When I feel like I’ve been robbed of something, I try to focus on the things to be thankful for. It sounds pious, but I assure you it’s not. Rather, I have to concentrate on the amazing experience that was Tim and Simon instead of feeling like I’ve had all my happiness ripped away from me. Because frankly, I feel like I’ve had all my happiness ripped away from me.
Yesterday was my local horse show organization’s year end banquet. It was, to say the least, an emotional day for me. One that I coped with by drinking more screwdrivers than I will admit to on this blog. But even as I collected my dead horse’s (probably… I’m waiting on TIP stuff but that’s a long shot) final year end awards, I couldn’t help but think about all the gifts Simon gave me.
He gave me piles of satin. It’s been over ten years since I’ve won a year-end ribbon, and I closed out our horse show chapter with my best year yet. Reserve Champion 2’0″ Rusty Stirrup (from one blue ribbon at one horse show… it’s clearly a small division), Reserve Champion 2’9″ Modified Hunters with my trainer, third in a very competitive 2’6″ Low/Child Adult Hunters (the ribbon I’m most proud of, and worked the hardest for), sixth in 2’6″ Low/Ch Adult Equitation (which would have been much higher if I didn’t make two bone-headed mistakes at our year end show… that’s on me buddy), and sixth in the 2’6″ Low Hunters with my trainer (essentially our schooling division). In the past, if I won a year end award it’s because I went to almost every single show and scraped the points away. This year, we were rewarded because we had moments of brilliance. It feels nice.
He gave me confidence. Simon was both the simplest and most complicated horse I’ve ever ridden, but even on our worst day he made me stand a little taller. That confidence extended far beyond the barn. Without my constant companion and friend, it’s taken a hit lately. But I’m trying to bounce back, to keep trying. Giving up feels disrespectful.
He gave me friends. Simon was a huge part of this blog, which means he was a huge part of all the amazing friends and connections I’ve made from it. I mean you, the reader. Every web hit, comment, “like” and friendship is a gift in itself. I’ve started the pile of thank you notes for Simon’s memorial gifts. It may take me the rest of the year, but it’s a privilege to write them for y’all.
He gave me some of the best moments of my life. Sometimes they were intertwined with Tim, sometimes it was just us. Right now, it hurts to go back to them. Every time I do I start to fall apart, and I have to shut the emotional gate closed again to keep going about my day. Someday it won’t though. Someday I’ll be able to smile.
While I push through to graduation and life outside of the MFA, I’m thinking about a lot of things. There are lots of moving parts. I’ll have some exciting things to share when the time is right, but until then I’m doing my best to celebrate the gifts.