January 13, 2017

Sitting the Fence


It seems that every time I turn around, I'm sitting another fence. On one side resides the way things are - my comfort zone - while the other side holds what could be.

I peer at that fence from the safety of my side and wonder what lies just beyond its border. Then I tentatively reach out and touch it, taking in its texture and strength. It separates me from what is and what might be and that possibility of something amazing beckons me.

So I peek over the fence at the other side. The green grass nearest the stately barrier isn't much different than my own. There are no monsters, no dragons...nothing threatening my safe bubble I've grown accustomed to hiding in. 

I take a chance - just a little one - and lift myself up to straddle the fence, keeping my feet firmly on my side, of course. Nothing too crazy. Not until I know what I'm getting myself into.

The higher elevation provides a clearer view of both sides. I look back to where I was and relish in the comfort knowing exactly what it entails provides. There, I know who I am and how things work. There, I have explored and reached and grown.

As I recall the good things, I feel myself slipping back toward the ground. Perhaps the unease and discomfort I feel, much like clothing that's too tight, isn't as bad as I think. Maybe I can learn to live with settling for who and what I am. It doesn't scare me, doesn't push me like it once did and maybe that's not as bad as it seems. 

Before my toes touch the soft grass, a siren song calls from the other side and I turn my gaze to seek it out. In the distance, I spy others who have dared to cross. Who have left the security of what was known to follow their dreams toward what they want most. Their laughter dances upon the gentle breeze and tickles my ears. The scars they bear from their battles only add to their beauty and grace. I see them and my soul cries out to join them. 

In a moment of bravery or sheer insanity, I swing my legs over the top of the fence and drop to the ground. On the other side. The unfamiliar side. My heart pounds in my chest, my breath quickens.

Part of me wants to dash toward the figures in the distance, to partake in their joy and work alongside them to create something beautiful and amazing. I picture myself by their side, stretching and evolving into something new and spectacular.

Yet my feet remain still. My hand grasps the fence like it's my only lifeline and, irrationally, I am halfway convinced that if I let go, there is no turning back.

And I'm frightened.

What new obstacles will stand in my way? What dragons must I slay? What demons must I overcome? How will I overcome? Will the rewards be worth the effort?

I glace back to the side I know.

Do I really want to go back?

Can I go back now that I've seen what could be?

No. 

I can't.

My ironclad grip on the thing that once held me in loosens and I dare to let go.

Nothing happens.

I'm still safe.

With shaky legs and tremulous gaze, I take a step forward. Away from all I've known and toward that which both terrifies and calls to me. 

One step. 

Followed by another.

And another.

And suddenly...I know.

I know what I'm doing is right. 

I know I have the strength, the endurance, the drive to do what needs to be done.

Peace sweeps over me. 

I'm where I'm supposed to be. 

With a victorious whoop, I take off running through the grass into the tall trees with a sword in one hand and butterfly net in the other. 

Fear has no hold on me now.

I have dreams to chase and dragons to slay and nothing - absolutely nothing - will stand in my way.


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