Blinkers On

Sometimes good intentions can restrict vision

I never used the word ‘complacent’ in my vocabulary until a couple of weeks ago, when someone very dear to me said they don’t want to become complacent in their profession. I worked the word over in my head like one of the coffee-flavored hard candies I suck on when I need a break from chewing gum. Sometimes I’m so accustomed to gum that I bite the candy. And like the candy, I bit on the word a little too hard and it suddenly became tied to my anxious desire to plan my life.

Being complacent is not necessarily a bad thing. Merriam-Webster defines it as “self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies,” or “an instance of usually unaware or uninformed self-satisfaction.”

So why does the idea of complacency make me anxious? I know that I’m not currently unaware nor uniformed… and what’s wrong with being self-satisfied? Doesn’t that mean you’re content? Continue reading

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Full Day

Slowing down isn’t my cup of tea

Gorgeous Grays Arch on my hiking adventure.

Last week one of my best friends, Shayna, came to stay with me while she worked the Keeneland September Sale. On Sunday, her final morning in Kentucky, I woke up, crawled out of bed and peeked outside through my curtains. It wasn’t early nor late morning, but the sun was already going about its business, brightening the neighborhood. Despite missing the crack of dawn, the time of morning I find most precious, a gentle fluffy pink and yellow shade glinted off the clouds. Perfect for a Sunday morning walk.

I pulled a sweatshirt over my zebra pajamas and took a loop around the neighborhood. When I got back I started on my favorite part of every day: making breakfast. Overcooked sunnyside-up eggs for each of us (I’m not a big runny yolk person) and fried potatoes with my favorite Spike seasoning. Washed down with some ketchup and stout coffee. Mmm. So. Good. Continue reading

Home-Home

Lovin’ it for all the right reasons

The one and only Fargo Theater

Saratoga came and went, bringing with it a wave of activity and concluding with a treacherous mountain of exhaustion. I followed two weeks in chaotic paradise by transitioning from one internship to another. And now I’m back “Home-Home.”

At this point in my life I have two types of homes: There’s home, and there’s Home-Home. Note the capitalization differences. Capitalized words are important, meaning Home-Home is muy importante.

Lexington is home. I have a lovely rental house in a quiet, family-filled neighborhood, an enjoyable work routine, and plenty of hobbies to keep me busy. At home I have a hard time not planning my days to a T. Wake up, wash my face, make breakfast, read the latest horse racing news, pack my lunch, get ready for the day, work, workout errands, friends, reading, practicing Spanish, learning to golf, riding when I can, cooking, cleaning. Adulting. Continue reading

El Derby, mi caballo Larry, y SCUBA

What’s better than horse racing in Chile, my own horse, and learning to breathe underwater?

This is the third time I’ve restarted this blog, because I no sooner write a few paragraphs that I have to stop. ‘This will be an easy semester,’ I once thought. Joke’s on me, because it’s been anything but! For now, I’m sitting in the NDSU Minard Hall coffee shop, enjoying a much-needed coffee after my 8:00 am intro to acting class, writing a fun little read for your Tuesday.

Three things:

  1. El Derby
screen-shot-2017-02-05-at-5-00-02-pm

Bad screenshot, but quite the crowd at El Derby, 2017! Screenshot from Sporting.cl live feed

I’ve had the itch for a while now to write about Chile. In fact, I’ve never missed Chile as much as I did on Sunday, February 5. Memories from last February keep nudging me, reminders of when I was packing my bags to study abroad, oblivious to the challenges I would face and overcome – challenges that created a human of more substance than I was just a year ago.

Sunday the 5th, after a mouth wide open, dead to the world nap on a van back from an IHSA horse show (where I rode and practiced my Spanish by interviewing my teammates and translating their responses), I walked in the door of our house, on a mission to finish homework and return to my sleepy bliss as soon as possible. Continue reading

A bed. A window. A new year.

the best thing you can do is find a comfortable spot to look ahead

I’m sitting cross-legged on my bed, facing my window. My laptop is propped up on a maroon-colored antique stool with pink and orange flower embroidery that I inherited from my grandmother.

I was sitting in this exact same position yesterday, staring out the window, lost in thought as I tried to focus on studying my PADI open water diver manual. And I realized something. Strangely enough, and maybe this is just a disjointed correlation that can only be made in my brain alone, but just less than a year ago I was sitting cross legged on a bed, laptop propped up in front of me, sun shining in through a large glass window and sliding door – in another country. Continue reading

Thank you Ginger

I met my first love when I was 8 years old. Young, huh?

