Friday, December 4, 2015

Changing lanes

Over thanksgiving I was lucky enough to travel to Georgia for a few days and spend some quality time with my dad. He's pretty much the best and since he does the job of two parents he gets every bonus parenting award possible. He has done everything from pick me up of the ground to giving me dating advice. Poor guy. Girls are tough.

While I was home we watched some old home movies. This one in particular stood out. I was about 9 and as a whole we had been having a rough year. My parents though wanted us to have a special Christmas as at the time my mom was not in the best of health. Santa gave me riding lessons and In this video it showed me running around saying that I couldn't believe it and it most certainly was the best Christmas ever.

I remember that joy and excitement of being able to ride weekly. Going to the barn saw me through some pretty dark times. Being at the barn was always my escape from various things, it helped me cope with loss and helped me find peace again. That feeling of joy was why I decided to leave many things behind and work with horses full time.

They have taken me extraordinary places and helped me do things I never thought possible, but the thing is the spring it became very apparent to me at one particular horse show that I was in fact not happy. Being at the barn had stopped bringing me joy. It no longer made me jump out of bed to rush down and feed. I would drag myself up and try the whole day to keep going, to not just lie down and give up. Horses have brought me so many amazing things but they have also taken away a few as well.

The last three years have been a bit mental as far as life goes. Maybe mental isn't the right word, insane ? Crazy ? Take your pick. I never in a million years would have thought I would have been in Ireland horse shopping weeks before my surgery. Or that my now best half would have grabbed me and kissed me. Spoiler I was hooked from there. Or that he would have stuck it out with me. But after my surgery while I was trying to sort out what new me was. I lost my best friend, my four legged one. He will always be the best horse I knew. Kind. Gorgeous. A bit quirky. And always sharing his opinion. He wasn't the horse for everyone but he certainly was for me. He was the type I always dreamed of and never thought I would be lucky enough to own. I have lost a lot in my life. And honestly since that day my life has been a little duller.

Since that day it became harder to get up and go to the barn. It took me along time to place my finger on it, but so many things reminded me of him. Liam got to absorb many tears, and I kept thinking if I just stuck it out I would find that joy in the barn again. At that horse show this spring I knew something need to change. That life plan wasn't going to work. I started to hate riding and being at the barn. It killed me, but I decided to focus more on school. So I applied to Mary Washington and committed to finishing another degree. I quit my job that was such a part of who I was. That leaving and having no plans was the scariest thing I have ever done. So naturally I hid in Ireland with the boyfriend and let him tell me we would figure it out.

After I started fall classes i started riding again (not that I ever really stopped) and I found it again. That joy. I still see so many things that remind me of him. But I have a few lovely young horses to ride. Instead of event horses they are mostly race horses. I forgot how much I loved that. The quiet when all you can hear is the wind and their hoof beats. It is incredibly peaceful in those quiet moments. They remind me of him, and I have to smile. They helped me find joy in horses again. While I might not be making big plans to compete, I'm happy. And for the first time in a long time that's okay. I'm excited to stay here this winter, and focus on myself. It's not perfect, but it gets better everyday. And I promise to try and keep everyone updated!