Thursday, July 17, 2008

Falling off the horse

When I was 9 years old I signed up for 4-H and got my first horse. I loved riding, I was never super good at it, couldn't really be one of those competitive cowgirls. But, I did my thing. I rode for pleasure and with 4-H I rode in a couple of shows. I started out riding a little pony and as I got a little better I progressed to a rather large 17 hand horse.

After a year and a half I started to feel pretty good about the fact that I had never been bucked off a horse, never fallen off, never had any major calamity occur. Then I attended a 4-H horse show. There I was in my white shirt, green hat and green sash. I was looking 10 year old stylish. My hair cut short to my ears in a bob and permed. It was a good look! Anyway, I was out in a field behind the arena warming up my horse, Brodie. Things were going well until suddenly her feet got tripped up in the grass. She tried desperately to keep her footing, but her attempts were futile. She toppled over with me and my green hat still on top of her back. She fell completely over on her side, pinning my left leg underneath her massive weight. Numbing pain shot through the left side of my body and as quickly as I could feel it she was jumping back on her feet and running off, leaving me on the ground. As I shook off the pain, ever adult in the near proximity rushed over to check on me.

Though I was shaken up, I didn't have any wounds that were in need of treatment. What was wounded was my pride and my confidence. I'd heard the cliche saying, "You need to get right back on the horse." Honestly, though that was the very last thing I wanted to do. I didn't want to risk getting hurt again. I didn't want to chance serious damage. My brush with injury was too close for my comfort. Eventually, the adults convinced me to at least mount the small pony that I had learned on. Over the next couple of weeks I regained my confidence and was eventually able to ride Brodie again.

This event sticks out in my mind because in the nine years that I rode horses this is the only accident I ever had. I was very lucky. But, this was not the only time that I have "fallen off the horse." Life is full of stumbles, wounded pride, lost confidence. Getting back up on the horse sometimes sounds simple, but can be the hardest thing in the world to actually do. Lately, I have felt the greatest amount of inadequacy, wounded pride and lack of confidence in my life. I'm not really one of those competitive cowgirls in this life, but I'm doing my thing, taking it at my own pace and I will keep getting back on the horse each time I stumble. And I will keep remembering that this ride is worth all the falls!


Anonymous said...

I can't keep posting ALL my reactions to your blog, but, Oh My Gosh, your blog today took my breath away. I remember the sheer terror of the moment you fell! But now all that fades in comparison to the swelling waves of Pride and Gratitude I feel when I see the Woman you have become. Baby Girl, I know how much you have on your plate right now, and I know how tough it can be. I see you struggling, and there is so much I would like to do to help, but don't know how. And then I remind myself that you have everything you need -- within yourself -- just as you always have. You are good and kind and wise. You are smart and funny and sensitive. So many people LOVE you. You know you are Lovable! But you sometimes forget to go easy on yourself. Don't try to carry all the load, all the time. Things WILL get done when you don't do them yourself! Others do step up to help, and sometimes it's the best gift we can give them and ourselves -- to trust in the ability of others. You are doing a GREAT job, but you don't need to juggle so many balls. Doing things you don't really want to do is another form of DISHONESTY. I know, because I've been there. And then begins the resentment, towards those who will never be grateful enough, and mostly towards yourself for giving away little pieces of your own soul. Pick what you CHOOSE to do and give the rest away. Things will turn out just fine -- maybe not exactly as YOU would have orchestrated them -- but just fine. You don't have to be all things to all the people in your life. Just be TRUE to yourself and the rest will follow. That's what we have been put here for!!!
I love you with all my heart,

The Newell Clan said...

I love your blog, your downright honesty is so apparent in your posts, it makes me miss talking to you. It seems like we entered your life at an interesting time, and weird how a few times I had to defend your ex-husband because others thought something was up...I was just hoping to support your marraige as a true friend and was a little naive to the person Jeremy was to you. Thanks for all of those times we hung out in jammies and just talked, it was so comfortable to be around you! I am sooooo happy for you and your superman. Your character is so valiant and it shows with your endurance the past few years...
Miss you and maybe our paths will cross someday to meet your new family...