On Chasing Dreams, Among Other Things...
This is going to be a very personal post, and will give a little insight into where I've been this past month. Bare with me. I'm going to start this post off by sharing with you a quote that I have lived by ever since I saw it etched on a wall at the Glenbow museum in Calgary over 10 years ago. It may have a few of you raising your eyebrows, but oh well because...
Always keep yourself in a position to look any man straight in the eye and tell him to go hell
- George LaneGeorge Lane was a Canadian politician and rancher, the foreman of the Bar U, he eventually purchased the ranch. He is also known as one of the "Big Four" who helped found the Calgary Stampede. It is pretty safe to say, from this brief history, and the quote above, that George Lane was also a bad ass. The fact is, that for some, this above quote may come across as harsh, unnerving, or rude, but in reality, it isn't any of those things, it's actually quite beautiful. It shows a person, strong and confident in themselves, that holds themselves in such a position that at any time they can prove themselves strong and unwavering in the face of opposition.
As I've talked about on this blog, I really had this feeling that 2016 was going to be my year, I didn't know how it was going to be - but I just felt it could be. I decided that I was going to rid my life of any negative influences, and I did just that. Anyone I felt that was bringing me down with their negative outlook or energy, I quickly cut off. However, when you begin to rid your circles of negativity, and you still see negativity around you, one must look inward. I realized the job I was working at, and had been since I returned home from the states, was making me a negative person. It was not one particular persons fault, per se, it was just happening, the environment was not healthy for me. I am baffled that there are people in this world that have worked at jobs they absolutely dreaded and hated for 60+ years, I commend them, I really do, because what a terrible, terrible burden to put on your shoulders. These people, like myself, were probably trapped within their finances, like so many of us are. 2015 was a terrible year financially for me, and in this job I was making good money, but it was slipping through my fingers faster than I could count it. Then, because I was spending so much on trivial things, I would work more, and then because I would work more, I would get more and more negative. It became a debilitating cycle. I wasn't the only one that noticed, and I parted ways with the company rather abruptly at the beginning of March. What was I going to do? I didn't have a fricken' dollar saved.
I had been working part-time, and casually, for a cutting horse trainer since October. I had been loving it, I had been running from his place to work every single day. I went to him, and we hashed out a plan. Lady was already at his barn, but we brought Jingle too. When I found out I was leaving my previous job, the only true fear I had were my animals - were they going to be okay? Financially, could I sustain them? Now, I knew I could, that they would be safe and protected. All of a sudden, in the blink of an eye, I had a job again.
I'm going to tell you the saddest and the best part of this post right now, I am the absolute happiest I have been since before I left Arizona in June of 2013. In 2011, I began to really focus on bettering myself as a horsewoman and I called it "dream chasing", it was always on my mind. How to go after my dreams, how to chase them, and I did, with reckless abandoned, and it worked. People saw how passionate I was, and doors opened for me. Why did it take me so long to find this happiness again? I KNEW what made me happy. I knew that working for trainers, putting 14 hours in a day, riding horses, caring for horses, and showing horses made me incredibly, stupidly happy. I didn't trust myself, I didn't trust that's what I actually wanted. I had so many people tell me I needed to find a "real job" (read: corporate) - one that could pay for the horses. WHY? Why didn't I look those people straight in the eye, and tell them to go straight to hell? Because I was scared. Scared I was too young, didn't know any better, too stupid, too naive. Instead I should have kept myself in a better position. Let's remember who I am for a minute, a girl, that relentlessly pursued her dream life and achieved it up until 2013. Nobody knocked on more doors, and begged for horse time, more than I did. I knew the minute I returned home from Arizona how I could achieve the life I wanted, but I hid from it. Then, in the middle of March, I had to face into and up to someone and I had to look them straight in the eye, and I did it, and I did it well. I walked away from that situation and thought to myself, if I can do that, I can do anything, and so now, i'm "just" a loper, and you can't get the smile off my face most days.
I had an incorrigible circle around me that believed in me
I have the fiercest mother you've ever met in your entire life. She is a business coach that is strong, intelligent, driven and funny as hell. Sometimes, in the past, she hasn't completely understood the horse aspect of my life, but she has never, ever questioned my passion. When she told me I could be and do anything I wanted to, I knew, from the bottom of my heart she meant it.
I have a great group of friends that is nurturing, and understanding. There are so many I could talk about, but today, I'll highlight one - my best friend, Brigitte. Brigitte owns Vitality Equine, an equine massage business she started last year, she is wildly talented. Brigitte is a dream-chaser, just like me, and our lives have paralleled each other for a long time. When I asked her, years ago, if she wanted to put a business proposal together to see if we could acquire a $2 million ranch, she was all in. When people thought we were crazy, and laughed at us for even trying, she just shrugged her shoulders and soldiered on in the trenches with me. When she massaged Jingle because he was hurt, and I told her she should seriously look into doing this, as a career, she quietly said she had been, but did I think she could? I told her, hell yes I thought she could. She went for it, with a drive and passion that is next to none. When I call her, after a particularly bad work on a horse, or just a bad day in general, I always get good advice, usually followed up by a text message that tells me that every step in my journey is getting closer to achieving my goals. She pushes me, and I push her, and then, after all the pushing is over and we are both exhausted, we can pick up the phone, or pick up a beer, and just laugh at how hard we have to work for our goals some days.
Finally, I have a boss that forces me every single day to re-evaluate my riding, work harder for my goals, go show even if I'm SO scared to show. He throws theory at me, let's me ride phenomenal horses, and in the same breathe he takes away my own horse from me when I can't get done what i'm trying to do. Instead of letting me pout, he turns it into a learning experience and makes me grow from it. I'm learning so much that my head is about my burst... but there it is again, that damn happiness factor creeping back in.
These. These are the people you want in your corner. It will be so much easier to climb the ladder when you can get help from the shoulders of giants and hands of friends. I promise you, find a good circle of people, and all that fear? all that self doubt? It will be impossible to manifest, because you're surrounded by good energy.
& so there it is, that's where I am right now. I'm working 6 am to 8 pm days most days. I'm exhausted, but I'm so happy, and I'm so ready to take you guys on this newest journey with me. I really, really have a feeling that it's going to be a good one. Promise.