Teach a man to fish…

Last night I opened my graduation present from my parents. A Garmin! Never was there ever a more appropriate gift – and just in time for my mid-month travels to Chicago! I already mapped out the distance between my two Chicago friends. 16 minutes separates them. It’s a small world after all! I fully intend on keeping the GPS device on my hip at all times. This way, I figure, I can get lost on purpose. I enjoy getting lost but on occasion, it gets a little frustrating when I take myself 3 hours out of the way. This way I can better manage the time I spent lost.

I’ve been thinking lately about my quest for spontaneity. I am, at this point, probably the most spontaneous I have ever been. It’s true. I have side-stepped the current that sweeps everyone home or toward a predefined career. I have plans to travel. I have made trips back and forth between the east side and the west side of the state on nothing more than a whim. I jump at opportunities I would’ve previously over thought like staying a night in Kalamazoo, couch surfing to spend an extra day among friends, taking a spur of the moment road trip with a friend, planning a trip to South Carolina or a Michigan beer tour on a week’s notice. …It’s freeing in a way, not over thinking. And it’s strange to think that not all people can appreciate how far I’ve come.

My mom describes me as a “homebody.” While growing up, I hated spending the night at other people’s houses; you could always find me wrapped up in my mom’s long skirts; I would cry and cry when she dropped me off at school. Even looking back as recently as this summer and my travel abroad, I feel like I spent too much time missing home. I had a great time, but I think I held myself back from fully appreciating my time there this summer. I was too concerned with what I was missing out on back home. I missed out on a lot of memories when I opted to take my internships, as well. For a long time, I regretted accepting my first internship because I came back to a different friend dynamic and conversations I wasn’t a part of – I was so caught up with what I had missed that I failed to appreciate what I had gained. I think my goal of embracing the now and living spontaneously has really helped me to get over that. When I’m spontaneous, I don’t sit down to weigh the pros and cons. I make a decision and enjoy it. It’s a simple thing, really, but it’s made a world of difference in my life. It’s a more peaceful way to live, without all that worry or regret.

I’ve decided within the past week that I want to go fishing. When I was in first or second grade, our class took a trip to a trout farm. I cried and refused to participate. The boys kept running up and kicking the buckets of water holding the bloody fish just to watch them flop around. It turned my stomach. I spent the whole time defending the buckets and chasing off the rapscallions. Afterwards, our teacher mandated that we write thank you notes. My mom recalls that mine went something like this:

Dear Trout Farm Workers,

Thank you for letting us come to the trout farm, but I think it’s very cruel what you do.



If someone had mentored me early on, I could’ve been a great PETA activist. But instead, just shy of 23 years old, I have decided that I want to fish. My stipulation is that I won’t catch and release – some people say that’s humane but I don’t see how piercing something and sending it wounded back into the waters is humane – instead I will eat what I catch. I eat meat anyway so it’s not like I’m doing any more harm by fishing than I would going to the grocery store. AND it should be noted that I will NEVER go to a trout farm to fish. Those memories still haunt me. But that’s my new goal. Fishing. I feel like it’s a worthy goal. I’m also aware that I may hate the experience and cry when I catch the fish. I’ll never know if I don’t try. Hey, you never know – maybe it’ll turn me into a vegetarian!

By the way, good news regarding my April 29th post!

One response to “Teach a man to fish…”

  1. I recollect the instructional part of the trip to the trout farm as going fine, until you realized the fish you ate didn’t come breaded in sticks, and in a box. All the other children were excited to fish the pond, but when you saw the fish bleeding, you became almost hysterical, pleading with your friends not to do this awful thing, trying to set them free, refusing to have anything to do with it, asking the teacher how she could take you to such a cruel place. Had I not been a room mom and driving a van load of children, I’m sure they would have asked me to remove you from the premises. You were so tender hearted, we couldn’t eat fish sticks for months.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: