lessons

Five Years of Choices

Hey there, all you lovely folks out in the big wide world!

I’ve been in that weird mental space lately where I’ve been thinking about everything that has happened in my life and the choices that I made that led to where I am today.

Five years ago I was getting ready to head off to university. According to the plan I had at that time, 2020 would have been the year I would have started teaching/working/something, likely moved into the Dallas area (or another metroplex). I had zero intentions of settling down or having kids for a looonnnggg time yet. Don’t you just love how life doesn’t turn out the way we planned? It’s great.

My brain is very inconsistent sometimes. It’s very hard for me to let go of that one inconsequential thing I didn’t do yesterday and kick myself for that. But do I wish I hadn’t gone to university, struggled really really hard, and spent a crapload of money for three rough semesters that would leave me totally confused about what I really wanted out of my life? No, not really. I could easily look back and see where I could have made better choices or done things better/differently, but I don’t regret the journey that brought me to where I am today.

I learned SO MUCH about music during the years I spent studying and pursuing that career. I may be out of practice right now, but even without playing regularly, I’m still a pretty great pianist and that’s a skill I value highly.

The first semester I spent at university, I leased a lovely little horse and took weekly lessons for several months. It was easy to think that I failed at my horse goals because ultimately it was expensive/time consuming and I ended the lease in order to focus on my music classes. But in actuality, even four years later, I’m still feeling the effects of what I learned in those lessons and from that horse when I ride Lady. That’s worth it.

I might have felt lost. I might have spent my time in questionable ways. I may have spent too many late nights out on the town because I was confused. I might have ended up in the wrong relationships. But I learned from every single thing that happened.

I stressed myself out. I cried. I got a new kitten. I had a lot of panic attacks. I spent hours pounding away on super expensive pianos and questioning my career choice the entire time. I took criticism. I made good and bad grades. I discovered a unique love for music history (that was unexpected). I failed a class for the first time in my life. I struggled with money and then spent half a month’s earnings on my first tattoo – because I wanted to. I made and lost friends. I worked long hours and went into debt for the first time.

Basically, the first few years of “adulthood” were hard for me. And I think, in a way, they should be that way. It was rough being on my own for the first time. Plus, I’m stubbornly independent and will not ask for help unless it’s extremely dire. So I needed to learn a few lessons.

But I don’t regret the choices that I made or the experiences that I had. None of it was a waste of time or money. I didn’t think I would end up where I did, but I’m also not the same person I was five years ago. I still don’t know what I’m doing half the time. I had no idea what I was doing when I said yes to The Husband’s proposal and I had no idea what I was thinking when I said I wanted a baby. But those were the two decisions that led to the most happiness I could ever ask for in a lifetime.

I’m still searching for more, and I think I always will be, to some extent. But truthfully, I could not ask for a better life. I’m grounded and truly confident in myself and what I believe. It’s a nice place to be.

Maybe this week I’ll manage to get out two posts again. I’ve been in the process of clearing more space in my schedule and school is tough this term, so it’s been a juggling act lately!


Until next time,

Love, light, and kindness,

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Posted by katharine_marie in General, Life in 2020, Life of a Writer, Lifestyle, mental health, 0 comments

What Horse Ownership Taught Me

Hey lovely readers,

So one of the things I’ve done while stuck at home/social distancing is online shopping. I mean, haven’t we all ordered at least a couple things during this whole chaotic time? I haven’t bought everything I wanted, but there’s definitely a few things on their way to my front porch this week that I might not have ordered if the circumstances had been different. Whoops.

But overall, I would say that I don’t buy a lot of things on a whim. Coffee from my favorite local shop just because I was driving by? Yes, that happens more often than I care to admit. And I do tend to grab one or two things out of clearance bins before checking out at stores. But 98% of the time, if it is going to be spending more than five dollars, I can say no really easily. And I attribute most of my ability to spend money wisely on my teenage years of owning horses.

 

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My own photo of Lady!

 

See, I got my first horse when I was eleven. And then I got another two when I was twelve. And then the horse that I still have now came home when I was thirteen. So I’ve spent all the years from then until now making sure she stays healthy and happy. My parents definitely helped out with vet bills and they made sure there was enough food and pasture available, but I always felt the responsibility of making sure I had enough money to pay for whatever Lady needed. As someone who naturally spends money on whatever she wants at the moment, having a responsibility like that was a great thing. I still probably spent more money than I might have needed to, but it was all on fancy feed and equipment for my horse, so it was justified.

Most people talk about getting their kids a pet so that they learn responsibility, and it absolutely can teach kids a lot. I’m certainly grateful that my parents allowed me the opportunity to have horses as a teenager – not just because I enjoyed the horse, but because I learned a lot.

Growing up with a horse in my backyard that was my responsibility gave me the opportunity to practice caring for someone besides myself. I made sure that Lady had enough food for the month before I bought myself a new pair of shoes. I got out of bed to break the ice on winter mornings and tossed hay with frozen hands. I walked the fencelines and made repairs in hundred-degree weather. I spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours building confidence, patience, and inner strength while riding and training horses – all things that I’ve carried over into every other part of my life.

Originally, this post was supposed to be about how owning horses made me better with money, but it morphed into more than that. I keep casually shopping for a miniature horse for the Tiny Princess because now that I have my own daughter, I realize just how much I learned from my experiences and I want her to learn how to have that same strength and confidence that is unique to horse girls. There are a lot of hobbies that help shape strong, confident women, but I’m rather partial to this particular one. Maybe because I’m still learning from my horse? And even if my little girl doesn’t have my own interest in horses, I’ve still learned so much that I can hopefully share with her anyways.

In a belated Mother’s Day note – thank you Mom for always encouraging me to ride and learn everything I possibly could about horses. You probably kept me out of a lot of trouble, haha!


Love, light, and hoofbeats in your dreams,

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Posted by katharine_marie in General, Life in 2020, Lifestyle, 0 comments