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October 14, 2013

The Ugly Fish

1377339_10151716706788471_1577134348_nThe current pride and joy of my parents life is a sixty gallon fish tank that sits in the corner of the living room. For the most part, it’s your standard saltwater fish tank; rocks, gravel, water, a few plants, a clownfish, and so on. My parents spend their days caring for the fish and watching them go about their little fishy lives, giving them silly names, and most likely, missing their adorable 19-year-old daughter who is much more exciting than a fish tank.

The newest addition to the tank was a starry blenny, which I have affectionately named The Ugly Fish, because it’s probably one of the ugliest fish I have ever seen in my life. Despite its profound ugliness, it’s my favorite fish in the tank. Within minutes of arriving, The Ugly Fish, in all of his powerful, ugly glory, became the king of the tank, claiming the biggest rock as its stomping grounds.

I love The Ugly Fish not only because he’s hilariously ugly, but also because I find his story to be quite inspiring. By overcoming his weaknesses (profound ugliness), he was able to stand up for himself, take care of himself, and find his place in the world. The Ugly Fish’s ugliness became a source of power that allowed it to assert its dominance over the other fish and leave them cowering in the shadow of his abominable appearance.

I’m not trying to argue that you can only be successful if you’re ugly, or that you should use your weaknesses to scare people, but I certainly think that it’s advantageous to overcome your less-than-desirable qualities. College is a time for transition, discovery, and taking care of yourself, and you can’t do any of those

Up close and personal with The Ugly Fish

Up close and personal with The Ugly Fish

things if you’re constantly caught up in how awful you are. You can’t possibly live your life to fruition if you’re always thinking about how bad you are at sports, or that you don’t have a boyfriend all the time, or if you’re heinously unattractive.

Next time you’re feeling down on yourself, or you feel stuck in a rut, or that you’re drowning in a puddle of mud at the bottom of a 50 foot pit, reflect on the tale of The Ugly Fish. Acknowledge your weaknesses and use them as motivation to overcome them and follow your dreams. If The Ugly Fish can do it, so can you.

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