Rob and I are celebrating our first month on the road together but, of course, what’s living with someone else without a few bumps and bruises along the way.
I never did well with roommates. Seriously, the girls I lived with in college were probably some of the worst people I ever met. Living with someone really brings out your true colors and maybe I’m partly to blame for my poor experiences but, thankfully, Rob is nothing like a college girl.
A few small hiccups along the way are expected and it’s honestly been better than either of us could have imagined. But, we’re still transitioning and figure out what we like and dislike in a roommate/work partner.
The root of our “argument” was miscommunication. I hesitate to even call it an argument because we didn’t yell at each other or fight, we both just became passive aggressive, hostile and visibly annoyed with one another.
He made a comment I didn’t like, I responded with an attitude. He seemed condescending with his word choice, I responded with even more of an attitude. The rest of the day was spent avoiding each other and not talking while both internally planning the easiest way to let me go. It wasn’t until hours later that we realized the huge miscommunication and the effect it had on both of us.
I think it’s a little bit more difficult for me since I am an intern and he is my boss. Because we live together, our circumstances are anything but normal. Still, the idea of approaching my boss and telling him I don’t like something is intimidating. There’s no denying that. In a normal work setting, an intern wouldn’t dare speak out against their boss because, realistically, they would be fired or laughed at. And I feared that.
Thankfully, my concerns were very well-received. Because this isn’t an ordinary intern/boss relationship, an ordinary response cannot be expected. Rob reassured me of that, both with his response to my concerns and his resolutions as well.
Fishing has taught me so much in my short 23 years of life. Patience for those you’re surrounded by. Persistence for the fish. Confidence in yourself and your skills. Respect for the water and the creatures that live in it. Love for the sport. All things I don’t think I would have recognized as early as I did without the help of the ocean.
But I would be lying if I didn’t mention the people who have made this as special as it has become, especially those we met in New York.
Justin, the owner of Waterloo Harbor Campground where we stayed in New York, took us fishing in the most western and most eastern lakes of the Finger Lakes for Muskie and Walleye. Although we didn’t catch any Walleye and Rob caught the only Tiger Muskie, Justin’s constant jokes and lighthearted humor made the shortage of fish not only bearable, but enjoyable.
Throughout our time at the campground, Justin continuously checked in on us at our site, made sure we had everything we needed (and more) and made us feel so welcomed even before meeting us. Our last night there, he invited us out to dinner with him and his wife at a castle and the next morning, he brought us coffee and donuts while we were packing up (while continuously reminding us that New York is the greatest state ever and we shouldn’t leave). He’s quickly become a life-long friend and someone I strive to be like.
Theo, a 7-year-old fan of Field Trips, invited us to go fishing with him about an hour from the campground we were staying at. His young love for fishing and knowledge of the sport inspired me so much to learn as much as I can and take advantage of every moment I have on the water. His enthusiasm and confidence is something I’ll remember and take with me forever. I hope to cross paths with him in the future and see the young man he’s becoming.
Being on the water has always been the place where I am the most comfortable. It’s been easy to lose myself in the past and forget who I am but the water seems to bring me back to my roots.
Having people to share that passion with is really comforting and without our love for fishing and being on the water, I wouldn’t have met people like Justin or Theo. People who have changed my life within hours of meeting them. People who are unapologetically themselves and confident in that.
Life itself is a journey but this one is particularly special.