Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day 80 - Wallflower

This may just be me speaking from my own experiences and circumstances, but I think that most anglers (when their not in their own element) are wallflowers. We tend to shirk back into the wall during social gatherings (company parties, dinner with the in laws, church functions...). I wonder why that is.

My initial thoughts revolve around the idea that we seek solitude and balance in our lives. Our passion puts us in a place where we can practice solitude and escape the demands of life. In this sense, fly fishing mirrors are desires to seek comfort in solitude. Even when fishing with friends, we tend to choose different parts of the stream, fish that, and occasionally break the silence by checking in with our friends (partly to make sure that they haven't drowned and partly to make sure they haven't caught more fish than us).

Upon review, it could be that we tend to be naturally socially awkward and we seek refuge in fly fishing. That seems to be a better description at least in my own life. To be honest, I am what you would call a late bloomer. Real late. I didn't find a level of social acceptance until I was in my mid-twenties, and then ended up developing that acceptance for even a few more years. This isn't to point a finger and blame my parents, or friends, or schoolmates, or whomever. I just didn't know who I wanted to be, and therefore couldn't fit into a certain mold.

Maybe this is why I seem to be an eclectic person. I enjoy most music genres, all except modern country and gangster rap. I know how to balance a spreadsheet, change the oil in my car, knit, do leather work, tie flies, light a pilot light, fry a turkey, brew my own beer... I've been a soldier, a youth pastor, a printer's assistant, a sign maker, a fry guy, a buyer, a window washer, an advertising intern, a mechanic, a carpenter/mason, a chaplain's assistant...

I'd like to see a case study on the life of the average angler. Maybe not the average angler, maybe the determined angler, not quite professional but definitely more than your weekend warrior type. I'd like to see if they have the same characteristics that I have. If they are brutally honest, don't like to play corporate politics, tend to be a jack of all trades (and master of none), and generally all around good guy (or gal).

The above statements sound like I'm either anti-social or just plain introverted. This isn't true. I do enjoy the company of other people. I enjoy hearing about their lives and I seek to find some kind of common ground in which to hold a conversation. It's just that in group situations I tend to become exhausted with the idea of interacting with a lot of people. Does that make me so different?

1 comment:

  1. First of all - thanks for stopping over at my blog and commenting. I like what I see on your blog as well, and the 365 project is VERY ambitous. I once decided to catch a trout in the same stream in each MONTH of the year, and that was tough (I got em, but had to run a BH Prince under ice shelves in Feb. to do it)

    Anyway, I think your self-assessment fits the profile of many of the great peple I've met while fly fishing. But I would have to say that I've also met some of the most pompous assess I've ever had the dis-pleasure of meeting while fly fishing or at fly fishing functions.

    I'd have to say at the end of the day, that most fly fishermen (and women) I've had the pleasure to meet were truly nice people, but that the participants of the sport run as a true cross section of our culture, and that means you get the good with the bad

    Just my observations and $.02