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Guppy among Goldfish

Koi in water lilies.

I dreamed of fish. There was a large aquarium full of blunt, common, plain goldfish, all the same color. Swimming amongst them was one fan-tailed guppy that was the same color. At first glance, it looked just the same as all the other fish, but it moved differently, gracefully and with purpose. The goldfish were indifferent, but the guppy wanted to catch my eye.

The image stayed with me all day, but I wasn’t sure why. I had to think about it. In many respects, everywhere I go, I feel like the odd one out. Among the other lawyers, I’m definitely different, even among other civil rights attorneys. Among my spiritual community, my profession is a bit unusual, and sometimes the subject of rude remarks by others who feel superior because they see their profession as more “healing.”

I don’t feel graceful, pretty, or special like the little guppy in my dream, but I’m starting to feel at ease swimming with the larger fish. I don’t have to be like the others, and it’s okay. I feel at ease with myself, comfortable in knowing that in my profession, I can help the powerless who cannot help themselves. In my spiritual life, I can only be who I am, as I strive to be more of who I want to be. Finally, I can feel at home, even when I feel like I’m the only one of my kind. No matter where I swim, I feel good.

Categories: Community, Philosophical

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8 replies »

  1. So lovely to meet you on your blog. Thanks for visiting me at mine! I also often feel “different”. I wonder if it’s a universal feeling.

    I love fish! A beautiful blue betta fish recently joined our family. They are so peaceful to watch.

    Many blessings,
    Janice

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  2. What a wonderful and reminiscent post (for me). For years I felt I was different than classmates and neighborhood kids. It wasn’t that I was better or worse than they – just that my interests and my focus didn’t take the same path. When I finally realized that whether I “fit in” or didn’t it wasn’t of importance as long as I genuinely continued to be me.

    Thanks you for this post.

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    • It’s taken me a long time to overcome a lot of different fears. Sometimes I think that’s why I was guided to go to law school — it was a giant confidence course.

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