My eighteen year old daughter moved out on her own recently. In the months leading up to the move she often toggled between her normal kind, loving personality and an unpredictable demonic entity capable of reckless and wanton destruction. Typical teenage mood swings I suppose, but a far cry from the little fairy princess I am more oft to remember.
I tiptoed lightly around the house over the last few months, and logged more than a few unnecessary hours puttering away on the boat down at the marina I assure you. To be honest, there were moments before the move when I secretly prayed she would leave ahead of schedule and that the house would suddenly return to a more normal rhythm after she’d left. Now that she’s gone though I find myself wishing that she’d stayed longer. The house has an eery silence without all of the slamming doors and stomping feet down the hallway.
There’s still a lot of reminders of her around the house. We have a wall in the living room filled with pictures of the family and of various adventures we’ve shared together through the years. I look at the wall and vividly remember each memory as though it was yesterday, though sometimes decades have already passed. My daughter is in most of these photos. She’s usually smiling, but a trademark teenage look of indifference tends to pop up in the most recent shots. There’s a lot of history on this wall, and a lot of reminders about the changes a family endures over the years.
Earlier in my professional fishing career I was driven by the need to prove myself in the industry. My interpretation of that meant pushing myself to the limits, immersing myself in the fishing, and striving to produce epic catches regardless of the cost. I was arguably successful, but to be so required questionable sacrifices including quality time with the family. A decision that I often find myself second guessing as time wears on.
When I look back over my career it’s hard not to be thankful for the many accomplishments that I’ve been lucky enough to achieve. I’ve helped set world records, won millions of dollars in tournaments, and chased giant fish all over the globe. Hobnobbing with celebrities and professional athletes has it’s rewards, but as I get older (some would say wiser) things that once mattered greatly tend to lose luster with the passage of time. I find myself wishing I’d spent more time with the family, because to be honest that’s all that really matters to me anymore.
- Captain Josh Temple