The Right to Write
It is in my nature to entertain and try and put a smile on people’s faces. We don’t laugh enough anymore and simple humor has been lost on shock value and the increasing popularity of the outrageous.
I began to write down my ideas several years ago as a way to sort and catalog them for myself. I had found knowledge and inspiration in the words of others for years. However, there was an inherent insecurity in putting my own ideals out there. In part it was for fear of the inevitable scrutiny. Mostly, though, there was a little voice that said, “What gives you the right?”
How do you view yourself as the person anyone cares to hear? Why would anyone want to read your rambling scattered thought processes? Do they have any true merit? If so, are they even yours to claim or more a collection of others’ insights? It is great to hear what people think about what (or how) you think, even when they disagree. That is what it is about. I thrive on feedback. A comment on a video contradicting what I have offered is just as exciting as an attaboy because it has sparked the thought process, the discussion and the eventual take away regardless of what they may be.
If you’ve read this far and are wondering what the hell this is about, bear with me a little longer. I have stepped “out of the shadows” in more than one area in this sport. From writing, to starting a website, to buying a business and ultimately making videos and a television show it has all been about one thing for me. Words like passion, obsession and other adjectives rattle around in my noggin. To grab one of them would be beneficial in painting my situation in a positive light. It is without a doubt more than that, it is an addiction. Sometimes, it isn’t a pretty addicition either. More times than I can remember, someone has walked away shaking their head and mumbling, “Man, you are not right!”
I’ve chosen to fish at times when any sane or reasonable person would have chosen otherwise. I’ve missed milestones that any rational assesment would quantify as much more important. All for that next tug, hookset or surge of adrenaline. If fishing was a drug, I would definitely be the Amy Winehouse of this game. I don’t want to go to rehab.
Back to the original question. What gives me the right to write? What makes me think anyone does or should care what I have to share? I can’t answer that, but I can’t stop. I can’t quit and there is no substitute drug. I have and continue to transform every fascet of my life around a dependence on participation, discussion and sharing this sport.
The ultimate truth is that I’m not just an addict, but a dealer. I want everyone as hooked as I am. I can’t understand any other alternative. I have made many sacrifices and lost untold opportunities pursuing this addiction. Yet still, I don’t regret it. I should. By logical standards, I should be ashamed of myself, but I’m not. I should fear that this be perceived as gloating, but I’m not. I guess to an extent, I am shameless and unapologetic. In my mind, it all just seems to make sense that way.
I’m proud of who I am, what I am and why I am. I can’t imagine a life without “something” that drives me so. I hope my children find their “thing” and it consumes this as this lifestyle has done me.
I’m a naval officer, volunteer, aeronautical professional, artist, writer, photographer and father, among other things. However, when some asks me the question, “So, what are you?” (Or, What do you do?). I answer without hesitation, “I’m a kayak fisherman!”
I used to try to make sense of it. I have tried to “improve” and change my ways. Now, I just go fishing. So, thanks for reading this and hopefully many of my other rants and giving me the Right to Write.