Confessions of a Marginal Dreamer

Marginal:  difficult to cultivate and therefore only brought into use if profits are high enough to make it worth the effort

How do you endure the loss of a dream?  How do you change your life and your goals so dramatically that the life you pictured is not going to be made real?  Do you have to?  Every day is a grind:  get up, do morning routine, work all day, do evening chores, supper and bedtime routine.  And by the time this is all over for the day, you are so exhausted all you want is sleep.  If you can squeeze in six hours before the next day begins, you relish the pillow and the small bit of rest it brings.

I had dreams.  I always dreamt I would become a horse trainer.  I would ride great horses.  I understood that it would take a lot of riding average (or even below average) horses first.  I understood that I would have to study beneath other trainers.  I understood it would be a long road.  What I did not understand was the shift that would come.  The horse industry has struggled for many years now.  It is extremely difficult to find paying jobs in the horse world. 

Sometimes I ignore my heart.  It really is simpler that way.  I do the daily routine and just close my heart down.  Sort of like putting an “Out to Lunch” sign across my spirit.  Why let the bothersome longings and aches of desire for greatness get in the way of mundane living?  I can’t afford to let my dreams run loose.  I have to tuck them away in a place that I know is still there but I doubt I will visit anytime soon.  I guess I can visit that dream with a vacation approach.  We take a vacation about once a year or every other year to the beach or some such.  I can pull my dream out and ride around on it at least that often I suppose. 

But why do I do that?  What kind of living is that?  What is my dream?  I have lost sight of it since I tucked it away.  I think I have actually lost track of where I tucked it.  I am confused about what my dream is anymore.  Let me try to remember.  When someone used to ask me what I wanted to do with my life there was always one answer:  ride horses.  When someone asked me what I would do if I won the lottery there was always a consistent theme:  buy things that would help me ride horses.

Sometimes I hate myself for loving horses.  It is a hard road to pursue.  I grew up in the city with kids that did not understand how I could love the smell of a stinking horse barn.  I went to an agricultural college where “horse people” were not considered true agriculturalists.  I worry that I married into a family that believes horse activities and horse flesh are frivolous.  I often will not tell people that I grew up riding and showing horses.  I fear that it takes away my credibility to “real farmers.”

But I feel the pain when I peek into my soul.  I feel that something is missing.  I should be riding horses.  Not because I am better at it than anybody else.  Not because it would make me rich.  Not because it is logical or practical.  Just because that is what I believe I was meant to do.  But then, perhaps I am wrong.  What if I have been blinded by a love for an animal that talks to my soul?  I have loved the wrong people before; what if I am loving a creature for the wrong reasons?  Is that possible?  I am so bogged down in fear and self-doubt.  How did I become this person?  How do I find the real me again?  On the back of a horse is where I have always found such clarity and perspective.  I think I must go and ride my horse; maybe there I will find the answers I seek.