New Zealand changes part of me. This, our 13th year, has been an emotional season: the past 4 months I lost my mom, my dad, my step dad, an uncle, the pilot who flew us to our lodge for 10 years, and the wife of a closest friend.
My mom had life-long severe mental health issues and died a result of her body shutting down from being on heavy anti-psychotic medications too long after a psychotic break years ago. My dad was an alcoholic with a raging, loose-cannon temper. My step dad was severely depressed and suicidal. Shroud in poverty and worry, my sister & I had different experiences growing up in what forms of abuse & neglect we endured. Between us we experienced the complete checklist – I don’t say that lightly. I chose to separate completely, not seeing any family members the past 25 to 35 years for self protection and sanity. The passing of these parents came as relief and confirmation I’d done the right thing. .
This is not a woe is me’. I appreciate most would be highly sympathetic & compassionate, I’m not looking for your sympathy. I’m past that stage in life and Amelia & I are living our lives. Those experiences are part of what formed my strongest attributes today. The sudden bridging back to that stage in life was stopping for a while, reminding of just how isolating life was.
This all to express why our Jensen Fly Fishing feed exists.I can share from me that I know life ain’t easy for a lot of people. Some are mired in bad relationships. Others are experiencing trauma. Many feel rudderless. Loss has struck some. Physical issues keep others from living freely. Mental health blocks many from even wanting to get out of bed. The list of reasons and issues in life that keep us from living are vast, personal, and often deeply rooted. Other times it’s simply situational, seasonal or location that keeps us away.
You can understand why Amelia & I are so close and put our marriage ahead of career and self interest. We live simply without extravagance and addiction. We’ve foregone opportunity in order to keep ‘us’ at the center of our lives. A massive part of us is fly fishing. It’s our lives’ hub. As years pass I find that you can’t fly fish the past 23 years together, 200+ days each year, catching fish and having the experiences we do on the rod and camera… all while knowing so many can’t be on the water… and not share.
Our shares here are intended to be an escape, to put you on the water or point out some little thing we saw. There’s lots of little education tidbits not to posture you but to share how things came together for us (or not!) so that maybe you can apply it your own way when you’re out. The scenery shots are here as reminder of how big the world is, how beautiful, how it will be here when you get your chance to get out, to take it on in your time.
My ‘why’ I do this is simple: Hope. Through everything I experienced I always had it, clung to my life’s vision. I knew life had to be better, had to offer so much more. I worked my way out of what I was shown and what I wasn’t given. It took a lot of years. But I never lost my deep conviction of hope. While the song of this video has external encouragement, it was my internal voice of hope that spoke to me and kept me going. Now… every day that I have a rod or camera in hand I’m obsessively hopeful at what might happen, what opportunity might unfold. Through what I’ve experienced I hope that this feed provides a little inspiration to put hope at the center of your life as to what joy each day can bring.