Barriers are a tricky thing. We put them up to protect but if you build them too high, they also keep out all the good things as well. I did that. I had been crushed by infidelity and built a wall. A wall made of steel, and bricks, and covered in thorns to keep it all away. I was the only one that could see or feel the wall, I didn’t let anyone know it was there, it was my wall. I checked it for cracks, I maintained it. I missed a crack and something slipped in. I was surprised when I found it and enjoyed having some company inside my wall. I didn’t feel so lonely, I had moments of happiness. For a bit, I forgot about the wall, that was my first mistake, or so I thought.

We were there to get each other through a hard part in our lives and for that I am grateful. I didn’t mean to fall in love, it just sort of happened. There were some obstacles put in our way that were just too much to get around. The timing was just too far off. It took me awhile to see that and accept it but it was a good time and I gained a dear friend from the whole thing and for that, I am grateful. I didn’t see it at first but I learned a lot over a couple of years and am happier for it.

I’ve learned that instead of barriers, I need boundaries. Boundaries can help keep you safe but they are more flexible than the cold, hard barriers I had built. I can see through boundaries, I can flex them based on where I am in life and they are not so rigid. I am not blind behind them and that feels pretty good. It feels like my eyes are open for the first time in a long time and I’m not always hiding away, hoping nothing gets to me. That’s not living, that’s surviving.

I no longer want to survive, I want to live, and that is what I am finally starting to do. I tore down that wall, brick by brick, and threw the rubble into a big pile to the side. I keep it there as a reminder to not shut things or people out. There’s still a few bricks to take down but they will join the others in the pile over time, I’m ok with not rushing it. I look at my pile of broken bricks and think how much time I wasted but I also look around and realize how much time I have, time to live.

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