A Lesson About Obstacles

This is a story about a friend of mine. Let’s call her, um, “Zara.” She learned a very valuable lesson about going for your dreams the other day.

See, this friend of hers had a printer she wanted to give away, and Zara wanted the printer, and they talked about the best time for Zara to come over and pick up the printer, and it turned out that the only time Zara could do that was when her friend was out.

“No problem!” said Zara. “Just leave it on the porch, and I’ll come by and get it.”

So Zara drove over to her friend’s house to pick up the printer. Except when she got there, she saw that her friend had one of those electronically-controlled fences all around the house. You know, the kind that you have a remote control for? And as you drive up to your house you push a button and the fence slides open, allowing your car to pass through. Although the fence was fairly low – maybe about two and half feet – it had a threatening row of spikes on top. This was a little fence you did not want to fool around with. Zara called her friend. Who, of course, was not home.

“Hi! I’m here at your house, picking up the printer, but the fence is closed. I guess I’m going to have to come back and get it when you’re home. Okay, bye!”

Darn. Zara could see the printer on the porch, waiting for her. It was so close. Looking at the fence, she suddenly realized that it would actually be fairly easy for her to leap over the fence. Well, not leap. She wasn’t as limber as those people on “So You Think You Can Dance.” But she certainly could do a sort of sprightly “hop.” I mean, honestly, it really was not a very high fence. Totally hopable. Zara started to wonder why anyone would have a fence that was locked, yet hop-able. The fence did not seem like much of a deterrent to anyone except perhaps small children. Was there a roaming band of house-robbing small children in the neighborhood?

Zara thought about hopping over the fence. Would the neighbors be alarmed to see a strange woman hopping over the fence? Would the neighbors call the police? Would Zara look silly? And then, in a blinding moment of truth, she realized she had spent too much of her life worrying about looking silly, and caring about what other people thought. She had given up too often, and not pursued her dreams, and if she continued to never take any chances in life, she would end up a bitter, angry person who felt empty inside. No more! It was time to throw all of that off! Who cared what the neighbors thought? It was time to say to the universe, “I will not be denied!”

Besides, Zara really didn’t want to have to drive all the way back there another time for the printer. She looked at the fence again. Honestly, it was really not even that high. She didn’t even have to hop. She could simply left one leg over, steady herself, then lift the other leg over.

Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go as planned. Once she got her right leg up high enough to clear the fence, her back said “Hell to the no!” and sort of seized up a little bit, forcing her to quickly lower that leg on the other side of the fence. Which left her straddling the fence on tippie-toe, since the height had turned out to be a little more than less, and if she didn’t stand on tippie-toe, well, let’s just say the fence would have owed her flowers and a very nice dinner.

But failure was not an option. Not this time. Not ever again. This was about more than a fence and a printer. This was about going for your dreams. Zara summoned all her might, and managed to lift her left leg over the fence. She’d done it! She was over the fence! Elated, she walked to the porch, picked up the box with the printer, and returned to the fence, where she realized she would have to do the same damn thing one more time. Geez. This “going for your dreams” thing was kind of annoying. She leaned over the fence, deposited the box with the printer on the ground on the other side, took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and imagined she was a contestant on “So You Think You Can Dance.” She threw her leg over the fence, did her tippie-toe straddle, and as quickly as she could, lifted her other leg up and over the fence.

HA! She’d done it! Twice! As she drove home, she reflected that sometimes you just have to think creatively when you encounter obstacles. Nothing is insurmountable if you put your mind to it, and you should not be deterred from trying to achieve your goals. Something had changed, and she knew she would carry this triumph with her for the rest of her life.

And when she got home she found a message from her friend. “Hey – I see you got the printer. I’m glad you figured that that it’s not locked or anything and you just have to push it to the side. Listen – I have to go. My neighbor is at my door. I’ll talk to you soon.”

Well, anyway. It’s probably still a good idea to go for your dreams and not be stopped by locked fences and all. Zara just might want to look a little closer at the fence the next time, is all I’m saying.


3 Comments on “A Lesson About Obstacles”

  1. Mel Ryane says:

    Getting over any fence, however big or small, is worth popping the champagne, in my opinion. Congratulations, on not straddling it too long…that’s the common challenge with fences.

  2. editor says:



    thank you.

    (replied to your weather inquiry)

  3. Brooke says:

    Zara, I love you and that was a rockin story.

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