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Enjoy the Ride

Falling Off the Horse

I am undoubtedly a control freak.

To be fair, it kind of goes hand in hand with the whole OCD diagnosis – thus, ironically (at least to an extent) my excessive need to know the who, what, when, where, why, and how of absolutely everything, is in itself, beyond my control.

Funny how that works…

In all honesty, my need for control is something I have always struggled with – and because of that I’ve spent the greater part of the past few months coming to terms with the pace at which life changes despite our best efforts to keep it the same.

The conclusion?

Life changes hella fast, and there really isn’t much you can do about it.

In the span of six months I’ve moved, started a relationship, bought a car, and had three different jobs. In the span of the last two months, I’ve frantically had to search for another job (due to the unfortunate reality of contract work and limited funding in the mental health field), started a new job at a second program within my organization, and am single yet again.

I can’t say why life goes the way it does. Why it is that when you finally get back on the saddle, the horse has a spaz attack and you going flying the other direction.**

What I do know is that a year ago I would have considered these setbacks catastrophic. I would have convinced myself there would be no coming back from them. That the horse was going to trample me on the ground until I had no choice but to stay there.

However, this time was different.

This time, I picked myself up off the ground (after a brief but necessary pity party), dusted off my clothes, hopped back on the horse, and held on a little bit tighter than the last time.

** disclaimer: I essentially know nothing about horse back riding 

Holding on Too Tight

Interestingly, what I realized back up on the horse holding on for dear life was that maybe tightening the reins (metaphorically, of course) wasn’t the best way to get me to the end of the horse trail.

You see – I’ve lived the majority of my life focused on the future (See my previous post “The Next Best Thing”) – constantly fixated on what’s next, rather than what’s now.

Some might call it ambition (and I do like to think I’m relatively ambitious…) – however, amongst the constant anticipation that accompanies always looking for something ‘better’ or reaching the ‘end goal’, it became incredibly easy to take life for granted and inevitably close the door to new experiences.

Alongside my fixation on the ‘end goal,’ there was (and still is) an unrelenting fear of loosening the reins or letting go.

Letting go of the past. Letting go of judgment. Letting go of expectations. Letting go of self-imposed ‘norms.’ Letting go of the future. And most importantly…

 Letting go of control.

Loosening the Reins

Sometimes we hit a bump in the road, sometimes we fall off the horse, sometimes the horse is a dick and kicks us while we are face first on the ground, and other times we gallop off into the sunset feeling like a badass.

The important thing to remember is that regardless of where you are or where you are going, no matter how tight you hold on to the horse’s reins, you’ll never be able to read it’s mind.

There will always be another bump, there will always be another fall, there will always be another sunset.

And sometimes, what’s now is really the only thing that matters in getting us to what’s next – but there is no end of the trail.

After all, (in the annoyingly frequent words of my little brother) – life is a journey and not a destination.

You might as well enjoy the ride.