I am about to write the most random blog entry, ever. You have been warned.
While attempting to stave off heat-induced insanity, I found myself looking at random pictures on Facebook and saw that a friend-of-a-friend had a picture of two wolves as her profile picture. For whatever reason, this just totally brought me back to my nerdy middle school days when one of my best friends, “Dragon” and I used to belong to an online “wolf pack” on Neopets where we role-played as wolves. This was way back in 1999 – 2002, so before the whole “furry” (NSFW) thing was, well a thing; we were just a couple of nerdy kids killing our copious amounts of free time (and building gnarly writing skills, though we didn’t know it at the time) by pretending to be wolves. Keep in mind, this was back in the days before MMORPGs reached their current popularity: we were expressing ourselves and our desire for adventure as best we knew how at the time. (Fun fact: I am now a fairly decent writer, if I may say so myself, and Dragon is an avid World of Warcraft player. I guess no one should be surprised about either of those things.)
As silly as it is, spending countless hot summer days in my family’s computer room, typing away and connecting with random people over a shared love of fantasy, majestic wildlife, and escapism are some of the best memories of my “tween” years. I still find wolves to be some of the most breathtaking and awe-inspiring animals on the planet, but that magical, childlike way of viewing them, and life in general is pretty much gone. As a shy, socially-awkward 12-year-old, there was something so spellbinding about stepping outside of my little suburban life and losing myself in the pictures and writings of my fellow nerds and transporting myself away from my silly worries about whether I’d get in trouble for convincing my little brother that, yes, there was in fact a monster under his bed and, yes, it did in fact want to eat him. Utilizing my imagination to end up on some snow-covered tundra, surrounded by friends and “littermates” as we called ourselves was nothing short of blissful. (Interesting factoid: I’m actually still friends with some of these people on Facebook, ten years after first meeting them on the interwebs, but never having met up in person. Crazy, huh?)
Ten years later at the ripe old age of 22, I really don’t think I’d get the same enjoyment out of partaking in such a time-consuming activity that really wouldn’t “move me toward any of my goals.” Honestly, the closest I ever get to even really thinking about wolves anymore is listening to the song “Howl” by Florence and the Machine. But honestly, that is beyond okay with me; I’m just really happy to have those super-nerdy, super-fun memories left over from days gone by.