The Comfort Zone

It’s funny how we all fall into the same trap. And I for one am guilty. All my life I wanted to excel and succeed. Funny, all I thought about was success was monetary. I moved back to Florida on that same mission. Get out of a small town, make more money, and really start living life. Funny thing happened along the way, I realized it’s not about the big bucks, the nice clothes, or the title you may have. We all have the ability to succeed, it’s just your choice on how you value success. Let me tell you about a success I had that was out of my realm…. A special moment and realization.

Back in August of last year, I went fishing with my boyfriend at River Breeze Fishing Pier in Oak Hill, FL. This was off the Indian River. This was also the first time I went crabbing. Being a girl from the midwest, I never crabbed in my life. We were also homeless at that time, so fishing was a means for us to eat dinner that night. So we scrapped up whatever cash we had, paid for gas from Orlando, stopped at Wal-Mart and loaded up on raw chicken, crab traps, fishing gear, bottled water and a can of pringles chips.

Once we made it to River Breeze Pier, it was around 5:00pm. It was time to get started fishing. With help, I assembled my first crab trap with chicken and fishing line, threw the trap in the water, and proceeded to wait. I hate waiting. It took all my willpower to wait 20 minutes and not pull up the trap. But finally time was up, I pulled up the trap and found stone crab and Florida blue crab in basket! I was hooked! (No pun intended). I loved crabbing! It was so easy! We then proceeded to catch at least 30 crab within 5 hours.

Wow, if you could only have seen the sunset! The pods of manatees that swam by, the dolphins and the occasional gator, it was amazing. In those few hours, I didn’t care about money, what I was going to do the next day. I just wanted to cherish what was in front of me.

In between all this crabbing, I was actually fishing. Indian River Lagoon had a ton of catfish and whiting.  I did end up catching an awesome red fish, a mangrove snapper, and a puffer fish! The only fish I kept was the snapper and a few whiting. It was now 11pm at night, and time to eat.

River Breeze Pier is part of River Breeze Park. This park had plenty of grills and a place to clean fish near the river. So the fish were cleaned and cooked, and the crabs steamed. This was the best fish and crab I had ever had. You can go to Joe’s Crab Shack, or any other seafood chain, but nothing tastes better than local, fresh fish. We ate outside at a picnic table and I was getting bit all over by mosquitos, but I didn’t care. We were so hungry and happy during that simple moment.

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It’s in those simple moments that we find true happiness, that pure no cost involved joy in life. I was feeling defeated in that time, with being homeless, but that simple lesson of fishing made me feel somewhat empowered.

I challenge yourself, to take yourself out of your comfort zone, whether it be fishing, playing golf for the first time, or just exploring the area in which you live. What is your next challenge?

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