There is a new horse and owner at the ranch where I have my own two ponies. She's a nice lady, if a bit chatty, and her horse is a fairly steady-Eddy kind of guy, for a 6-year old. Sure, he's a little insecure about his new digs and trying to decide how to adjust to everything, which in horse language translates to a few spooks and blowups because he's overloaded with information. However...
I've yet to witness his owner actually touch him.
She talks to him. She takes pictures of him. She feeds him carrots by the bagfull. But she won't put his halter on, lead him out of his stall, or kiss him on the nose. She's owned him for four of his six years and has never been on his back. The one time she was handed his lead rope at the ranch, she burst into tears.
In short, she's terrified of him.
She may own a horse, but is she a horse owner?
I used to be a skier. I spoke with excitement of hitting the slopes, picking the intermediate runs, staying out all day in all kinds of snow to see how many times I could take the lift up and take the run down.
Here's the thing: I hated getting dressed for skiing. Hated the prep work. Doubly hated schlepping my skis to the lodge, clumping about in my stiff, Frankenstein boots. Stressed about the lift. Would my timing be off and I'd stumble getting on? Or maybe I'd fall getting off? The only part I truly enjoyed was going down the slope... as long as it wasn't too fast and I stayed in control of my skis.
At some point, I looked in the mirror and said, "I freakin' hate to ski."
I did the same thing with scuba diving. Loved the silence under water. Loved the sights of coral and plant and fishy life. Hated checking my cylinder, hated calculating air and depth and oh-my-god don't get me started on squeezing my body into a neoprene suit that's PURPOSEFULLY cut two sizes too small.
I may have told people that I can scuba dive, but I am no scuba diver.
Part of my desire to be a skier and a scuba diver was that, as a sickly child and nerdy teenager, I was anxious to break that mold and be a tough girl. And part of it, as you can imagine, was that I was dating/married to someone who had expectations of the kinds of things we could enjoy together. I'm wondering what is in this woman's life that makes her want to be a horse owner, when everything in her body is rejecting that notion.
What is it that you only think you do, and why? What would you let go of if you could? What keeps you hanging on to activities you only partially love, hobbies you are bored with, things you do because of expectations but not passion?
Who are you?
By the way, after all these years and all my reincarnations, I am a horsewoman and a writer, a wife and a mother, and a friend. Because they are my passions.