Knocking Down Fences


in Happiness,Personal Growth

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost ~ The Road Not Taken

When I first read these words in high school, my mind’s eye clearly saw dusty paths crowned by yellow fall leaves and infused with golden sunshine. Don’t ask me why.

Each path beckoned but one was definitely more mysterious than the other. I could see it. I could feel its pull, calling me to wander down its overgrown passage.

Now many years removed from high school, I can still see those paths. I have preserved those images in the recesses of my memory; perhaps, because the idea that we have a choice so resonated with me.

We can choose which path to follow. Always. At any point in time.

I can see myself stepping onto the less-traveled path. Filled with excitement. Wondering what the journey will hold. Pushing aside the thick plants. Turning unknown corners with a growing sense of discovery.

And, then it happens. I run into fence. A big one. It is solid. I can’t seem to go over it or around it.

That’s not how the story is supposed to end, is it?

A fence. A barrier. An obstacle. Shouting “turn back!” Do not go any farther. You cannot. Your way is blocked.

A boundary.

Is it real or imagined?

Boundaries are meant to keep us safe. In line. In order. Protected from pitfalls.

But how many of them are really needed?

Is it possible that some of them no longer serve us? Is it possible that some of them are based on stories or situations that are no longer true about us? Have we erected fences where none should be?

They say the first step is always the hardest. I agree that may often be the case. I would also say the ability to follow each step with another – climbing hills, scrambling over obstacles, and, yes, knocking down fences – may in fact be the hardest of all.

With each step, we face that which seeks to keep us safe, protected and in line. With each step, we must evaluate if those boundaries are indeed true for us. With each step, we must decide.

It can be done.

You’ve stepped onto the less-travelled path. Dismantle the barriers. Take down the fences. Clear the path. One step at a time.

It can be done.

You are safe to proceed.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

gee backhouse April 19, 2011 at

Hello Andrea,
How true it is that so many of our boundaries reside only in our imagination. If we’re not careful, we’ll miss out on opportunities for eye-opening adventures. Here’s to navigating our way and discovering who we really are.
gee backhouse recently posted..Clarity and Quartz


Andrea April 19, 2011 at

Gee, I know you are an experienced adventurer. I always appreciate your comments. Thank you!


Rita April 19, 2011 at

I know why you see it that way: The poem was on a poster in Mrs. McConnaughey’s room, and that was the image on it! I can see it as clearly as you. I remember being equally fascinated with that poem.

Perhaps the most liberating words spoken to me in the past few years are these: “You can always change your mind.” I can think of only a very few things in life for which these words are not true.

Thanks as always for sharing–
Rita recently posted..Connecting the dots


Andrea April 20, 2011 at

Seriously??? Memory is a fickle friend, isn’t she? Thank goodness I have you!!


Rita April 21, 2011 at

The literal truth is never as important as the Truth. I believe you remember true. (And yes, seriously! :-)
Rita recently posted..Connecting the dots


Justin | Mazzastick April 19, 2011 at


Good reminder here. I also wonder how many imaginary fences are preventing me from achieving the success that I desire. I also like going the way of the road less traveled because pioneering is much more fun than following.
Justin | Mazzastick recently posted..Solve Your Problems Using Creativity


Andrea April 20, 2011 at

Interesting, isn’t it? I think it really pays to look at all of our “fences” when we bump up against them and decide if they are helping or hurting us. Thanks, Justin!


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