Hope hadn’t totally abandoned me as of August 2018. I examined a few of my options more in depth and took the steps to pursue a career as an exercise rider. By this point, I was blessed to work at a pet supply store working with some incredible people. It still didn’t pay much, but it would be enough to maintain my lease. I toyed with the idea of doing exercise rides on the side, but soon realized that still didn’t leave enough time for a full-time lease with an hour commute each way. My options were growing exponentially smaller and less feasible.
December of 2018 arrived. I graduated high school. I thought about the extra time I would have on my hands so I could keep riding. I was elated.
Then January rolled around and I was thrown into a dog-sitting position for my first two weeks out of high-school. I also asked for my boss to give me more hours at work. The realities of life were (and still are) just beginning to hit. I wanted to be able to save up for college and beyond, to try to be wise with my finances so I could pursue financial independence. Just a month earlier, I had felt that my dreams of a riding career had been revived by the release from school deadlines and my seasonal job.
Then, I rediscovered my love of reading, writing, science, the arts, and all the other many facets that create a well-rounded life. My local library and I had grown close over the last few years, and I knew that I desired my freedom to dabble in all the opportunities the world has to offer. These new curiosities were beginning to choke out my less-accessible and impractical career in the horse world. Suddenly, I could feel my life weaving together in some new pattern ー one that didn’t include enough time in the day for a full-time lease. By mid-January, I came to a conclusion that had been months, maybe years, in the making.
It took me about a week to wrack up the courage to relinquish the lease on Daisy Mae. The horse that I thought was going to be a blessing to my riding career. The idea to forego the lease was, at the very least, bittersweet. But two weeks ago, I sat on the couch while a swirling vortex of emotions engulfed my body. I was eager to end the conflict within myself, yet almost heartbroken that I knew the answer to a question I didn’t necessarily want to ask in the first place.