Friday, January 01, 2010

More Dreams of an Old Friend

The last time I saw Micheal was 4th of July, 2009. He talked to me a lot about what to do with my life. He was a big believer of following your dreams and I've felt stalled in that department for a long time. I have a job that I really like, but that I will never be passionate about. I'm good at it. The money is just fine. I get GREAT benefits, including the best health insurance plan on the planet or at least in the US. And best of all, I don't have to work full time.

Two nights ago I had a dream where he told me to write a book about somebody who goes on a reality TV show to pursue a dream job. She gets kicked off the TV show, but ends up getting the dream job anyhow. Unlike the dreams I have where he looks 19 and smiles ephemerally, this was just an amalgamation of Sophie Kinsella's "Remember Me" which I was reading and clips from a pilot Michael was working on before he died about people pursuing their dream jobs. When I dream about the 19 year old Michael I wake up groggy and confused and feel like something strange has happened that I can't quite put my finger on. The 19 year old Dream Michael is always vague and enigmatic. This was a normal dream. He wasn't actually in it, he was just kind of directing it from the background, the same way I dream about my Cousin Eric who died over 10 years ago.

Back to my point... Now that my kids are older; my youngest will be 4 in April, I've got more mental space to dream and scheme. So, I'm trying to figure out what that means. I have a few true things in life that I'm really and truly passionate about. My first and forever love was of course, horses.

Ever since I was three years old I've been passionate about horses. Since I grew up in Cambridge, opportunities to do anything about this were limited to summers and the occasional trail ride on the weekend. When I was 18, my father bought me my first horse the summer before I left for college that my parents generously supported until I could do it myself. As I got more and more serious it got more expensive.

I stopped riding shortly after I met Rich. It was kind of a coincidence and kind of serendipitous. I had a horse that was not working out. He was big, athletic and spooky and I was frankly terrified of him by the end. It was mostly my own fault. He needed to be ridden daily and I just couldn't commit to the hour back and forth to the barn on a daily basis. It was something I dreaded by the end and I was just so happy to cut my losses and quit for a while. I only meant to take a few months off. Maybe just the winter and I'd find a horse to ride part time but then I got married and had some babies and suddenly 10 years had gone by. But I've started again and realized that I pretty much feel the same way about horses that I did when I was three. Obsessed. The obsession was merely dormant for 10 years because my daily life was so overwhelming as I struggled (like everybody does) with the whole "I've made people, now I must keep them alive thing."

I've also come to the conclusion that my love of all things equine is incredibly expensive and that I don't really know anybody in this area that shares it. After a bunch of googling I discovered that my favorite trainer I ever had moved to Virginia.

But now I wonder if this is something that I should pursue professionally. A few things stand in my way. The first thing is geography. There are NO horses in Somerville. They import them once a year for the flag raising on Prospect Hill. If there were more, I would have found them. The closest horses are in Lexington/Condord etc. If I wanted to get serious, we would have to move out to the 'burbs and I love Somerville. I love my house and my son's school and the fact that I live five blocks from my parents and sister.

The other thing is that I'd have to get much better at it. I don't feel like I know enough to be a trainer or run a boarding operation. My showing experience is really limited and you need to have done that to be a trainer. I am actually a pretty good riding teacher. I could teach beginner lessons, but that's about it.

The other issue is that equine professionals work around the clock, especially on weekends and I am a big fan of lazy Sundays with my kids and husband.

So, Dream Friend. I would love to pursue my dream job. But could you show a way around some of these caveats please?

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