I’m Back!

Wow, I haven’t posted anything since-I was still a graduate student. 

Yeah, I graduated btw.

And oh, I’m living in Washington D.C.

Oi! Looks like we have a lot of catching up to do. So, I’m going to be going through the blog, working on updating it, and getting it rolling into my new ‘theme’, which is: Taking on D.C., as a freshly graduated M.A. in political science.

I look forward to talking more about why I ditched the blog for a bit, and where I’m at now, and getting to actually interact with you followers a bit better.

Thank you for following, and sticking around! See you soon.

The Bubble

You know how you scroll through Instagram, or Facebook, and you see just a bunch of awesome photos of your friends/celebs/people you follow for whatever reason doing amazing adventures, or just always smiling and having the best time of their life?

And sometimes you just wonder-what else is going on in their lives? We all know life isn’t just filled with ups, there are ‘the downs’ too.

But you know what-looking at my own Instagram, you’d think I’m some princess who rides ponies, travels, has an amazing partner, best friends, and that’s all true-I DO get to live an amazing life; I do get to go on incredible adventures (NYC for 10 days doing whatever my heart desired?! Who lives like that?), I do get to ride horses whenever I have free time(trust me, I know it’s a very privileged sport) and I honestly have the best relationships with my best friends and partner through life.

Not denying any of it. I have so many ups to my life, I’m truly thankful for all of it and cry about the amazing things I have and I cherish it all, so, so much. There was a time I couldn’t have dreamed about any of this happening for me.

But. There are things no one but Brian and my best friend know about me and my life. There are things I would never willingly share to social media, things that still affect me because things in the past don’t just go away. No matter how much my current life looks like a dream I never thought I’d have, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t dark moments that I still have, or memories that I don’t share. There were times in my life when my idea of happiness was just simply not crying for a day.

Not going to get into it further than that, because well-that’s my point. It’s private, personal things that I do not want to highlight to people that seriously have not reached that level of friendship yet (Sorry, there’s a few moats and walls you gotta cross until you open up that gate). And, Instagram is a tool to post memories that I want to share with people, memories that make me happy. And the point I’m making about me, is the point I’m making about EVERYONE. Everyone wants to highlight the good, no one wants to share the bad.

You’re scrolling through the feed, and you just see photo after photo of incredible things-and since that’s all the glimpses you get of your friends’ lives, somehow you think you just see exactly what their days are like, and that you understand them. It’s not that we do this on purpose, it’s because it’s all we see and it’s all our brains picture when we imagine these people. And sometimes, I think we forget that we do the exact same thing when we post about our own lives-we ALL know we have struggles we don’t want to share outrightly to everyone, even when sometimes maybe we should.

I’m not saying to post your darkest memories to social media-not at all-it’s a great place to relish in happy moments in all our lives. But, realize that you’re not seeing the whole picture. You don’t know these people just from the posts you like. I’m saying make more time for real life interactions, make sure your friends know you’re there for them, because even though you’re seeing them hike the grand canyon, or get a new amazing job, or have a baby-get married-or just simply smiling with their animal friends, more than likely this isn’t the only thing going on in their lives.

Because a lot of us, if not all of us, are going through or have gone through something that’s really difficult and painful, and yet we put on a show that everything is fine. We don’t reach out, we don’t want people to know, or we simply don’t want to highlight a negative part of our lives-we highlight the good. But sometimes, I think we need to point out the bad. Not to revel in it, or get stuck in a bad state of mind, but to just simply ‘hey, I’m struggling with this’, so more people realize they aren’t alone when someone responds with ‘hey, me, too’.

Feeling alone is one of the worst feeling in the world, and feeling like other people understand is just so comforting, that sometimes that’s enough to give you the strength to conquer whatever it is that you’re facing.



Stepping Off ‘The Path’

In grad school, and adulthood, there is no ‘summer vacation’. This summer I’ve been a research assistant to two professors, as well as being a ‘substitute TA’ for another professor from time to time-since hardly anyone works with the department over the summer, that means I’ve been left as essentially the office energizer bunny. But, my batteries were stomped out of me, because, that’s grad school. Everything you ever love about your area of study gets stomped out of you from the workload and expectations. How am I supposed to devote both 9 hours a week to class, 35 hours to studying,(Yes, really, grad school is a full time job in itself) and 20 hours to essentially being my professor’s personal assistants?! (64 hour work week! And I don’t even make any money off of it!)

So essentially, I’m saying Grad School-in-summer is why I haven’t posted in forever. But GUESS WHAT. I’m ALMOST DONE.

That’s right, I did my thesis proposal and I PASSED. It’s time to buckle up for the fall semester-which starts next week. (But yay, 4 days of summer!!) and get out of grad school this December! In all this joy of being so close to being done, I’ve also found that…although I’ve essentially been stuck in ‘limbo’ these past 2 years…I still have no clue what I’m going to do with my life.

That’s right. I’m lost. But, for perhaps the first time in my life, I’m okay with that.

I know when I created this blog, I had certain ‘plans’ placed out about my future (Law School). But, this summer, I went through a major existential crisis.

I know what you’re thinking. Another millennial caught up in angsty life drama. Well screw that, at least we’re trying to figure ourselves out before we mess up this planet. But it’s true, I have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing here. It probably goes back to me not being sure about grad school, and just signing up anyways because my school just basically offered for me to go. I just took the opportunity before me. And now, I just don’t know how to take a step forward when there’s no path laid out in front of me.

