Including half-brothers, step-brothers and various offspring of my parents’ former relationships, I am one of 16.
Because my parents were in the hotel business, we had live-in babysitters, and ever since I was about five, I felt alone. Living on the ocean, I chose between rigging up a big stick to catch a perch, or making a home in the forest, amongst the moss and ferns. Catching frogs, picking huckleberries, smoking a pilfered cigarette when I was five, or staying late after school to play marbles were all at my discretion. I was the boss of me.
My entrepreneurial skills developed when I stole a dozen daffodils from a neighbour, set them up on a wooden horse on the side of the road, and sold those flowers to a teacher walking home, for 10 cents.
Because of my independent streak, I lived on my own since I was 15. A keener by trade, I never skipped school, not even once, was President of Students’ Council (thank you, Eddie Bell for letting me be President while you took the Vice-President slot,) and graduated an honour student.
My big adventures continued, moving 37 times across Western Canada, and having 37 roommates, so far.
Which brings me to the present; living the dream in beautiful downtown Wonderland. My son recently flew the coop, and for the first time in my entire life, I find myself alone. The thing is, I am not used to the sounds of silence. Some say I should be accustomed to it by now, but au contraire mon frère, as my virtually virtual life now revolves around Netflix, Facebook and chips and dips.
Cutting myself off from the world, I push myself away from exciting Wendy-time and embark on living life only in my mind. Diverting from the path I’m destined to walk, focusing on Pinterest; glamper adventures, boho-chic fashions and rebuilding stuff from pallets.
It is lonely at the top. I am tired of cooking for a thrashing gang while eating dinners for one and freezing the rest. Why should I pump my own gas or open my own pickle jar?
I want the one that God chose for me, the one I have mostly waited patiently for, to call, make a date and show up, and finally, over and above all others, choose me. Can I get an Amen?
I’m not too sure what dreams lay ahead. I refuse to believe that this is all there is, but have no idea what I’m doing with the rest of my life. I know that God has a plan. I’ve read Robert Frost, who took the road less traveled and I am determined to step away from my solitary online life. Baby steps, right?
My new virtual reality must have no artificial intelligence; no limits. Turning off electronics and acquainting myself with portion control, in love, laughter and food, while maneuvering through the small gates and narrow roads of life? Bring it. And that will make all the difference.