Thursday, January 14, 2010

Don't Fence Me In

There is beauty in a fence. For some reason, I love to take pictures of them. Perhaps it's because it is a boundary trying to keep me out while I think of ways I can get to the other side. It's the line that tells you to stay where you belong. Sometimes, there is no beginning and no end. Most of the time, I respect the definition but there are moments I don't listen by crossing to the other side.

I am watching the PBS special, "An Emotional Life" that aired last week. You can watch this three part series online about how our brains react to emotions. Part one is friends, family and lovers, part two (I am watching this now) is facing our fears, and part three is rethinking happiness. I would recommend viewing each one.

What does this have to do with fences? Well, I suppose it's not the actual fence, but what the fence represents that's intriguing to me. I know that I have built fences in my brain in ways where I think that I can't get to a place I want to be because of something in the way.

As time moves on or when I think about it, the fences start to soften and loosen up for me to cross. It's still there reminding me of what I built up in my brain to get to a place I want to be.

I think it's good to question why we put up fences in our brain. Blocks to get to where we really want to be. Fear is a big reason and if we face the fear, the fence doesn't seem as intimidating to cross.

As an example: I had a well paid career that I worked hard at for years to get to a place where I had the flexibility to work from home and the amount of money I never thought I would ever make in my lifetime. Why would anyone give that up?

There were so many fears around the unknown for me. There is a good chance I will never make the same amount of money, have the flexibility and perceived "security" that I had. However, it wasn't what I really wanted to do and it didn't make me happy. After much thought and consideration, I left that world to wander around the country with my dog. After two years of being on the road and living as cheap as possible, it has given me more personal fulfillment and satisfaction than the job I had for 7 years.

Don't get me wrong, I love a challenge and I learned a lot in that career position. It just wasn't me and all the amount of money didn't fulfill my need to be who I truly wanted to be.

So here I am. Taking pictures of fences.

I would recommend watching these episodes if you haven't already. They are well done and gives you a chance to reflect on your own thinking and what you can do to get to the place you want to be. I am thankful that I took the leap to make a much needed change in my life. I wouldn't trade it for the world. Thank you for letting me share it with you. Here are some more pictures of fences I've taken during my travels:

More Fences


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