Dear two-legged friends,
I’m sorry. I haven’t been a very good friend to you for a while now. I’ve either (a) been unable to make plans in the first place or (b) cancelled plans on you. I know this, and I know it’s not a nice way to be, it’s not the kind of person that I want to be.
But maybe you can take solace in the fact that it isn’t just you. It’s everyone. I swear it isn’t personal, there isn’t anything wrong with our friendship besides me. I’m just being a jerk.
I know I have no right to ask this of you, but please let me explain why. I know you have more than an inkling, but please indulge me for a few paragraphs.
It’s the horse. You already knew this. You knew this from the fact that I wear my breeches to the office and take vacation days off work to go compete and only post pictures of my horse on social media and turn every conversation to how CUTE he is. This has been obvious. And you’ve been fantastic about offering to make plans on the days I’m NOT at the barn.
But there are some days when I’m not at the barn and I STILL don’t make/cancel plans. It’s because to be frank (no pun intended), I’m entirely broke and exhausted from juggling real life and the barn. Right now, real life is riding shotgun but isn’t driving. The barn is driving.
It’s not that I don’t want to spend time with you, or that I don’t want to go to that awesome winery, or that I don’t want to check out that new restaurant, or that I don’t want to get together to grill and shoot the breeze. All of those are things I love doing, and things I’d love to do with you! That’s why we’re friends.
The reason I’m not there with you is because I want something else even more right now. I’m not a naturally gifted rider like some. I don’t have that innate sense of how to make my horse go better and I have to work extremely hard to build enough muscle mass to keep my position stable. Some people can hop on 3x a week and be good, and I simply can’t. But I want to be good so badly. So badly.
That’s why I’m pouring my heart and soul and bank account and time and effort and everything I have into this sport. I want it. I’ll eat Cup o’ Noodles for a month so I can put my horse into a training program. I’ll cut back my expenses to pure survival if it means I can fit another show on the schedule.
I know this won’t last forever. At some point real life will have to take the reins back (no pun intended…again) and riding will have to come second. That’s why it’s coming first for me right now. I want it too badly to wait for “someday.”
You’ve been wonderfully supportive of this. Some of you get it, some of you aren’t quite sure what the appeal is, some of you have horses of your own, some of you don’t, but every single one of you has been absolutely lovely as I’ve thrown myself into this hobby-turned-lifestyle.
Thank you for this. Thank you for still talking to me, even when I’m not holding up my end of the friendship deal. I don’t expect you to wait around for me to be a better friend, because I don’t know when that will be. I have no plans of slowing down or cutting back any time soon.
Please know that I still love you and appreciate our friendship, and I pinky promise to try and make it next time.
I’m sorry in advance if I don’t.
With all my love,