Of course, I’m not referring to sitting on a fence, literally. I’m actually thinking of the idiom and how it affects our daily lives.
By definition, ‘fence-sitting’ usually refers to a state of indecisiveness, and in this day and age, we have a lot of decisions to make. Some are easy: “Okay, I’ll floss;” “No way, peas make me gag;” “Yes, sir, I finished the report;” “No, you can’t have a cell phone-you’re only five!” Other decisions can be quite difficult, even heart-wrenching: “But he says he loves me;” “We’ll have to move if I take the job;” “More chemo? Should I?”
If we are in a state of indecisiveness, perhaps we should ask why. One reason could just be good, old-fashioned fear? ‘Sitting on the fence’ is much safer. Certain decisions can have long-lasting consequences, and that can be a scary thought. However, when we refuse to budge from our perch, we may be acquiring an ‘obstruction.’ We may be suspending things like personal growth, development of relationships, or even the fulfillment of dreams…kind of like what a ‘hemorrhoid’ does.
Personally, when I decided to submit my writing to complete strangers for publication, it was like exposing my jugular vein. I’ve since done it many times, and I’ve been rejected many times. And to be honest, I’m always afraid of the word ‘no.’ It smacks at my whole identity as a writer. However, if I’d stopped submitting my work after that first ‘no,’ I would never have published a book…and that’s pretty cool.
Moral of this story: maybe you need to get off the fence. As Benjamin Franklin said: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”