Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An Equestrian Conundrum

I have a really great idea for a blog post.  I'm excited to write it.  But I haven't (and this post not it) because I've been busy worrying about something totally random and unrelated and possibly life changing.

It started last week when I got licked by a horse.  (Yes, licked.)  The Best Husband Ever and I were out with two of our pups in a dog-friendly public area.  At the end of our walk, the horses that live in the field across the street were close to the fence.  The Best Husband Ever urged me to go over and say hi, so despite my worries that I would get in trouble, I did.  And not only did I get licked by one of the two horses, but I also got nuzzled, nibbled, and whuffled (yes, that's a word -- the Best Husband Ever had to look it up before believing me).

And I also got re-bitten by the horsey bug that infects just about every female that I have ever known.  Unlike most other women, however, my horse crazy phase never really passed.  I just couldn't do much with it -- I took lessons as a child, then again in college, and most recently mucked stalls as part of my work at a sanctuary for blind and disabled animals

For some reason I have never felt that a horse career was possible.  My parents definitely discouraged it (although they discouraged writing, too, so I don't know why I didn't listen on the writing but did on the horses).  Also, it seems pretty frivolous.  Probably because the reality is that even casual interest in horseback riding is a pricey hobby.  

But after feeling a horse's warm breath in my ear for the first time in years, I realized how much I've been missing all things equine.  And so like any good blogger I set to Googling.

The result of my search is that I was offered a position as a working student at a lovely dressage barn in New England.  If I were to take this position, for the next year I would not only be cleaning stalls and feeding horses, but I would be receiving daily riding lessons and learning how to train and exercise horses.  It's really stinking cool, and a much cheaper alternative to going back to school.  A dream come true . . . right?  

It is, but there's a catch.  In order to take advantage of this opportunity, I'd have to move to New England -- without the Best Husband Ever.  I'd have to leave him, our dogs, our friends, and my home to venture out into uncharted territory where I won't even be receiving a daily paycheck as a small consolation if things should not turn out to be what I was hoping.  

I'm scared.  I'm scared of taking the job and leaving everything I know for a year, and I'm afraid of not taking the job and regretting it.  On top of all that I'm also scared of taking the job and then feeling horrible about how heavy and out of shape I am (although taking the job would be a surefire way to get back into shape).  It's that whole not waiting to be thin thing coming back up again.

If you're wondering why I'm blogging about this -- well, so am I.  But I guess I wanted to share that decisions are hard.  They are difficult, and sometimes can't be undone.  I don't think that the intricacies of decision-making get talked about enough, especially in eating disorder circles where health is all about choices. 

Also, I want some help!  (And don't worry -- I will definitely not base my decision off of what I read in the comments.  My decision is mostly made, and now I'm just curious.)  What would you do in this situation?


  1. Wow! (or should I say Whoa!) It sounds like a fantastic opportunity. I know for sure that I would not do it. I would want to because I know it would be an amazing learning experience but I just wouldn't let myself do it. Then I would feel sad (probably all my life) that I denied myself, once again, a chance to learn and grow and stretch myself beyond what I believe is possible. I know for sure because I've passed on lots of great opportunities. I often wonder what might have been.

  2. After years of NOT living this way, the mantra I now live by is: I would rather regret something I did, than something I didn't do.I would absolutely go. Life is about getting to experience as much as possible -well, haha, that's at least how I tryyyyy to live. This is awesome Beth. Good luck to you with whatever you decide!

  3. I would pray about it, talk it over with the BHE and see how he feels about me being away for a whole year (although it's not like you're being deployed overseas), and perhaps look for a similar opportunity closer to home (maybe at the residence of the horse that whuffled you?) before making a decision.If you feel that God's okay with it and the BHE is supporting you, then go for it. If anything is troubling you about the situation, then continue to wait and pray about it.That's my two cents' worth. Best wishes for good stuff, whatever you decide. :)

  4. Stephanie (dancingwaApril 1, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    While I am late to responding to this (and saw your decision already), I think that TraciB gave some great advice. Some of the insane things I've done in my life, I did because I'd thought through and felt comfortable with it. From your other post, it sounds like there are clear goals/decisions you've made in Montana and that uprooting and changing venue might be harmful to that, given prior patterns.While fear isn't a good reason to hold us back from something (I tell myself as much as you), sometimes it has something to tell us. And if it's something we feel we can get past, while keeping our integrity and goals intact, then that calls for bravery. But, if there are clear reasons why not to jump (and the goals you list in your next post are clearly well thought-out and meaningful to you), then no sense doing it just for the heck of it.Thinking of you,Steph


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