Jordan called me last week to let me know that she and Dustin were no longer engaged and she was moving out. She referred to the relationship as three years wasted.
Of course I argued the point with her. Those were not wasted years, even if they didn't end in a marriage.
She learned a lot about friendship with a male, which is how the relationship began. She learned a lot about what it means to work through problems. She knows she can be a loving person, a faithful partner who can stick with him even through problems, and what it takes to end a loving relationship on both their parts. In those three years she's also learned a lot about herself. She's learned her value, with her self-esteem growing as she learned what she can accomplish - and demand - on a job, at school, and in a relationship, rather than accepting what others in her life say about her. She finally grew from drifting through school just because college was a desirable thing, to finding her goal for her life and career and setting a plan to carry through. It is probably one of the things pulling her and Dustin apart as it will create some geographical distances as she follows her dream which is not going where he sees himself going. And revealed in a further conversation, she has learned she can remain a friend even after the romantic break-up.
I could only hope that everybody's wasted years" could prove so useful.
By the way, her life goal? She wants to become a vet, specializing on her very favorite animal, the elephant. She's working to transfer to the U, and has sorted through internship programs to find one in Alabama that actually allows her to work with the animals rather than pushing paperwork in an office. She presumes there will likely be time spent in Thailand to get the specialized expertise with elephants needed, someplace Dustin has no desire to follow. We've discussed math requirements, and I've suggested career-wise that she might consider a more generalized exotic animal veterinary practice.
I'm rooting for her.