Updated: Jul 15
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I have spent my life NOT listening to what people with more life experience than me have had to say. I have completely executed my life backwards compared to the so called "main-stream" and my family says I'm an over-sharer (which is valid). If this sounds like you I would love to share my story with you just in case I can accidentally help someone. This story is split into two parts, so let's get into me doing some oversharing.
Alfa Gamma NOT 4 MIA
I don't have the capacity in my soul to harbor regrets, I like to think of them as learning opportunities. However, in retrospect, if you nailed me down and made me give you my most sincere regret it would have been not having a plan for after High School. If I'm honest, I will admit that I had absolutely no concept of the future, I lived the "One Day At A Time" lifestyle on the most naïve rudimentary level.
So after High School I did what all my friends did and went to college. I was only seventeen and off to Feather River with my Rodeo Scholarship, my 3 horses, my 6 rodeo events, my 17 credits worth of college classes and and outside horse to ride for a little extra cash. Sounds like a lot right. Well it sure was. Long story short it was the perfect recipe for quitting school and moving straight into the workforce in less than nine months. Side Note: There is a silver lining here that I don't want to overlook. I'm very happy that I didn't turn to certain "coping mechanisms" to try and stick it out like I saw some of my friends do.
My dumbass 18 year old self moved into the workforce with an impressive unaffected confidence that I had life figured out and I was leagues ahead of all my friends. As far as I was concerned they were the "dumb" ones for paying money to take a year of classes that were a review of our Junior and Senior year of High School. Truth is, I was directionless, who knows if I would have stuck it out if I had a career plan in place that motivated me and goals of obtaining degrees to work toward. The world may never know because that is NOT what happened. I thought of obtaining degrees as jumping through unnecessary hoops for a piece of paper that proved that I read a book and I took tests. Nevertheless, there I was diving into the workforce without a lifeboat, because I knew what was best.
Three Years of Going in Circles (Quite Literally)
Where did I get a job you ask. I chose the super easy, relaxing and stress free job of loping for horse trainers. We joked that we would put the experience on our resumes as Equine Preparation Specialist. That's what the job was, we were like nurses, we were allowed and capable of doing everything outside writing a prescription.
Now this is the career path that peeked my interest the most, I trained horses with my Papa (see my Blog post I Sur-Thrived 2020 (part two, back to my roots) so it's what I was passionate about. The following paragraph you'll have to take with a a brick of salt. I just wrote it through my teeth.
I was doing great! I rode horses for a living, all day every day, life was great. Sure the days were long and you didn't get paid much, but what you were doing was worthwhile and fulfilling. Sure you were losing touch with your friends because your salaried six day a week job ended up being you living in/near the barn on call day and night seven days a week, but it was fine because you had grown attached to these horses and you loved them like they were your own. Sure trainers were demanding, berating and short tempered, but you understood because they were under a tremendous amount of stress and didn't need to be bothered by the fact that you're merely human. Sure the work was tiring and physically demanding and your young agile body had knees that should have belonged to an 80 man, but it was fine because.....
Here is where it was not fine. Now if my knees and back ached and hurt that was fine, I had the choice to keep working and keep pushing my limits, but when I had to start holding young horses for the vet that's when my spidy senses started tingling. This job and lifestyle was slowly but surely loosing it's allure.
The Straw That Buckled My 80 Year Old Knees
I was catching on to the game in this specific world of horse showing. I slowly started watching my male friends go on to become horse trainers and split off from our bosses and build their cliental. Adversely I noticed that us women folk were overlooked or not as assertive in our ambitions. (I am not eluding to any sort of social injustice I'm just giving my personal account of what I observed) Women generally found a trainer to marry and they assumed their role as Head Loper for forever. Which was the path that I was headed down until one day I met my boyfriends girlfriend. Or I was the side chick. I can't recall, and I also don't recall giving him any airspace to explain it to me.
I was a wreck. I had quit my former boss to go to work for who I was almost sure was my future husband only to have my dreams crushed and my heart shattered. To top it off I was stuck working for him until I figured a way out. That was the longest I've ever held a grudge and also the longest running silent treatment I have ever been able to accomplish.
This was the point in my life that I met a person that was living a life that I was completely enamored with. He had young horses he had rope horses and he had freedom, didn't answer to anyone but himself and most intoxicating of all he promised me the world.
To Be Continued...
Look for Part 2 of this story coming VERY SOON! I will be talking about marrying young, raising kids young, & why I decided to divorce.
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