They say that a goldfish will grow in relation to the body of water he lives in. This I cannot verify as our family never seemed to keep a goldfish alive long enough to grow. But I once worked for an organization that had released goldfish into a pond for children to scoop up. Years later the ones that got away that day still lived in that pond and it roiled with very, very large, uncomfortable goldfish.
It has almost been one full year that I’ve been seeking the next body of water to grow in. Throughout my life, I’ve been given multiple opportunities for growth and change. Sometimes I used those opportunities to grow, sometimes to avoid growth. At 22, 31, 52 and now at almost 60 years old, I am the fish that outgrew it’s space and moved to a new body of water–
Each time was scary, difficult, uncomfortable and exhilarating. Each time I stayed too long in what seemed to be a comfortable space. In reality, it was time to leave and grow again.
Some view this as brave and exciting, others judge it as foolhardy. It is both. Starting over is difficult whether you choose to do it, or life’s circumstances dictate you must. I’ve had the good fortune to have made choices based on opportunity for growth instead of circumstances forcing change. Many of my family and friends have been marked by tragedy and have proved to be so resilient. I learned by watching them that life is short and we can control some outcomes by forcing change, rather than being forced. That life is brief and beautiful and as Dory tells us “just keep swimming.”
I’m a little fish in a big pond again, I just have to remember that I love to swim.
I’m a little fish in a big pond again, but I do love to swim.
6 thoughts on “Just Keep Swimming”
Your post reminded me of “This Is Water,” DFW’s commencement speech. He, too, begins with a goldfish story, as sort of a warning that we sometimes lose track of the fact that we’re swimming at all. It’s easy, I’m afraid, to outgrow your space but lack the awareness to even recognize it. We’re too inured to habit that we often can’t see, as he says, “what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us.” My class just finished reading that, so the mantra “This is water” is fresh on my brain! I’m glad, my friend, that you are living proof that you need no reminder. XO
I ❤️ that comparison and that piece. Thank you for understanding.
Beautifully written, Ellyn R. And, Elizabeth, you are resiliency at it’s best. Love you, my friend!
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Resiliency has kept me afloat.
You are a resilient woman saying “yes” to opportunities and “I can do this” to challenges. Swim on!
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And I do love swimming 🏊♀️ ❤️