A ‘fish’ called (insert your name here)

My apologies to Yukon fishing enthusiasts … this isn’t a column about fishing. There have been some amazing fish tales told in the past and I hope to see some again!

This is an “uncomfortable” column.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve felt like “a fish out of water” (let me count the ways). And I suspect that you may have felt that same way, a time or two, in your life.

At times, we can all feel like a fish out of water

The origin of this idiom? Well, it hearkens back to the mid to late 1300s when it was referenced within the pages of The Canterbury Tales, the classic collection of stories by Geoffrey Chaucer, wherein one character’s uneasiness in riding a horse was likened to that of being a fish out of water.

The feeling stirred up by this idiom is easy to imagine if you have ever watched a fish being brought up out of the water and if you can relate to that fish. (Picturing that now?) It’s beyond uncomfortable. You’re out of your element. It may even feel threatening.

Living in your comfort zone is not a bad thing and certainly feels better than feeling like “a fish out of water.” But there is also something good that can come from finding yourself in an uncomfortable place. You may find yourself becoming more creative and resourceful than you’ve been before. Or more introspective, which can be good or “bad,” depending on where your headspace is at with that.

And this is a column where one idiom begets more idioms, where it calls to mind other idioms that are so similar in meaning. For instance, if you feel like you are a fish out of water, you may also feel like you have butterflies in your stomach, or you may feel like a square peg in a round hole or, God forbid, like an ugly duckling (side note: ugly duckling isn’t a term I like, but you may be familiar with that famous Danish fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, and it makes a good point … that sometimes we just don’t see our own strength and worth).

Anyway, see what I mean about this being an “uncomfortable” column?

If I am going to feel like a fish out of water (and, let’s face it, we’ve all felt like that from time to time), I’m hoping that the “hook” (whatever that may be) will be “barbless” and we will be swiftly and safely returned to our element. To end this on a lighter note for the anglers who may be reading this—a blessing: May your fishing adventures always be plentiful and may all your Yukon fishing adventures include a fish out of water (at least one).

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