Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Yes, Forest, life is like a box of chocolates. Yum!

Sometime during the beginning of December, my life totally flipped upside down. No matter how hard I tried, it seemed I was fighting a uphill battle to gain any significance in what I was doing with my life. I still had no real clue what I wanted to do with my life, even though I was extremely successful showing and training show horses. I had a huge clientele base, lots of riding lesson students, and I was working out of a decent facility. I was extremely successful with my job, but I was not doing a good job of making myself happy.

One of my biggest flaws is that I go above and beyond the call of duty. This seems honorable, but when there is little to be gained in return for all of my hard work and sacrifice, it slowly became intolerable. This in turn builds resentment and unhappiness, and when it is intertwined with a 24/7+ job that is always feast or famine, one rightfully deserves to be cranky. I am the first person that will bend over backwards to help anyone, but when nothing is ever reciprocated it seems pointless.

The horse industry is tough and cut-throat. Everyone seems to be out to help you, but in fact a majority are just waiting for the opportunity to stab you in the back so they can take out the opposition. This can be seen everywhere from the backyard and 4-H shows through national level competition. Granted, not everyone is like this in the horse world, but I have a whole lifetime of experience that supports my feeling that wearing boots to ride horses in has more to do with all of the sh*t that gets deep versus keeping your foot from sliding through the stirrup.

My resentment had been building up during the 6 years after high school that I had been training horses while trying to finish college. I was getting "one Bud wiser" while out with some dear friends I had not seen in a long time, and I suddenly had an epiphany. My very passion (my horses/riding), had turned into something that I loathed dealing with everyday. That very night I decided that I would make a drastic change and try to make myself happy for once. Damn it I had to figure out a way to finish my nursing degree so that I could use my own horses as therapy again.

The very next day I took my two weeks vacations and gave my two weeks notice. It felt good. I moved my horses to my house, and as I watched them proudly prance around the pasture, tails flagged, I knew that I had made a good choice.
Enlisting in the military was something that I had wanted to do right out of high school, but a lot of people said that I was too smart (I was a straight A honor student) and should just go straight to college. Retrospectively, this probably was a good decision, because now I am better prepared for what lies ahead.