One of the greatest things anyone ever said to me was that “I write as if I have lived 100 years”.
Riding, Teaching and Writing have come to be the three things that I love most in life, and each give me a different sense of escape, freedom, and purpose.
They say that the best stories are true ones, and my writing is from my life,from the people I know, the places I visit, the things that affect me.
People say that because I write with honesty they can better understand real life things, like suicide, or travel, or living alone in a foreign country, or fear in competition.
People also say my writing is brave, and if I’m honest with myself, I don’t feel brave in my writing.
I say that I have fear on the horse in my writing, but I don’t say that some days I am literally shaking, and my heart is racing, and despite the fact that I love riding more than anything, I sometimes wish it was over…when Batialo is foofing like he is about to explode, and I’m just praying I’ll get through the ride.
I wrote recently that I miss my dad and said that I didn’t know why.
I do know why…
I found out that he had sold the farm before he committed suicide and I always thought he in part did it to save the farm, to save the family.
Even after 20 years I still cling to that idea for comfort, like if there was a reason, then it makes it better.
But does it make it better?
The horrible truth about suicide is that you are left with unanswered questions, forever, and even if you understand it…you will always wonder…WHY?
Luckily, I know that we all have things we tell ourselves to make things seem more understandable…figuring out what those things are is the tricky part.
I was really upset yesterday because my mum said I’m riding more or less like shit (yes no sugar coating). I have had a year of ups and downs with injury and I’m just getting back going.
Then I asked myself what I value more, the truth, or a compliment to make me feel better…
The worst thing you can ever do to someone is tell them something you don’t believe, just to make them feel better. The people that stay in my life are the ones who are honest with me, and allow me to be honest in return.
I know that if mum said “you are a good rider” which is what I would love to hear, I would know she was not being honest, and then everything she said after that would mean less than it does to me now.
So I went out to ride today, and just got more determined to be that much better!
If you don’t have someone who tells you the truth when you are riding, get someone. You have to learn to give yourself the pep talk, and get the determination and advice from those you trust and admire.
In my writing I try to be as honest as I can, when I teach also. Writing helps me sort out the truth for myself..
The right people will always respect you for your honesty, and the wrong ones well, they will likely not get very far.
Everytime someone writes to me to say that my blog inspired them, or that they rang their mum and said thank you, or they were honest with themselves about something, I feel so very honoured.
I hope to write about many more adventures, with Batialo, international competition, life in Portugal, all from a point of truth, as I know it.
And a recent message from a reader, that I thought was just really great 🙂 🙂
Just read your ( home ) blog… Hey I’m old enough to be almost your grand mother but young enough in my mind to think I could drink you under the table.. But I want to tell you how much I look up to you! You have left family and friends and your country to follow your beautiful dream. And have become the person you are..
I have just left my marriage of 32 years and am just finding myself for the first time.. I now can do the things I want to- dream to- without being told no and being made to feel old and stupid for wanting.. But I feel so scared of making the wrong decision.. Something I was always “taught” that I was hopeless at.. I now live in a shipping container on a property lent to me until of course she gets tired of not having that piece of land to do her thing with. I have my stallion mate and Colt with me an no idea what to do with the rest of my life… My parents are still alive and awesome and my three adult kids are supportive but very busy with their wonderful lives… I so look up to your take the “bull by the horns” move to Portugal and your courage and strength throughout tough times! You are a hero to me and I just want to say thank you for sharing your life, writing in such a way that it inspires me but hopefully you too! Thanks mate!