I recently spent five days in New York City. And during those five days I had a few deep thoughts. I would call them "epiphanies" but I don’t think they were very mind blowing - nothing about the meaning of life or our existence on this plant. Just random thoughts that sometimes turned deep. Such as - why do I get so upset and offended when people tell me I’m “young” or blame things on my age? (“You shouldn’t be tired, you’re young!”) What it all really comes down to is a desire to be respected and valued. But that’s another topic for another day...
Another thought I’ve had ever since the trip to NYC was the idea of “Big fish, little pond,” or vice-versa. I had hoped that the trip would serve as a reminder to my students that they are currently big fish in a little pond. They’re at the "best" school, they’re the smartest in the area, their parents are wealthy, etc… but only in a small-town standard. To the rest of the country - the world, even - they’re just average. I hoped this trip would open their eyes and let them see how the rest of the world lives.
Many people love being big fish in little ponds. But not me. I thought I would, but now that I am, I don’t like it. A fish can only grow as big as the pond it’s in. A goldfish in a bowl will remain small. If you put a goldfish in a bathtub, it will grow bigger. Put it in a pool, it will grow bigger… it will keep growing bigger relative to the size of the pond it’s put in.
I think being a big fish in a little pond would get boring. There will come a point when you will get tired of swimming in circles, seeing the same three other fish all day, every day. I want to be in a pond where there are infinite possibilities to grow. To learn. To get better. To meet new people, have new experiences.
That's why I loved New York. There is so much inspiration in that city. So much to see, smell, experience. So much life to live!
What about you? Would you rather be a big fish in a little pond, or a little fish in a big pond?