We were introduced with a note. It was wrapped in a small box and handed to me by my mother on Christmas Day of 2003. Undoubtedly the best day of my life – not only for what happened that day, but for the series of life events it triggered, like the first domino in an intricate pattern, each one clinking and falling against the next, forming loops and circles and long lines.

I unwrapped the box, I think it had once held paperclips, and pulled out a note scrawled in my mom’s neat and elegant handwriting: “Go to the window and you will see, a friend to hug and love with glee.”

img_5018The best day of many people’s lives is when they look down the aisle of a church and take the first steps toward the one they will spend the rest of their life with. And maybe someday that will be one of the best days of my life as well. But on that Christmas Day, I pushed my chair away from our dining room table and a plate with a half-eaten caramel roll, and took my first steps toward the kitchen window, hardly daring to hope for what, or who would be waiting for me when I looked outside.

I’ve always wondered, out of all the little girls who ask for a pony for Christmas, how many are actually granted their wish. I was one of the lucky ones.

I stood on my tip-toes and leaned over the kitchen sink to peer out the window. Tied to our front deck was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen: a pony with a thick, red roan-colored winter coat and a big, red bow hanging around her neck.

Her name was Ginger. Continue reading

The Disappearance of Sincerity

A loaded blog about being true to your word

This blog has been a long-time coming.

I generally don’t like writing about human behavior, as oftentimes it can be construed as superficial or a mundane internet vent session. But there are certain subjects I feel are very important and many share my sentiments on.

Here’s my question: What ever happened to sincerity?

Are we completely past the days when a handshake solidified a promise as true and well-founded as a written contract? Or how about when plans at 7 actually meant plans at 7? Or following through after offering to teach someone a new skill, a bed to sleep on while traveling or help in finding a new job? Continue reading

This Year’s Christmas Pics

The struggle of taking family Christmas photos

There’s a Barenaked Ladies holiday song (this is a band comprised of men, so don’t let your mind wander too far) called “Christmas Pics.” The lyrics go like this:

Turkey is done, reviews are mixed
When’s mom gonna get that hearing aid fixed?
Hold still
And wait for the click
You’re in this year’s Christmas pics

Brother, we don’t agree
About the government and where to put the tree
Hold still
And wait for the click
We’re in this year’s Christmas pics

Flashbulbs and wine
And ‘hold that smile’
Everyone’s here
Flown for miles
Looks like we’ve stood the test
And we’re looking our best
Continue reading

Riding Side Saddle, Part 2: Lady Annise takes a spin

On a Tuesday afternoon in Saratoga Springs,  I learned how to ride side saddle

Today’s one of those days when my heart aches for New York a little more than usual. A photographer I met while working at Saratoga Race Course tweeted a picture of the Whitney Viewing Stand – a viewing area where you can watch racehorses train on Saratoga’s Oklahoma Training Track — covered in a blanket of snow that had fallen over the last couple of days and looking sadly forlorn. Gilded and rust colored leaves clung to the spindly branches of trees in the background, a last-ditch showcase by fall before winter takes over.

Even on an occasional day off, I enjoyed driving to the track and watching the Thoroughbreds, many of which were steeplechase horses, walk onto the infield of the Oklahoma during the late morning for grass gallops. The athleticism and beauty of a racehorse in motion should be savored with the eyes whenever you have the opportunity, and sometimes it was nice to stop and watch without the niggling feeling that I should be chasing someone down for an interview. Continue reading

Riding Sidesaddle, Part 1: Learning the Sport

lady-mary

Lady Mary in a scene from Downton Abbey

Jane Smiley’s Horse Country, a piece published last year in the New York Times, describes grass and sky and mist over Virginia and the wide, flat expanse of Maryland – both regaled horse countries. The tiny taste I got while driving through the Adirondack Mountains and experiencing the rich horse culture of Saratoga Springs left me with nothing but good things to say about the eastern United States.

I’m going to hedge a guess, based on what I’ve read and heard from friends, that the horsey culture of the rest of other eastern states is equally valued or perhaps even more potent than what I experienced around Saratoga Springs.  I have a friend from Maryland who tells me I’m missing out, and know folks from Pennsylvania who say there’s nothing better. Continue reading