.
Yesterday I was privileged enough to hear these words in action as he pledged to honor, love and cherish his, now husband, Joe.
We're still dreamers, and yesterday, my friend's dream came true.
It was an incredible moment to be in a room overflowing with so much love.
At one point during the ceremony I was struck by the fact that not too long ago, this marriage was not considered valid.
Not that long ago, Nathan felt scared to tell me who he truly was. He wasn't afraid of me, but he had grown up in a world where he knew that he needed to guard a part of himself.
As we were dancing last night, I took a few breaks to hit up the dessert table, refill my drink (no longer rum & coke), and rest my feet.
At one point, I looked over and saw everyone dancing. I couldn't stop the tears at the beautiful sight of so many loving friends dancing together.
There were couples of all different shapes, sizes, colors, and genders. There were amazing dancers, and there were people who cannot find the beat no matter how hard they try. Most of all- there was love. All different kinds of love between all different kinds of people, and it was the main focus of the celebration.
We celebrated love because we can.
And because we must.
This morning as we said our goodbyes, I told Nathan the best marriage advice that I had.
'Your marriage is perfect.'
He laughed because this sounds hefty. And a little ridiculous. People usually say the opposite- 'no marriage is perfect'. I think people say that to take the pressure off of the partnership.
And I guess I should qualify my statement:
'Your marriage is perfect...for you.'
The ups and downs. The fears and insecurities. The hilarious stories and moments full of side-splitting laughter. These are what make a perfect marriage.
These moments are yours and no one else's.
This marriage is yours and no one else's.
In a world of social media and reality tv, it can be easy to compare yourself to other people. To compare your marriage to other marriages.
If you can avoid that, and remember that your marriage is perfect...for you, it truly will be.
Yesterday, my friend married his love, and I'm so happy for him and his perfect marriage.
May our dreams forever continue.