When I was seventeen years old, I moved away from home to go to university in Victoria, British Columbia. Like most students in their first year, I was young and naïve, with next to nothing in terms of life experience. The shift from adolescence to adulthood involves considerable turbulence, both internal and external, and I was right in the eye of that storm. But I had no idea what was going on.
One evening, a dear friend of my family’s invited me to have dinner with her. This woman was a friend of my parents, and had known me from infancy. My guess is that she had decided that, as I was far from home, it might be an idea to check in on me. She was a practising nurse and visual artist.