Jumping the Fence

I am not a fence-sitter by nature. I take a stance, unpopular or not, and stand my ground. I will stand that ground firmly but not at the expense of learning more about the issues. In other words, I try always to retain an open mind and a willingness to re-evaluate my position.

I have straddled fences, though. My recent decision to step out on a limb represents my attempt to jump a certain fence I have straddled for far too long. Although I tend to be confident, courageous, daring, and innovative, I possess a slender but deep vein of cautiousness - especially when dealing with relationships. To put it simply: I am not the easiest person to get close to.

I am a good listener, and I will speak about "personal" and "deep" things perhaps more so than many men. These two traits have a tendency to lull the other person into believing that they are getting to know me and know me well. In a way, they are, of course - just like you would "know" the plot of ground you have owned and lived upon for twenty years. If you never took the time to explore below its surface, though, you would never know that the ground possesses a rich vein of gold, or oil, or some valuable ore, or hazardous waste. For twenty years, people have "known" me only to find out later that they have been damaged by the contents of my heart... only to find out later that they failed to discover the richness of my spirit... only to find out later that they didn't know me at all.

Sometimes, the other person bears most of the responsibility for such failures. Most of the time, it is all me. I have a layer of bedrock beneath the rich topsoil. To reach what lies beneath requires too much work for most. To weaken that almost-impenetrable layer requires too much work for me. Until now.

While not exactly qualifiying as a SuperFund site, this heart and soul and spirit has been in need of extensive clean-up. Responsible parties are nonexistent, except the one in the mirror. So, I have ponied up the initial expenses and am mining for more funds. Clean-up is underway. Before long, the rich layer of topsoil will be nothing compared to what lies beneath. It may not always be easy to get to, but it won't be impossible, either. Maybe I will learn that giving all of one's self is ... um... super fun.

I have known that I am a difficult person to love. However, apparently I am an easy person to want to love. I remain forever distant to some degree, though, and that wears on a person who has laid themselves bare. I have straddled this fence between protection and sacrifice for far too long, even though I have known that love is sacrifice. I am jumping the fence. I am hoping to get back up when I fall.

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