‘I’m alone on an island.’
‘What did you bring?’ my brain asks.
‘The internet, a high stack of paperbacks and a cat.’ I think for a second. ‘It’s a nice cat though.’
When confronted with the premise of ‘if you were stranded on a desert island, what would you bring?’ I always picture sun. And sand, lots of warm sand. This desert island, fictional in this hypothetical situation, is always pleasant. With a few dotted palm trees and definitely nothing wild and angry waiting to pounce out of the tree line... or the sea…
Now imagine that this island is in fact surrounded by shark infested waters. And you aren’t sure what’s grunting and growling behind the tree line, but you know for certain you don’t want to find out. You have, however, one place to hide. It keeps sharks and other creatures at bay, you’re sheltered and safe, at least until you need another meal or water.
In time you learn to avoid the sharks, live amongst the other creatures on the island, though still try your best not to look at them directly. You’re still alone on the island, still not quite happy about the situation, but you’re a survivor. For this alone you deserve a pat on the back, a high five or some such other congratulatory gesture.
You won’t be getting that.
Have you forgotten you’re alone on an island?
But, hey, don’t let yourself feel down. Even though, let’s be honest, you have every reason to. It could be worse though, you brought all that great stuff, remember? The books, the cat? And, importantly, the internet.
Now I want you to imagine this scenario knowing that you’re at least 50% to blame for being stranded on this forsaken island. The other percentage is circumstance, life and how things turn out. And just between you and me, you could get off the island at any point. It’d be hard, but it is achievable. I want you to imagine this as best you can, the creatures, the infested waters, the solitude, the cat which has survived up until now but that one day you might just have to eat rather than face the things beyond your shelter…
That there, that situation, that’s where I am, welcome to my life.