The Fish Bowl

Sarah - Avon, Connecticut
Entered on June 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I’ve often looked into a fish bowl, watched the water swirl and ripple, and at the top, lap against the sides that enclosed it, but even more important to me than the water, or the fake castle, clamshell, or occasional mermaid in the fish bowl, were the fish. Every fish a different color, or shape, or size, each one special in its own way. I searched for them, and they were easy to find in their cage. I would watch them, at home, in hotel lobbies, or at aquariums. I have always wondered how they could stand swimming in circles, with the same surroundings, swimming by the same castle, oversized clam, or the same only slightly creepy, smiling mermaid. Besides that, how could they stand the same fish? What if one of the fish is mean? None of the other fish can do anything about it; they are still stuck with that fish forever. They are doomed to live the same climate controlled, sterilized existence.

That type of thing would never interest me. Good or bad, I want to be able to live for myself, make my home for myself, and if that means dealing with the creepy mermaid for a little while, then so be it. But at least I know that I can get rid of that mermaid someday. I want to be able to surround myself with whomever I choose

I know I could never be like the fish, who live in bowls; I could never live in the same place, or be constantly surrounded by the same people forever. I could never stay the exact way that I am. Every time I look into a fish bowl, I am different than the last time I looked. And I’m content with that. I could never allow myself to remain unchanged. Change is what makes me human, makes me unique. I have choice, and ambition which fish, swimming in fish bowls everywhere know nothing about.

In my own fish bowl at home, right now, is a single fish, a fish that doesn’t really like other fish, a fish that would rather live in solitude. So he swims, and swims, and swims, in the same bowl everyday by himself. I would never want to be this fish either. I want to be more than just some mindless drone that swims with all the other fish in circles. I want to swim in the ocean. I want to push myself outside of my comfort zone, outside my zone of perpetual certainty. Even if that means swimming upstream or floundering on the shore for a little while, I want to be able to try to achieve what I want. I’ve been the fish in the bowl before, and probably will be again, but I believe in swimming outside the fish bowl whenever I can, these are the moments truly worth living for.