It’s 2 a.m. and I can’t sleep. Guess you’ll just have to listen to me ramble about a nun I used to know

It’s 2 a.m. and I can’t sleep. Guess you’ll just have to listen to me ramble about a nun I used to know

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I recently learned about a nun that I knew when I was 14 years old. Before I go on, know that I’m perfectly aware that most people can’t claim to have ever “known a nun”. Unless you went to a school taught by the sistas, as I did. Then you’re just like me: a toss between highly privileged and mildly tainted.

At the time, this particular nun – we’ll call her Sister Anne – was the cookie cut-out of every other nun who walked the mysterious hallways of an alien life path that was completely beyond my understanding.

Confession: Back then I didn’t see nuns as “women”. Sitting on the edge of hormonal eruption and the discovery of boys, how could I possibly make the connection between my female, pro-creation role models and those who had chosen to hide their femininity behind an unflattering commitment that no one talked about, but everyone knew about?

So what’s so special about this particular nun? Although I remember her well, I never knew anything about her except that she wasn’t particularly fond of giggling girls who liked to run through school halls when they thought no one was looking.

Which is why I was a little shocked to find out recently that the reason why Sister Anne became a nun in the first place was because she was heartbroken over a man. (And here I thought nuns were born . . . nunish.)

And so since it has become my lot in life to lie awake at 2 a.m. and contemplate the importance of navel fluff, it should come as no surprise that the hamster has decided to jump on this as a great middle of the night, food-for-thought snack.

My first reaction to this woman’s long-ago life decision makes me breath a heavy sigh. Can you imagine the level of despair that Sister Anne – before she became “Sister Anne” – must have endured to make her settle in the eye of a stormy heartbreak and become a nun?

I think I speak for everyone when I say that we’ve all suffered from a disappointing relationship at one time or another. It’s probably a right of passage on some level. But to be so affected that it makes a nun out of you? Sister Anne must have loved so deeply for her to make sure that the only way she was ever going to stay true to her own glass heart was to make a drastic, life-altering commitment to the church.

I have to ask myself: Is this lack of understanding based on my own inability (or even failure) to love that deeply?

The truth is that I know nothing of the ways of the nun lifestyle. All I know for sure is that they abstain from having romantic relationships – and therefore sex – and that they sometimes drink alcohol. (In my mind this makes it a little less daunting. Possibly.)

Even though I’ve never experienced it myself, I’ve always believed (or possibly just hoped) that true love is our ultimate purpose. Which is a great thing to believe in (in a fairy tale kind of way) but what does it mean for women like Sister Anne?

The very fact that she became a nun BECAUSE of love makes me ask a truckload of questions.

Did she ever regret her decision to become a nun?

Would she have become a nun if this man hadn’t hurt her so deeply?

Would she have married him and always wondered if she’d missed her calling?

What if he called her back AFTER she had become a nun?

OMG the questions!!!

And since the night is so very long when you can’t sleep, the next items to enter the hamster’s cage are thoughts about commitment and devotion.

This nun, who's in her 80s today, makes me realize how we lack in conviction in today's world. Somehow we’ve managed to evolve into a throw-away mentality. Sadly, this is the foundation of our Millennium society.

Technology, appliances and anything with a motor in it – all industrialized for our convenience – have empowered us with a capacity to both save and waste time.

And OMG what am I saying??? I really need to figure out a way to turn off the hamster because now I’m just rambling.

PS. The views and opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the hamster at 2 a.m. and may not represent or reflect the views or opinions of the writer during the day. Or something.

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