So, I am a fish. I was born a common fish, like many other fish in the sea. I was raised to be a fish, to swim, to avoid hooks, and distinguish bad guys from good guys. Nothing special. Except…I had one wish. To climb the tree, and here is my story. The more other fish tried to convince me that my idea was stupid, the more they tried to reason with me telling me, “You will never make it” , “Fish cannot survive outside, you cannot breathe out of the water” , “You will end up as a free lunch for the birds”, the more I was determined to do it.
One day I decided to swim off to the shore, get outside crawl to the tree and climb it. So what if I was born a fish? There must be a way. I swam fast and jumped out onto the beach. Hot stones burned my fish skin, and I was suffocating. True, fish cannot breathe outside the water, not for long at least. So I rolled back into the sea. Other fish watched me in disbelief from a safe distance. They came to see me fail. And they saw me fail, at least this time. The next day, I did the same. They thought me suicidal, crazy, a bad example for their kids. They started to avoid me, even my friends started to become a bit aloof. I persisted, and every day I managed to stay out longer and longer. From rolling on the hot stones my skin became thicker, and my fins got stronger, as I had to push myself if I wanted to move outside.
After a while I managed to push myself all the way to the tree. It was a pine tree, to be specific. My daily efforts were observed by the birds. They also thought that something must be wrong with me; probably too much methane in the sea, and fish have this new disease called “Fish Madness.” They kept away, and after a while they started to ignore me. There were plenty other common “healthy” fish in the sea to eat. Who would like that freaky one? Plus, her condition could be something contagious. I was totally alone. The other fish rejected me as a suicidal lunatic, and the birds thought I was ill and not even worth eating.
I had my peace, so I could keep going further with my goal. Being alone is good if you have a higher goal, it is good even if you don’t have it. There is nobody to discourage you, nobody’s opinion to interfere with your intentions. Your intentions are purely yours. Your mistakes are also purely yours. Basically all your shit is purely yours. That is what freedom is all about. I guess you can be free when nobody wants you and you learn to not give a rat’s ass about it. No one to hang out with, but also no one to eat you.
My new abilities to breathe outside and to crawl on the beach opened an entirely new world, one that no other fish had ever experienced before. Maybe only those poor guys that ended as a dinner. A few minutes before they passed convinced that they are fish and can’t breathe outside. I saw sunsets, and dawns, waves on the surface of the sea, I saw blue sky and felt the rain, thunders and storms. I heard the sounds of the insects (I actually figured out that they ARE live creatures, contrary to what I thought before, as I have seen them only dead, drowned on the bottom of the sea).
As my fins became stronger, I managed one day to climb to the first branches of that pine tree. I was the luckiest fishy fish alive. And yes, I was on the tree and alive. I made it! When my fellow fish saw me standing on the branch and enjoying the view, they gathered and looked in awe. Nobody thought I was crazy any more. They even brought their kids to see me to set an example. I was no longer a looney, crazy fish; I was “The fish who climbed the tree”, the first one in history. It was for sure a big step for fish, it left a mark in the history of fish, proof that evolution works if you are ready to leave your comfort zone and dare to take challenges, and if you dare to accept loneliness as your friend.
The question was, what did it mean for me? Yes, I accomplished my goals. I spat on all the limitations of being born as a common blue fish. I developed my lungs so that they could function outside. My fins became so strong that they deserve claws, my skin is that thick that it can stand the sun and the wind. But …Could I go back to being a common fish? Did my experience change me so much that I would be able to fit back into something that I have always been taking for granted, and that was determined by my birth? Did my success turn me into a fish freak? Sort of, yes. I was a different kind of common fish now. Coming back to the sea was a challenge, almost equal to adjusting to life outside the sea. I almost drowned when I first dived into what before was my common environment. I was cold being in the sea all the time, as my skin and blood changed.
This time I had to learn how to be fish again, and this time it was my own choice. I found out that being a fish is as hard as climbing a tree. So, I am a fish. I was born a common fish like many other fish in the sea. It’s just that I am The Fish who had to climb that damn tree to discover how to be fish.