Last weekend I took my daughter on a tour of my alma mater; she’s in grade 12 and deciding where she’d like to go for university.
I was excited to revisit the place I’d spent four years studying for my first degree. I hadn’t been there in over twenty years and I anticipated the memories.
Stepping onto campus after so long was surreal. The residences I’d lived in, so changed and yet so filled with memories of friendships and experiences. The old-book smell of the library with its quiet nooks took me back to hours spent researching and writing. The student union building where I’d picked up care packages from home, the student pub where I’d danced many nights away. So many things I’d expected to remember, but so many more I hadn’t.
The most unexpected part, though, was the healing. In my years of marriage, my ex had belittled my education. In my head I always knew he was wrong – it was never worthless – but a part of me had forgotten its value, had taken to heart the diminishing messages.
Returning to StFX reignited the significance of having had that experience. Of the learning and the value of an education and the importance of my degree. Of who I’ve become and all that I’ve done.
I hope you have experiences that renew your sense of self, that remind you of the value of the choices you’ve made. And that every now and then, you can take a step down memory lane.