A little over a week ago, I packed up my dorm room and left Fort Collins, officially ending my time at CSU and kicking off the next chapter of my life.
Oh yes, there were tears. A river of tears. I said goodbye to close friends and I cried all the way back to Denver.
Next, I headed down to the Colorado Horse Park where I said goodbye to Sleepy Hallow Farms, the barn at which I had been working while attending CSU.
I momentarily stopped crying when I reached the horse show. Thirty minutes later, with more hugs and goodbyes I started crying crying again. I pouted all the way to Colorado Springs, tears welling in my eyes.
I dragged out the goodbye with my best friend from college by staying at her house in the Springs for two nights. Inevitably, on Monday morning, I was forced to face the reality that I was really leaving.
I finally got control of myself when it was time to pick up the U-Haul and pack up my belongings (most importantly, Kane, my Australian Shepherd). After an emotional goodbye with two of my close friends from high school, I cried some more.
This gist of the story up to this point? I cried a lot.
Pushing through a snowstorm in the Rocky Mountains with Denver in my rear view mirror, I finally stopped crying. I haven’t cried since.
I am convinced that this is the right choice. There is a quote from a song that says, “Some believe in destiny, some believe in fate, I believe that happiness is something we create.” This is how I am creating my happiness. Someone told me many times it is in our power to make ourselves happy, this is exactly what I am doing. If I didn’t pursue this next chapter, I know I would go on to regret it.
I know I might fail but falling on my face is a risk I am willing to take. This has been by far the most challenging decision I have ever made. However, as soon as I arrived home and went to the barn to ride Junior, I knew this was the right path for me.
We spend so much time focusing on what we cannot control that we forget it is only ourselves that can create a life which makes us happy. We hold so much power within our choices but we shy away from the ones that make us choose between what is comfortable and what is right. Yet, it ends up being that the toughest choices that show us just how strong we truly are.
I have been terrified of the unknown for as long as I can recall. I have never coped with change well and “talking about it” has never been a strong suit of mine. I am the master of battening down the hatches and just pushing through the tough stuff. This made me a more resilient person but it also made me a controlling person (and someone prone to the occasional “I can’t take this anymore” explosion. We all have our faults). I had to know “what comes next.” I was constantly anxious about what might happen and rarely took the time to enjoy what was happening. I could never relax.
I still can’t relax. I am constantly thinking of what I am doing and where I am going. My fear came from not my constant gaze into the future but rather my constant need to be perfect in the future. I feared failing in the future.
But, I have failed before and I will fail again. Failure is an inevitable part of this sport. Failure is an inevitable part of life. But, I will not allow my fear of failure ruin the positive turn my life is taking. I have no control over whether or not I fail, I will at some point. I can only control if I continue to get back on.
So, now I am excited to fail. I am excited to have the opportunity to grow, to overcome, and to, as always, get back on.
In the next few weeks I will be preparing to leave for Europe, competing in a horse show in San Diego, and finalizing the process of transferring to the University of San Diego. I’m terrified. But I am also invigorated. I go to the barn every morning ready to tackle a new obstacle because I know it will put me one step closer to achieving the lofty goals I have presented for myself. So, I muck another stall and swing up on another horse, excitement overcoming my fear of the unknown.
So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key.