Last Saturday, I moved out of the convent. Moving out was bitersweet. One or two of them cried when they hugged me goodbye. The nuns sure know how to make a person feel loved. They put The Sound of Music record on and sang me the “So Long, Farewell” song. Then they presented me with a picture book that has notes from each sister, a giant container of chocolate chip cookies (my favorite), a big cookie cake, these chocolate truffles they keep around that I adore, and some plastic ice cream bubble blowers. They said the bubbles were because I can’t have real ice cream (due to the dairy allergy I discovered I had while living with them).
Three of the younger ones (when I say younger, I mean: 79 & 80) hung around the door to say final goodbyes when I left the building for the last time. One of them made a joke that they aren’t used to people leaving the retirement home feet-first. As I hopped in the truck with my dad, they handed me a white napkin. They said when they were young nuns, if someone very important was leaving the convent, they waved white flags. One of the jokesters made sure to let me know she was never important enough to have white flags waved at her. They used the white napkins as flags, waving them at me and instructing me to wave mine as we drove away. It’s another example of how they exemplify making the little gestures have great meaning. It will forever stick with me as a moment I felt overwhelmingly loved.
I went out for beer with my best friend from growing up and some of her family. We went to a small town festival. People were filling my cup, teasing me that getting out of the convent was like getting out of prison, encouraging me to drink more. My friend’s cousin told me my blog makes her uncomfortable, because it’s too confessional. I laughed, because I write this for an audience. People ranging from my mom, to my grandma, to former bosses and teachers have told me they read this. Confessional memoir is the genre I write in most, but I don’t treat this blog as art. Because of that, I don’t take risks I might otherwise take in my writing. There’s certain topics I don’t even address on here to keep it reader friendly. My book will be much more intimate. Guess it’s good to know I keep it raw 🙂