Thursday, August 29, 2013

How Much Is Enough?

Thanks again to all for your comments on my last post. Made me feel a lot better about the doubts I have with Midnight, and also, funnily enough, made me feel good about continuing to learn with him.

It also made me think about some issues that I'm sure pretty much everyone with limited funds and time struggles with.  The first is comparing yourself to others and feeling like you're coming up short.

Of course it's not just with horses. I'll never know as much as that person does. How come that person got the cool project? Why can't I write good articles as fast as he/she does? Oops...did I hit Reply All?! are niggling thoughts that come up at work.

Of course, I'm still somewhat new. I don't trade stocks, and don't want to, so I don't have the experience that some of the other editors do. And there's no knowing whether the most talented people at work are really happy overall.

But at the barn it's completely obvious who is having fun and who isn't. It's obvious who has had the best training, or who can afford clinics with the big name trainer, or who has the totally made horse. Why, as a 20something adult amateur working in a not-so-lucrative field, do I compare myself to these people? Well, that's the million-dollar question, but I can't help but feel a little pang when I see invitations to go XC schooling come through the barn list-serv and then I realize the whole day will cost over $100. Are the people who can do that without a second thought having more fun than I am? Not necessarily. But I still have this fantasy of being able to do awesome things 100% of the time.

And the other issue? Trying to justify your hobby to some nonexistent judging person.

My family doesn't care about the whole horse thing. (Well, my dad is still kind of hoping I'll grow out of it, but he's not against horses.) My boyfriend encourages me to go out and do horsey things since he sees how happy it makes me. My friends--well, maybe they get sick of me being only able to talk about equine subjects but they seem to accept it.

So who am I trying to prove myself to? Myself? I love to ride, I know that. But I guess the difficulty comes in that I really do see it as a hobby. It's not my whole life, and I realized from my short teaching stint that turning riding into work makes it not fun for me. It's easy to feel "less than" the people who completely dedicate their lives to the sport. But then I also have a part of me that thinks, "it's just a horse, for pete's sakes." And I feel like that's kind of taboo--to not want to pour endless time and money into your horse.

Anyone else out there struggle with the same issues? Am I just being dramatic because I'm in my 20s and I don't know what the heck I'm doing?


  1. "And I feel like that's kind of taboo--to not want to pour endless time and money into your horse."
    That's an interesting comment. I get what you're saying though.
    "Anyone else out there struggle with the same issues?"
    "Am I just being dramatic because I'm in my 20s and I don't know what the heck I'm doing?"
    Yes lol.

    1. Also I'm stealing that Daria meme.

    2. Haha, thanks for answering my questions!"Are you being a ridiculous 23 year old?" Yes.

  2. I struggled a lot in my teens and early 20s with the wanties. I wanted so much, I had so little, support, money, etc. I was bitter to be grateful for what I did have. It got better, once you settle into a career or job path and grow in it financially, the wanties lesson because and its easier to be grateful for the little things like quiet grooming time, or a smooth transition. Now and then though I still long for more, so it is hard to shake.

    1. I like your term "the wanties." It's a weird mix of wanting more but yet also not wanting to part with my money. I do actually quite enjoy those quiet times--but Midnight hates grooming and I have to constantly remind him to stand still so that's not as enjoyable for me.