Today I had one of those useless conversations with someone, where they asked me a question and I didn’t give them the answer they wanted, so they kept asking the same thing in different ways.
They wanted to know “why” I want to compete, why I want to ride, why do I think that is a useful thing to do with my life…
I have found that once you find your own happiness you don’t feel the need to justify anything to anyone, and I just replied with “why” does that matter to you?
I know someone who is riding his bike around the world, and I thought “that sounds awful”, but I know that to him it isn’t awful, and I admire him for putting his effort into something that he desires.
People spend a lot of time thinking on time wasted, or where they should be, and what they want, and forget that life goes on and you can actually change things, or go after something new, whenever you want to.
This person wanted to know what I wanted to do with my life, like I had to make that decision and then go “ok well now I can just wait to grow old and die…good”.
Just because that is what I want now doesn’t mean that won’t change.
Mum said today that it’s “now or never” with Batialo, he will be at his peak soon, and If I want to compete internationally again I need to put pain aside, and just go for it. There will always be a reason why you can’t do something… So I will give it everything I’ve got and if that doesn’t work out I won’t sulk about it.
There are lots of other things I can do, and I can go after something else, I can take a break and try later on a different horse, or not, but you don’t need to decide right now what you want forever.
Everything changes, all the time.
Ten years ago I thought I would live in Australia forever, and work as a journalist at a newspaper, and ride horses for fun. One day I woke up and said, well this isn’t working, so lets change it.
I was always told “If it isn’t broken don’t fix it”, but a friend of mine recently reminded me of the opposite which is “If you aren’t happy, change”!
Sometimes that is not easy, because often we find comfort in what we know. It would have been much easier for me to stay in Australia, but I’m so glad that I am not a person who likes to do what is easy.
I very nearly gave up on Batialo this year, but I know that I actually love the challenge. I love to really go after what I want, even if I know that I might be disappointed. They say in Portugal “Não se muda de cavalo no meio de banhado” (don’t change horse mid stream), and so I stuck with my horse, and he is going better than he ever has.
But now is the time!!
Will I go to England? Will I get back competing? Will I ever go to Australia? These are the questions only I can answer, and it will be for me, not to justify myself to anyone else.
This year was one of the best year’s I’ve had in Portugal, despite the fact that I was still recovering and not competing.
This is because I changed the most. I learnt to just let things go, and enjoy the moment, even if I knew that the moment wouldn’t last.
I think that is the greatest thing about living overseas. Meeting new people who grew up on the other side of the world from you, but still share the same values, the same humour. I said it before, that meeting people from another culture, actually teaches you more about yourself, and I learnt that I am not always that strong, but my weaknesses are what make me, me.
I stopped worrying about where I wasn’t, and started appreciating where I was.
I will never be Portuguese. But I admire so much the people. And of course the horses ;).
Sometimes, when I wake up and my horse goes really well, and I have an amazing Portuguese seafood lunch and my friends make me laugh, I wonder if I really need to compete…
But I know myself, and I will wonder “what if”?
Sometimes, that is the better question to ask…Not WHY are you doing something, but in 5 years time what will be your “What if?”
Mine will be “what if” I had of given it one more go with Batialo, or even with Iota, would I have made it? Did I really give it everything? If I can answer yes then there is no “what if?” and I can walk away happy, but right now I can’t!
It’s true that you can always change, but there are some things in life that you have to go after, and I’d rather be a person who looks back and says “I gave it everything”, than a person who spends their life saying “what if?”.