Thursday, November 28, 2013

What I'm Thankful For

Since I'm not home for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner where I could bore my family by rattling off all the things I'm thankful for, time to share with the internet! Enjoy!

What I'm thankful for:

#1 - My Family

Seems like a no-brainer, but I wouldn't be where I am today without the love and support of my wonderful parents. My dad and mom worked their tushies off my entire life to make sure my sister and I were happy and educated. My mom works extra hours and weekends to help support my horse show addiction, and we would not have had a show season at all if it weren't for her bending over backwards to make my dreams a reality. My parents have also been very understanding with my transition from a student and living at home, to moving across the country to follow my dreams. Sometimes I run out of money, and while I'm waiting to be fully self-sufficient (it's very nearly on the horizon), mom and dad have helped me make my way to financial stability. They may have ulterior motives to make sure I take care of them when they're old and stinky,  but they're the best and I couldn't ask for anything more!

#2 - Nathan

In the search to find someone who I'd like to grow old with, I landed the jackpot with Nathan. He has quickly adapted to my horse-crazy lifestyle, and constantly understands my need to spend ungodly hours getting stinky and playing with ponies at random hours of the day and night. He laughs (or tolerates) all my bad jokes, and tells me every day how lucky he is to have me. To put it cornily, I've found "the one" and I'm ready for that ring any day now, no pressure!

#3 - Tristan

I got lucky with my first horse. This year I can honestly say we've done things I never imagined. To name a few: going to a show without a trainer giving us the thumbs up before each phase, winning an event on our dressage score (and 2nd on a dressage score), and making the move to Preliminary (regardless of results). Tristan gives me confidence that I never knew I had. We've been very lucky this past year to enjoy some great facilities for staying fit, opportunities to ride with great trainers, and a wonderful barn to call home. No matter the color of the ribbon when we compete, I still can't help grinning while cantering along bareback, or enjoying the quiet moments walking in the woods on the best horse I've ever met.

#4 - My Job

I was lucky to have my dream job fall into my lap just after I finished college. Working for an equine apparel company was a perfect meld of my passion for horses and my interest in business. However, life happens and sometimes the people you think you can trust have other motives. I lost that job and was worried about falling into the cynical place in my brain that likes to tell me that decent people don't exist. Lucky for me, the contrast between the liars and everyone else helped reveal true friends from the posers. I can't be more thankful for my wonderful ex-boss and now barn manager, Helen Elizabeth, for reminding me that true goodness still exists in the world and can only dream of attaining the strength of character that comes naturally to her every day.

I also learned that dreams are adaptive even if they don't always involve horses. I managed to fall into a wonderful company, located near our new home, and couldn't be happier with my new job. It's a role I never saw myself in previously, going from mucking stalls 24/7 to having a cubicle, but I'm mentally stimulated and challenged to think outside the box every single day I go into work.

#5 Greenville

 Moving across the country is a pure leap of faith. You could find yourself in a place where you feel like an outsider, or you just  might find the home you've always yearned for. Living in Chicago's shadow was never where I wanted to be. It made me hate cities and wish for the day that I could live deep in the countryside, undisturbed. Greenville is the best of both worlds; we have a thriving downtown (including multiple waterfalls within walking distance from Main Street), mountains within a five minute drive, and just a short drive to ride my horse around 40 acres of freedom.

#6 Lego

Because she's the cutest, half-nosed Schnauzer in the world!

How I spent my Thanksgiving!
Even though we've seen a lot of ups and downs this past year, these experiences have done a lot to confirm that I'm right where I'm supposed to be, as long as I can keep rolling with the punches. I'm thankful for everything that's happened, the good and the bad, because now I can only see sun on the horizon, and it's going to be a beautiful day.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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