What Lil Ms Fishy Taught Me

Years ago, a little fish in a tiny aquarium taught me one of the most valuable lessons I have ever learned in life.

No, it wasn’t Nemo. It was just a fish. A tiny little thing whose short life is condemned to be spent in a tiny aquarium for the entertainment of humanity. I don’t even know what kind of fish it was. We weren’t the best of pals. I spent my time ignoring Ms. Fishy and Ms. Fishy spent her time exploring her tinny tiny world.

A little background:

I didn’t own that fish nor the aquarium. My little cousin was their proud owner. I went home one day and found that little aquarium perched in one of the shelves. At first there were three, then, fish A and B died of causes I can’t remember. So, Ms Fishy inherited the aquarium and lived in peace for about a month.

Nope, not the actual fish in question. Just got this via Google images.

Then, disaster struck. For reasons I couldn’t fathom, my cousin decided to introduce a turtle into this little aquarium. Mr Torty seemed harmless enough. For weeks both him and Ms Fishy lived in peace. Well, that’s what I thought. I don’t talk turtle or fish so I can’t really be sure. The silently swam and explored their tiny world without an instance of violence.

One night, I was brushing my hair when I noticed a slight commotion inside the aquarium. I sat in front of this tiny thing and saw something really funny. I didn’t know that would be the last time i’ll be seeing Ms. Fishy.

Observing the aquarium, I noticed Ms Fishy picking a pebble with its mouth and swimming straight to the glass. In my opinion, she was desperately trying to break the glass. She repeated it over and over. Meanwhile, Mr Torty was silently gliding in the background. I sat there amused, wondering what possessed this creature to attempt something akin to prison break.

The next morning, I saw Ms Fishy again swimming wildly inside the aquarium, this time she has Mr Torty following her closely. In that tiny aquarium, I can only imagine this was their version of a car chase. I don’t talk fish and I know a fish is not a sentient being but in that few precious seconds, I saw desperation. She was fleeing for her life.

What I thought was amusing turned into horror when I saw Mr Torty opened its mouth and in one gulp, swallowed Ms Fishy whole. Just like that, she was gone. Fins and all. I don’t know if I’m going to laugh or cry.

Fastforward to the present:

Years after witnessing that gruesome murder of Ms Fishy, I still find myself thinking of that fateful day. Unconsciously, this seemingly unremarkable event has affected me. It was only recently that I realized that implications of that tragic day.

I realized that sometimes we dismiss people as stupid or idiotic based on their actions that doesn’t make any sense to us. We think they’re funny but sometimes we don’t realize that they may just be desperate. We don’t know the stories behind their actions and yet we are so quick to call them idiots. Perhaps they are. But perhaps they just don’t know what else to do.

This incident taught me to be openminded. It taught me to put myself in another person’s shoe before I judge them. It taught me that it is important to know the story behind the action, to see all sides of the story before deciding to judge someone.

Sometimes, probably unconsciously, we’re also like fishes desperately banging at the proverbial glass trying to break free. Some people judge us and find our actions irrational or insane without really knowing the depths of our desperation. They see us swim peacefully with the current but they don’t see the true meanings of our actions. Things are not always what they seem.

I know I’ll keep the memory of that day forever. Afterall, that little fish gave up her life to teach me that lesson.

Love is stupid.

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They say that the definition of stupid is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I think falling in love fits the definition.

I find that we sometimes fall in love in the most inconvenient times and in the most unlikely places. We see a likely candidate for our affection then we get the requisite butterflies in the stomach, the sweaty palms, the jittery-flighty feeling and moments of temporary insanity. Your heart starts to beat faster than normal, like it’s trying to finish a marathon on its own. You find yourself smiling at the most mundane of things and most often appears like an idiot to everyone else.

Over the course of time you start to think of the possibilities. You entertain the idea of being with this someone though at this point neither you nor the other party has gotten to the point of acknowledging these possibilities. There is a possibility, a rather big one, that the object of your affection may not exactly be on the same page as you (yet, let’s not be too harsh) in this matter. You look at each other but you can’t be sure if you are both thinking of the same thing. That is the risk of course. All the same, you continue to harbor the feelings hoping that one day it will be requited.

At some point it crosses your mind that there might be no future between you two. You convince yourself that there is hope but a part of you already thinks that is not possible. You came too late. You are leaving too soon. Reasons and excuses. Soon, you both go on your separate ways. You chose a different road but at the back of your mind you find yourself hoping that someday your paths will cross again. Although there is also a part of you that wishes you don’t meet again. What’s the point? You ask yourself.

How many times have you wished that you can choose who to like and who to love? If you can truly choose who to love, would you have taken this path? Truth is, no matter how rational we pride ourselves to be, love is an emotion we cannot control or dictate. We have our ideals but when it comes down to it, we find ourselves falling for people we didn’t expect to like. You fall in love just like that. One moment you don’t have a care in the world and the next you just realize you’ve been hit. What is frustrating about it is that, no matter how much you try to be rational about it, you end up doing the stupid things you promised yourself you will never do.

Love is a risk. Each time you fall, you risk getting hurt. Unlike bruises and broken bones, love leaves an injury almost invisible to the naked eye. The wounds will heal and you carry the scar with you forever. Sometimes, the wounds just remain as wounds. The world moves on and so should you, at least you convince yourself that you have. But sometimes the wound keeps on bleeding and you just get used to the pain.

Sometimes you fall in love again. Sometimes history repeats itself. And sometimes you write a new story.

They say stupid is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Love is stupid. It is a good kind of stupid. It is the kind of stupid that makes you wake up in the mornig with a smile on your face. It is the kind that paints the world in brighter hues. It is the kind of stupid that we can keep on doing over and over, each time learning and hoping. It is the kind of stupid that makes life worth living.

Love is stupid. Sometimes, I think we all are.