September 26, 2013- a Year anniversary in the Pursuit

A year ago today, I had very little.  I was resuming my hobby, but ever so slowly.  I was disorganized and a bit hopeless and also unrealistic in my ambitions.

Let’s start from a less familiar perspective, shall we?  You may know me, but you might not.

I had myself a fish at a young age.  A goldfish in a bowl.  Or a genie in a bottle, whichever.  It wasn’t the most fascinating creature to me.  And I was also a third grader.  It had an uneventful life…and died at two years of age from a temperature shock while the caretaker performed a water change.  The caretaker wasn’t really me at the time.   But truthfully, it was dying long before.  My other fish was a betta and it lead a similar life.  It was almost neglect to leave them in a bowl day in and day out…and feed scarcely.  But for a long neglected organism type….nobody cries animal abuse.  Nobody cares.

One day, I did care.  More specifically, the day that the creatures in question perished…I felt the guilt of a child who did nothing in terms of prevention.  I lacked foresight. I didn’t give it my all as a pet owner.  I didn’t know I COULD give it my all.  This would soon change.

Somewhere along the middle school timeline, I had myself another try with the fish.  It gets fuzzy for my memory to recall precise timing, but I remember vividly taking over my sister’s fantail goldfish upkeep.  I had to be in control.  I wanted to learn.  I can’t explain why, except that i was opportunistic and I saw…opportunity here.  I was soon checking out every fish book in the community library…twice.  I read what i could and marveled over photos I hoped to replicate. I wanted to breed fish.  I wanted to create elaborate displays and show great pride.  I found myself doodling fish setups in every class period.  Middle school, mind you. I fantasized stock lists and imagined compatibility with every one.  I wanted biotopes.  I wanted everything to just…commence.  There was a budding hobby here.  And it gained momentum fast.

When i was thirteen, I had a display tank.  I had my first issue of Tropical Fish Hobbyist purchased from a book retailer.  I treasured it and read over every detail of every article.  I gleaned in each account so much enthusiasm and a world I desperately desired to be a part of.  So the next steps were inevitable.

Long story short, I was operating a small fish room by high school.  I had 20 or more fish tanks in my bedroom, much to my parents’ dismay.  But they didn’t stop me.  How could they?  My hobby has always been purely beneficial.  I did breed fish. I did cultivate plants.  I did write articles and I joined an aquarium society at the wee age of 14.  I was traveling an hour away, at my father’s expense, to attend meetings and fish auctions.  I was quite simply in love with everything.

Naturally, however, there came a time when I had to downsize.  I had to get rid of fish and prepare for a new adventure:  College.  I knew that it was a temporary gig.  I was going to have my fish room back, in some form or another.

So, that’s what today is….a celebration of a year of progress.  I’m a junior in college, and I do have just the cutest fish room to play with these days.  I’m as passionate as ever in my hobby.  And I even joined a new club.  I collect fish when I can.  I culture live foods.  I auction things and breed more fish than I know how to handle it seems.  A year ago, I had a good start.  Living off campus, though, I can accommodate so much more than I could in the dismal dorm setting.  And also coinciding with this date….is the acquisition of an entirely different animal.  I got my kitten a year ago.

It seems very obvious to me that I am a fish geek at the core.  But along the way, I embraced my love of all animals.  I have so much life surrounding me and enriching every experience.  I believe this is what true happiness entails.  As of today, I will be frank.  I have a lot of animals. But I wouldn’t change it.

I feel like I have a better grip.  What a life, though.  Surrounded by…..40 fish tanks….6 geckos…a few other lizards…some mice….and a lovely bengal cat named KRONOS.  I attend class, work, and go home to this menagerie every day.  It’s an unimaginable blessing. And that’s where I hope to start this blog.  Restart, rather.  Life is full of beauty if you open your eyes to the opportunity to let it in.

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