Big Fish & Potted Plants

January 2nd, 2020

I’ve had two ideas in my head all day:

The concept that fish only grow to the size of their tanks.

And the phrase, “Bloom where you’re planted” (which I saw last night on Instagram).

So first, the fish thing: I was thinking of how it applied to people who are considered “big fish in little ponds.” People whose talent or power is being contained or trapped in a small town or a no-name region.

And then I thought: “How stupid is that?” When did we start judging fish on their physical size? Can’t a fish who is small in stature be a fierce predator or rare specimen? Of course they can. So I Googled that shit. And sure enough:

“There are a variety of factors that can limit a fish’s ability to grow properly, but the size of the tank isn’t one of them.”

Which brings me to the phrase, “Bloom where you’re planted.” It can mean so many things, which is why I love it so much. It’s a multiverse of meme verbiage.

To me, it means to bring the best of yourself to every person and each situation, regardless of the perceived value. It also means that you don’t have to be in a particular location to be amazing. Just like you don’t need a specific tank to be the best fish.

Let’s say your dream is to be an actor. So, you want to move to California.

This is fine. Goals are good.

But here’s the thing: just because you want to move to California someday does not mean you can’t live this day to the fullest. If you’re always living in tomorrow, always thinking about where you want to go or where you’d rather be, you are going to miss out on your life. Everything that is happening right now. You will break hearts, not the least of which will be your own. And even if you think your gifts and talents exceed where you are planted right now, let me share a secret with you:

They don’t.

They may lead you down new paths and to bigger lakes, but that doesn’t mean they can’t mean something here, and now.

So don’t be the biggest fish. Be the strongest plant. Be the most stunning flower in any garden you find yourself in.

And watch your life grow instantly.


Published by dennisvogen

I'm me, of course. Or am I?

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