Small Fish, Big Fish

April - Scottsdale, Arizona
Entered on September 19, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

There is a tug on the string. With a sharp yank, I quickly reel in my third fish as the rush of excitement fills me once again. My grandpa and I were at the community lake to catch some fish that day. I was excited, but when I went home that day, my older brother told me how those fish were nothing. They were just easy catches that men put in the community lake for little girl’s to easily catch. There are huge fish that are much harder to catch, my brother told me. He was referring to the massive shark-like red fish averaging around 30-inches that could slap you hard with one flap of its tail. Although hesitant, he asked me if I would like to join him the next time he went to the Gulf of Mexico at Port Aransas, Texas.

Before we initially went, he continuously warned me about the dangers of fishing there. The long drive, the cuts on my feet from the 4000-feet moss-encrusted rock jetty, and waiting endless hours drenched in ocean water and air. But in the end, they were all worth it. The hardships were nothing compared to the great prize- the wild 27-inch red drum slamming its body around in my ice cooler.

Likewise in life, you can either take the short path of rushed instant gratification, or the long, fruitful path with patience and perseverance. I believe in practicing patience. It is the ability to withstand the hardships, anxiety, or the numerous bumps in the road while waiting for the outcome of something. I found that in my life, many things turn out better when I do practice patience. It may be simple things like waiting in line at the grocery store, or sitting through traffic during rush hour. Or it may be more important things, like waiting for an argument to cool down, or waiting for time to heal a wound. Most of the greatest things in life don’t happen overnight, and like a college degree, brighter future, or personal healing, they need a little extra time and effort devoted towards them.

That night of the fishing adventure, the gigantic fish had been sliced into sushi, cooked into soup, and fried into crispy, melting fish. I saw how great the end product was from it. It was certainly more than the “free” fish from the community lake! What that fishing adventure taught me at a young age still bears its importance today. I learned that every person on the jetty understands the concept behind patience, and that the best things in life come in time. With that little bit of extra time, things can be really good.