My mind is filled with fences, varied in style, wrought iron and picket and hedge, standing resolute. But these are only ever in my dreams. In life I have no boundaries. Bring me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses. Ask me anything, for I wear my heart and my faith on my sleeve. I used to believe that it was better to be outright about everything. After all, I was born with one of those innocent faces. Strangers tell me their secrets. Friends hand me their woes. It's nice to be needed. But in reality, when I realize that the fairy tale I wanted to keep propped up as an example for the life I am building is, in fact, insubstantial at best... I wish I hadn't worked so hard to believe it. I wish I had allowed myself some cynicism. I wish that every once in a while, I'd lied. Maybe if I had lied or cheated or stolen or killed or participated in some malicious behavior at the expense of someone I'd loved, maybe then the smallest infraction near me wouldn't feel like a betrayal. Maybe I'd be called "level-headed" rather than "naively enthusiastic." Is it too late to begin riding fence on the range of my mind? And once the posts are pounded into the sod and the barbed wire is unrolled and pinned to the stakes, will I experience side effects in the rest of my life... as it happens with any true cure? Drowsiness, nausea, mood swings, a lack of intensity in my laugh, a decreased sparkle in my eye. Would that be worth it? Or is it better to fling myself, optimistically, off life's cliff, smiling into the wind and expecting clouds to cushion my fall? In dreams I can do that. And friendship and love are magnified by such blatant, passionate acts of blind faith. I cannot curb my desire to be the best friend, the best daughter, the best sister, the best wife I can be. So, for the time being, I'll just suck it up, tend to the wounds of those around me, and prepare for my next frenzy of fencelessness.