All of us have this thing, a self-identity. It is the essence of what we consider to be ourselves. It is what we think of when we think of our soul traveling through the veil of death to continue to exist on the other side. It is who we are.
This self-identity is composed of many moving parts. Memories, experiences, emotional scars, opinions, prejudices, likes, dis-likes, interests, and much more. Each of these are a brick in the structure of our self-identity.
Our self-identity changes over time. I am not who I was as an 8 year old boy. I am not who I was as a 50 year old man either. I am both of those but I am also more now. We change, but some things do remain constant. I loved biscuits and gravy when I was a young child, and I love them today, that has not changed.
A part of who I am, a fundamental brick down in the foundation of my self-identity structure, is a fisherman. I was taken fishing before I could walk, I fished last Saturday. I fished a zillion times in between. There are few things in my self-identity that haven't changed over time, biscuits and fishing are two, but there aren't many more.
I think "fisherman" is an integral part of my spirit, a significant component of my soul, vital to my self-image, imperative to my self-identity. One way of testing this is to not fish for a while and see what happens. I kind of do that every winter. Basically I become a curmudgeon when I can not fish frequently. I get irritable and have that missing limb feeling. But when I go fishing again those wounds heal.
Fishing was once a passion for me, but that passion has cooled (or increased) into obsession. At some points in my life it was relatively un-important. Life does that to us, changes us as it sees fit. We roll with those changes, it is our ability to adapt I guess - the need to survive.
I suspect that this fishing thing is not as large a part of most people's self-identity as it is mine - although there are a few readers on here that I know it is, if not more so. And that of course is how things work. Otherwise we'd all be exactly alike - and wouldn't that be boring.
The survival of my self-identity relies on being a fisherman. There better be bluegills in heaven.
Kennywho, TX 4/6/2017 6:37:32 PM
Seems that I read something else you wrote along this line somewhere.
Erudite thoughts, my friend, erudite thoughts.
Toadfish, CO 4/11/2017 10:35:19 AM
Very true Lloyd. Being on the water anywhere, be it a far off pond nobody has ever fished before, or standing right in between 20 other fishermen at a crowded city lake makes me feel better. It cleanses my mind and my soul, lets me reflect on my life, helps me make decisions that I would've otherwise been stuck on and gives me that "complete" feeling. It is more than just a hobby, or a passion for me, it is what makes me who I am. The husband, father and friend I am all stem from my love and obsession with fishing. My children fish, my wife fishes, I will take my grandchildren fishing and hopefully they will take their grandchildren fishing someday and I will be right there with them, maybe not physically, but my soul will always be watching and sharing in their experiences. That's fishing to me, it's a lifestyle I choose to live and to share with everybody I can. It's what brings me closer to myself, and my family. The memories we have made while fishing will always be some of my proudest, most profound memories.