Congrats, Shavers!

5 Aug

When I studied abroad I met a friend named Matt Shaver. He was actually the first person I met in London.

The first night of study abroad was probably one of the most terrifying and emotionally jarring nights of my life. I was exhausted and alone in a country I didn’t know full of people I didn’t know, left with my thoughts that, if something didn’t work out, I would be feeling this way for the next five months. Drawn-out panic attack probably explains it best.

Who else gets to spend spring break with their best friends in Athens?

Someone I went to Rowan with was also studying abroad at Kingston, and we spent a whole lot of international minutes on our cell phone figuring out how to meet for dinner (getting back from dinner wasn’t so easy: that was 3 $20 cab rides that took me to 3 mystery pubs but that is a different story.) When we got to dinner, at one of the most delicious restaurants in Kingston, Matt was there too. So there you have it, that’s how I met my friend Matt.

Everybody has those really great friends that are honest and fair and level-headed and also a totally great drinking buddy. That’s Matt in a nutshell. We could all get together and have a really crazy night out and then, when the time came to catch a 5 a.m. airplane to Greece, Matt would be there to push me through the airport without getting sick (true story with many embarrassing details spared.)

Matt has- well I guess had?- a girlfriend, Teracia, while we were in England. When I was there I didn’t think much of it. I mean, I knew they were serious and totally in love and perfect for each other, don’t get me wrong, but Matt made the distance look easy. At the time I wasn’t in any relationship and had never had anything worth caring about that much.  Then, one year later, my boyfriend Alex got on a plane for his own study abroad trip, and for about 24 hours it felt like someone was constantly stepping on my chest. I was just as sad as I was sitting in my little room in London one year before.

In the midst of my panic I did the only thing I could think of: I called Matt. I pretty much just girled out and cried, asking him how I got through this and if I would ever feel happy this semester. Being my usual selfish self I ignored the fact that Matt’s girlfriend had just packed up and left for her own semester abroad and just whined about myself. I don’t remember much of what he said because I was a complete wreck, but I knew he made me feel better because that’s what Matt would do. He’s always been like a big brother, not the one that would just punch your arm and call you something stupid if they saw you crying.

One day in England circa 2009 Matt and I were riding a bus to meet our friends for dinner and he was telling me about Teracia. He told me that in one year he wanted to be engaged to her. Fast forward to 2010 when I log onto Facebook and see the two of them in Mykonos, Greece with Teracia’s beautiful new engagement ring. I wasn’t surprised, Matt’s pretty true to his word, but I was so happy for them, and still am.

They are getting married today, and I’m heartbroken that I can’t be there. But, alas, I graduated during the recession with a journalism degree, so… yeah take a guess why I’m not there. If I was there, though, I would tell them all of what I just wrote down.

I would also tell them that the two of them helped teach me what love really is. The way Matt would light up when he talked about her, the way they only grew stronger after almost a year apart, that taught me how to love a person. I feel like my relationship is stronger because I saw true love in two young, amazing people in my life. Okay, now it’s time to stop posting before I start crying!

Congrats, Shavers. You deserve everything in the world (and everything on your registry)!!


One Response to “Congrats, Shavers!”

  1. Matt (not Shaver) August 5, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

    Can I just add that as I traveled around Europe with Matt, he talked to Teracia every night on skype – sometimes for hours! Now there will be a little extra bandwidth on the interwebs,

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