A guest post by SWTW Ambassador, Heather Ferrin
Hello, all you beautiful and amazing woman out there! 🙂
One thing I learned the hard way in life, is that at some point we must get off the damn fence! When we are on the so-called ‘fence’ about something, the universe freaks the heck out. Imagine a parent offering their child milk or juice, and the kid always says, “I don’t know” or worse, “I want both!”… but they can only have one.
As a parent, we can’t work with that. We are stuck standing there, repeating ourselves, waiting for them to make a choice so we can meet their needs. In real life, the universe is the same way. It wants to support us in our growth, but often we’re called to make the choice first, before we can receive any sort of assistance. That goes for helping ourselves, too.
When we have self-doubt, fear and anxiety about our life choices — whether it be work, parenting, friendships, family, our workout routine — and we are sitting on the fence, the universe can’t help but stall. Freak out with us, even. Or become completely incapable of working its magic to move us forward in any productive way.
Let me tell you though, back in 2015, after breaking up with an ex-boyfriend who had been cheating on me for a while, I was left in Utah feeling alone. Completely crushed.
Backstory: I’m from Minnesota but have called Utah home since 2005. I have an amazing son out here who I share joint custody with his dad. We are really good friends and co-parent extremely well together. I’ve got 2 wonderful dogs who love to backpack and climb mountains with me, and some of the most amazing, supportive girlfriends ever!
However, despite this network of support, I felt alone.
I didn’t know how exactly to pick myself up after feeling unworthy for my ex. For a while, I felt ashamed of not having the perfect marriage, and another failed relationship on top of that. I wanted to run and hide. I didn’t want to show my son my failures, either. I even thought about going back to Minnesota. I was on the fence with everything! And as a result, everything seemed to be suffering. Nothing felt good anymore.
It took me until the middle of 2016 to really get my shit together, but I made a bold choice for myself: a challenge to hike 100 days in 2017. It might not seem like a ‘get off the fence’ type moment, however it really was. It was a time where I got off the fence about moving back to MN. I got off the fence about making my workouts a priority. I got off the fence about starting to date again and how I wanted to deal with my current job.
That year, I became an adventurer!
My friends literally referred to my weekend plans as adventures, and would often ask “where are you exploring next?” The whole tempo of my life changed. It became a powerful domino effect as friends, family and complete strangers were carried along with me into this new way of thriving. It was magical!
I bonded with my son and friends deeply and authentically that year. I reconnected with family better than ever. I got into the best shape of my life. I started becoming a better employee at work, which netted me a raise and, later, better hours. I met my current boyfriend on a backpacking trip that year, as well.
Amazingly, amid an insanely busy ‘normal’ life — work, parenting, and dating someone new who happened to have 2 boys of his own — I managed to hit my goal.
New Year’s Eve 2017 was hike 103. I hiked 100,000 feet of elevation gain, 500+ miles overall, 50 different trails, and my 100 days of hiking.
I nailed it! I even brought in 2018 with a New Year’s Day hike, just for good measure. Damn right… and it was exhausting too. HA
The point is, that I made one simple choice in 2016: to get off the fence and just do something. At first, the hiking challenge didn’t feel like an ‘on the fence’ moment at all, but it was. I made a conscious decision to stop feeling sorry for myself. I decided to start hiking to fill my time with something better then sulking at home alone. And that one choice changed all areas of my life dramatically.
With that in mind, I encourage you not to sit on the fence either! Whether it be dinner choices, working out, starting a new hobby, or if you like your job, or not. Start planning out your own life now! Make the little choices and then plan BIG. Take action and move towards them. It will impact your life in such an incredible way if you take the time to make up your mind on the things important to you in life. The rest, oddly enough, seems to fall into place as we make those choices firm and concrete inside our minds.
Now there are days I don’t have it all together! Not at all, my friends. Ha! But I no longer sit on the fence, feeling stuck in a second-guessing mindset. Like you, I’m a work in progress. I’m always willing to try again, learn something new, think about things differently, and help those around me try again, too.
Carve out your own path in life, and be proud of every choice you make along the way. When needed, it’s ok to pause and sit for a while, even on the fence… just don’t stay there for long.
All my best,