In a thirteen gallon, salt water tank I bought from the local fish store live two nameless Black and White Ocellaris Clownfish, a lone starfish, and some self-motivated crustaceans. They’ve been bred and have lived in captivity their entire lives, never knowing the waters outside the half an inch glass walls; seeing, but never experiencing the air filled world. Up until my sophomore year, I lived very much like these sea critters. Daily life had its moments of zeal, much like feeding time for the clownfish, but they were brief. Heading over miles of land and water to land in the, wanna-be capital city, Sydney, Australia challenged all of this.
With little time to acclimate to the new environment, my days were filled with touristy adventures and social interactions that threw me off balance. I knew that I would not return to the familiarities of my previous life for another six months. Delicious Australian baked goods became my comfort and I felt more satisfied swimming solo over the Great Barrier Reef then I ever did doing anything else. However, it was not my ability to adjust, or my willingness to change that allowed me to have this experience; rather, it was the ability to follow that corny saying “go with the flow.” My brother and two sisters hopped on a plane and came to pick me up after I had been away for six months. All of us were under the age of twenty-five, jobless, and basically homeless, which proved to have its downfalls. Eating chili for five days straight and sneakily slipping on to public transportation did more than just give me bad indigestion and small adrenalin rushes. It humbled me. Knowing my happiness and desire for life doesn’t come from the security offered by my home, but the lack there of.
If the clownfish were to plunge out of their home, it would more than likely be the cause of their death. But, reluctantly leaving my home had just the opposite effect on me. Knowing I can successfully thrive out of the bubbles of home, school and Miami has made me search for the next adventure, the next situation where I will be challenged by the world, people, and myself. It will not be the end of me when I burst the bubble and I can say that with more confidence then ever. Maybe feeding time still excites me as much as it does the clownfish, but my next adventure excites me that much more.