So last week, I got my first pet ever! I know I sound a bit childish, but I really am so excited. The thought of getting a pet hasn’t crossed my mind until just last week. Then I spontaneously decided to go through with it. As you may have guessed (from the photo above), I got a FISH! It’s a male crowntail betta fish. I visited my local Petco, and it was love at first sight. He was a beautiful creature and I could not take my eyes off of him.
I didn’t pick out the name for him until I set up his new home and watched him swim around. Eventually I named him Alan. I was unsure about giving him such a human name, but after that name was in my head, I couldn’t imagine any other name.
For the first 2 days, I observed Alan for hours. It was interesting watching him swim so freely in the bowl. I could just imagine the flow-y feeling of the water running through his fins. That thought makes me want to learn to swim (yes, you read that right.. I don’t know how to swim, unless doggy paddling counts as swimming). Surprisingly after much thought, I have plenty to learn from Alan.
Here are just a few things Alan has demonstrated that might be helpful for you and me:
- Going up for air is necessary. Sure, life can be rainbows and butterflies, but more often than not, it’s more like rain clouds and mosquitoes. Life may not always happen the way you planned, and that’s perfectly fine. I think we need to go up for air when we need to. Asking others for help does not make you weak. It makes you stronger. So go ahead and ask for assistance from someone you trust. You need to allow yourself some air to breathe at some point.
- Hiding inside your orange tower is acceptable. If Alan isn’t swimming around, he most likely would be in his orange tower. When he’s tired of having me watch him, he goes inside. Being sociable is something I try hard to become. However, there are times when all I want to do is stay in my room by myself. Even if you’re a socialite, I’m sure (like everyone else) you need your “me” time.
- View the world from different angles. The fact that Alan lives in a very transparent, circular, fish bowl allows him to see things from different angles. But he only sees things from the inside of the bowl. Lucky for us humans, we aren’t trapped in a bowl; although, many of us create a forcefield that prevents us from seeing the beautiful world we live in. I think it is very important for people to be open minded to new ideas and different opinions, even if we don’t agree.
- You’re not alone. Since Alan is a male betta fish, he cannot live with another fish. For those of you who don’t already know, betta fish are also referred to as “Siamese fighting fish.” Even though Alan lives alone, he really isn’t alone. There are probably millions (or billions) of fish who are pets. They all go through the same pleasures or hardships. So, even though it may seem they’re living their lives alone, they have other fish who can relate to them. Sometimes it’s just comforting to know that what you’re going through can be very similar to someone else’s life.
- You might need to do things you don’t want to do. Okay, so Alan dreads being picked up and put into his smaller container while his fish bowl is being cleaned. Even though he dreads this part of the cleaning process, he needs it. It will prolong his life for the better. For me, I know I dread getting out of bed. But I do it, so I can lead a productive day. A better example would be going for a dental cleaning every 6 months. My experience is always terrible. Getting my gums and teeth poked with those metal, curved sticks is not my idea of fun. However, I need to go to the dentist so that I can have healthy teeth.
Well there you go! Lessons from a fish named Alan.
Q: Do you have a pet? If so, what have you learned from your pet?