Obviously I have not posted in a while. I had such grand plans of posting once a week consistently this year, but you know what they say about the best laid plans. Anyway, it’s only March, so I’m going to attempt to get back on track 🙂
First of all, I’ve started horseback riding again. I stopped around four and a half years ago for two reasons: 1) I moved to Cape Town and didn’t have a car or money to ride, and 2) I had several slightly traumatic experiences with the horse I had been riding, which continued even after I spent hours and hours working with the horse to try and fix the problems, and I was afraid to get back on a horse again. When I arrived for my first lesson and she told me to get on the horse I kind of just stood there for a few seconds and seriously considered asking her if I could pass on that (and, what, stand and stare at the horse for an hour? I’m not quite sure what I was thinking haha), but once I got on and the initial terror passed, I managed to enjoy it.
The thing about horseback riding is that horses are mirrors. All animals are, in a way, but it’s more noticeable and marked with horses because they’re giant animals that you are trying to ride and stay in control of. This is probably why some people don’t like them; you can’t pretend with a horse because it sees right through you. It knows right away whether you’re going to let it do what it wants, whether you are riding with authority, and whether or not you are afraid. I have often had to reevaluate myself after a lesson or an outride, and last week was one of those times. I was struggling to get the horse to do an admittedly complicated turn, and I wasn’t able to get it right before the lesson ended. My instructor (who had been shouting “you’re in control! be in control!” the whole time) talked me through it, and then she asked whether I am generally a passive person.
I hate the word passive. I hate passiveness. To me it goes hand in hand with fear, because fear = paralysis and that’s basically what being passive is. But unfortunately I know that I can be incredibly passive, and it’s a fault that I like to ignore, but of course I can’t ignore it while I’m riding. And this year, my “theme” is You Make Me Brave. Brave. Active. Intentional. Adventurous. Unafraid. None of these things have anything to do with passivity.
I started the year off with a huge amount of excitement about academics, friends, trying new things (I even signed up for fencing, which I haven’t had time to go to yet, but I totally will eventually), and a determined decision to not. Be. Afraid. Anymore. I think I hit a slump, but today I am writing this to say that, with God’s help, this will be a year of intentional unafraidness. He makes me brave.