Happy Day to you, awesome readers!
Spoiler alert: I’m about to break my own rule. If you know me in real life, this should come as no surprise.
In my last post (link in the wrap-up section below because SATURDAY), I said that I wasn’t allowed to write about anything except the progress of my book for the next two weeks. It’s a self-imposed writing challenge and I’ve decided to bring you along for the journey because I’m not sure I can do it by myself.
Except that right now I’m at an event that conceives past with present only to give birth to a sense of nostalgia that is screaming at me. So I’ve left the event to sit outside an office where I was only too happy to leave my purse and computer when I got here except that now the damn door is locked so I’m writing this from my phone.
True story. Here’s proof.
Looking into the eyes of nostalgia
Once upon a long time ago I went to an all-girls school run by nuns. Mostly because my mother didn’t know what to do with me. I didn’t want to go to this school. To make a long story short, I fought, I cried, I argued. I did everything not to go to this school. My mother won and for two years – grades 8 and 9 – I was a student at Queen of Angels Academy, a school founded by the Congregation of the Sister’s of Ste. Anne in 1888.
There were nuns. There were uniforms. There were rules. There were no boys. So you can imagine the hell this private school nonsense must have been.
The truth is they were the best two years of my high school life. The support and encouragement from the teachers came from a place of pure sincerity and genuine love for all the girls.
But since all good things must come to an end, it was announced earlier this year that Queen of Angels Academy is closing, as we know it. As we remember it.
All that to say that the event I mentioned is the farewell reunion. Tonight the old halls of this school are being walked for the very last time by graduating women and their teachers – from every generation. Some of the eyes here tonight are bright and naïve, with a fervent hunger for life as yet to be experienced. Others have sunken into hollowed faces – the wise and remembered. It is the hearts that belong to these eyes that laid the foundation of a sisters forever spirit. A spirit that will live long after this beautiful building, known to us as Queen of Angels Academy, transforms into other purposes.
As I walk around this school tonight, letting myself get tangled up by the past and the present, I’m remembering that despite the many years since I was of high school age, I’m still me. Hopefully a little wiser. Definitely a lot busier. But in essence, still me.
This became obvious when one of my best friends from my years here and I decided to take our own tour. Like ninjas, we bypassed security and wandered up to the fourth floor where we were never allowed because at the time of our attendance, the fourth floor – the forbidden floor – was where the nuns lived.
Although sneaking up there was great and something I can now cross off my rebel bucket list, walking where the memories still live in my mind has had the most impact of all . . .
The bathroom where a teacher caught me dabbing the adolescent oil from my face and thinking I was crying and then telling me that I’m lucky because oily skin means I’ll never wrinkle. (I loved that teacher but with all due respect, um yeah.)
The gym where I always wondered why there were so many damn lines on the floor.
The Moose Room. Because that moose is known to possibly every generation of girls that has ever learned, laughed, cried, questioned, made a friend, shared a secret, lost and discovered herself within these walls.
The lunch room, where we ate and talked. Mostly talked.
The many fairytale passages – enchanting and mysterious – that inspired a sense of being special and privileged; possibly how princesses feel without the wicked stepmothers.
The homeroom teacher that encouraged me and believed in me – even when I didn’t believe in myself.
In other news, it’s time for the weekly wrap-up!
That’s it for this week.
See y’all next week! (Or possibly tomorrow.)