Last night James and I headed down to Toronto for a Comedy show put on by some of my friends from high school. I haven't seen them in years, maybe even since graduation. We were all in a performing arts theatre program in high school, which meant we spent one class (drama) together every day for four years. The result being good friendships, built on trust, laughter, a passion for the arts, and many indelible experiences.
They didn't know I was coming, and I know I will remember the surprised smile on their faces as they registered I was there. The years melted away in an instant. Sadly, the venue and event didn't allow for too much time to chat, but even to have been granted the time we were was a blessing.
Beyond comedy, both of my friends are departing next week to teach with MEI Academy. Two of our high school teachers (husband and wife) left our school when I was in grade 12 to start this small academy. Joe Mei was a history teacher, and he started a program whereby senior high school students could take a semester abroad: 3 credits, 3 months, 3 European countries. How inspiring would it be to learn about the Romans while sitting in the Colosseum, or to read a Shakespearean play aloud in the Rose Theatre. To be surrounded by others passionate about literature and history and travel and to be immersed in education in such a way. My friends were part of that first class all those years ago, and next week leave as teachers (both have participated as teachers numerous times in past years). The program has now grown to include students from across Canada and the US, and offers a whole host of countries, courses and experiences.
I admit my heart leapt and then fell hard - here is an opportunity that combines my very deepest loves into one brilliant experience. Even now I feel some tears welling that I cannot jet off with these old friends and be a part of this Academy. I have never felt the loss of working in film or theatre, but this one leaves my heart a little broken.
I have been re-inspired in my love for these things: literature, history, travel and education. I hope one day down the road I may indeed be able to participate in something of the like. Today I am reminded that our lives today are not set up by age 20, a continued pattern followed for 40 years. Each portion of life, each 10 or 5 or even 1 year can bring exciting change. My passions are stirred again, perhaps this time not to be settled until I'm living out my dreams.