Forty Years' Experience

Graduation 43 years ago

Graduation last year
Yesterday, my friend Nora sent me an old graduation photo that I had not previously seen. It is funny how our self-images were skewed. Needless to say, I am the petite brunette. My hair was once dark, thick and curly. I didn't really like my hair or my body because I wanted to be tall and blonde. Nora and I spent a lot of our teenage years bemoaning our shortcomings.

Both of us won scholarships and book prizes which also qualified us as "nerds". We were certain that we would be wallflowers for our whole lives. I wanted to write and to study French Literature and Nora wanted to be an artist. Back in 1970, in Richmond, we had no idea how to go about realizing these dreams.

It is funny because those "nerdy" girls did just that. Nora attended Emily Carr University of Art and Design when she was in her 50's and I graduated with honours from the Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne when I was 60.

Young women often do not know who they are or what they are capable of but as we age, we can better appreciate our strengths. I wouldn't mind being the petite brunette again (except without those little curls on the forehead).