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The Fishbowl: Have You Outgrown Your Environment?

"If you hate your life, it's because your life is too small and doesn't fit you."

- Augusten Burroughs If you find yourself hopelessly depressed, and not a single person has anything to say that can change your hopelessness, it's a feeling similar to the crushing sensation of claustrophobia. Even people in your surroundings can contribute to this. They know you are not feeling well so they shower you with uninteresting suggestions that amount to nothing. "I feel packed within the confines of my own world," said one individual.

Imagine being a small fish in a large bowl. Everything you eat makes you grow bigger and smarter. You hear and take in much knowledge from the many conversations you hear around you. You're continually fed knowledge. The words echo through the glass bowl louder than they are spoken. The words feed you, provide you wisdom coupled with your own intuition. By deciphering all this knowledge and putting it together, you have found yourself larger than the environment you're in. You soon realize you are trapped in a bowl that you are too large for. On top of this realization, the food you're eating is now bland, and much of the knowledge being fed to you is no longer stimulating. You are unable to grow from it. The conversation is one you have had many times that you already know the answer to. The thoughts and opinions being spoken by others are now negative. Suddenly, the water you're in begins to drown you. Your gills have closed and you now have lungs.

When you have become consumed by the pressing negative energy of others, direly cemented in the shackles of the town where you grew up, alienated and misunderstood by the people you grew up around, or ready to bang your head up against a brick wall every time you so little as think about enduring another boring conversation that serves no purpose to you — the time has come for you to leave the fishbowl. Sometimes, when you dare to pause and take in your surroundings; you will come to the realization you have absolutely nothing in common with your friends anymore. You discover that you and your nearest and dearest friends are bound to one another for the wrong reasons, like routine or circumstance or..., location. It’s sad to feel like you’re residing on the outside of your circle — displaced in a group of friends that once felt like your family. They actually were residing in that fishbowl with you at one point. However, something changed. You learned a piece of knowledge that cracked the bowl you were in. Often when this happens, small-minded people will never understand you, inquiring individuals will seek to understand you, but only wholehearted people will want to follow you.

A beautiful Betta Fish is the only thing beautiful in a bowl of water. There is no feeling lonelier than feeling isolated and disconnected in a sea of familiar people. You can’t grow when you’re forever tethered to the place you've always lived. You will become painfully uncomfortable being so comfortable — excessive restlessness physically hurts. One has to resolve in their mind to refuse to be the person who gives up and sits on their hands complaining about how unstimulated they are in their environment when one has all the power in the world to make a change. Often the change has to start slow because decisions followed by a process have to play out.

Yes, it DOES take work. It takes practicing the tricky art of saving money and enduring loneliness while at the beginning of your new adventure..., but it’s the ultimate way to widen your world and relieve your depression. You might need to leave the fishbowl when the conversation is abusive. The most empowering part of being an adult is this: You don’t have to accept abuse from anyone ever again. When we’re kids, we are often trapped in hopeless situations that are completely out of our control. For example, a bad step-parent or paternal parent can ruin your childhood based on their decisions. However, these old decisions do not need to be the decisions that would shackle you to one specific place.