But, maybe I need that. Maybe a need to stop worrying about the path, and just go ‘off-roading’ for a moment.

This probably still doesn’t answer the question of why I decided to jump off the tracks towards law school. Well, it’s difficult to explain. First off, I started studying for the LSATs. It was all going to plan, I was doing well, progressing every week, and I felt like I could have a really good chance at having a good LSAT score to get into a great law school.

But then, I just, I felt trapped. I kept going forward with the studying, but, I just felt so incredibly anxious. I couldn’t understand where that anxiety was coming from, so I just studied harder, started doing research on what I could do with a law degree to keep my spirits up about what I could accomplish once I had my degree. But that only made my anxiety worse.

I just couldn’t understand it. I was driving myself essentially into insanity trying to figure out how to just buckle up and keep moving forward, until finally something broke in me.  I had a full on panic attack, night after night, for a couple weeks. I was a complete, mental, mess.

It wasn’t until I fell apart that finally could hear the part of me that was trying to say something this entire time.

This whole time I was having a mental breakdown, it was because my gut, my ‘heart’, was trying to tell me something that my ‘brain’ didn’t want to acknowledge. Once I had that breakdown, I suddenly heard what my intuition had been trying to scream at me all along:

This was not my path. I am not meant for this.

Once those words crossed my mind, I was suddenly calm. I was shocked, but I was finally able to take a breath. The cloud in my mind that had been suffocating me finally cleared. I didn’t even feel upset. I felt relieved. I don’t believe in Christianity, or Islam, or any monotheistic, one ‘true god’ that controls everything (because if there was, I’d have a lot of questions about suffering of children and innocents) but I do believe in the universe, and that there are things going on here that we can’t completely understand. And I think sometimes, the universe does try to get our attention through our own intuition. This was my intuition speaking, the core of my ‘soul’. I am not meant for this.

Now, there’s been many times when my intuition has screamed at me, and I’ve even felt this way before at a different stage in my life: when I moved to Canada to become a working student, in the hopes of becoming a professional trainer. I had a breakdown then as well, and a similar voice was saying: This is not my path.

There was an inner struggle going on that I wasn’t even aware of, and instead of listening to myself, and understanding what my heart and my intuition were trying to say, I ignored it. Probably, because I knew deep down what the problem was, and I didn’t want to face it. I also didn’t want to ‘give up’ on this dream of mine, because, for so long, I had this idea in my head that being a lawyer was the only way I was going to be able to do something about the causes I care about. But, that’s not true, and I should have realized that a long time ago. And, it wasn’t even the actual work of studying that was stressing me out, something different was happening. It wasn’t that I felt like I couldn’t do it…it’s that, I felt that I shouldn’t be. And I should have realized that I couldn’t ignore what my heart was trying to tell me, if what I want is to become who I’m supposed to be.

So, who am I supposed to be? That’s still not clear yet. But, I know the first place to figuring that out is looking inside myself a little more, instead of trying to create myself in something that’s just not right for me.

Although I’m stepping away form the path I intended to go, I feel like I’m headed towards something better. I’m hopeful again, I’m at peace with myself. And I’m going to take that as a sign that I’m stepping in the right direction.

The ‘amateur track’ equestrian 

So hard to explain this sport/lifestyle to anyone who is not a part of it. It’s not like this sport that you go to college for, and then go to the ‘major leagues’, and become a pro. No, you either work your way up through the working-student life, and hope someday someone will offer you a position, or you have a lot of money already and are able to fund yourself and become a pro (not knocking that, I’m just saying how the horse world works). 

To those of us that are doing the ‘amateur track’, meaning we still are extremely passionate about it, and still have goals of competing in the bigger shows, we go to college, find other jobs we are good at and passionate about, and then fund ourselves and buy our own horses-once we’re able to, that is. 

Which means, for the years we’re trying to get to that job-we’re in a semi hiatus, and the lucky ones (like me) still get to ride every week, even if it’s not like we used to. It’s a complicated process, and confusing as hell-because those of us who didn’t choose the pro life still love horses so much, and the reason we didn’t go the pro route isn’t because we ever stopped loving them-it’s because we didn’t love the pro lifestyle. 

That life-It’s a sacrifice. Not just the ‘you give up everything else about your life’, it’s sacrificing getting to choose your own horses, to choose to keep them forever if you want, because going pro means becoming a business person. And that, to me, and to the other amateur-route riders, was the sacrifice we couldn’t make. Not knocking on pros at all-They have sacrificed so much, and in doing so have become better riders than I ever could be. 

But essentially when you make that choice between the pro route and the amateur route, your not choosing between ‘loving horses more than anything’ and ‘not loving horses more than anything’, your choosing which type of sacrifice you want to make. I couldn’t imagine my life without horses, and while I’m passionate now about other things-like law, and politics-my passion for horses and showing has never died, it’s just had to take some sacrifices. One day, I’ll get to step in that show ring again with the announcer saying my horse’s name. 

A letter to my 16-year-old self

If I were ever to encounter the 16 year old me in person by some weird time warp, I’m fairly positive the only thing we’d be identical in is our chubby cheeks (and dimples) that have yet to fade away.

So, I’m writing a letter to my 16 year old self today to try and remind her that who she is now isn’t who she’s always going to be. At 16, you don’t really understand life at all. And, things are going to get tough, and although I wish I could tell her to keep an eye out for a few crossroads, in the end-she becomes a much, much better person from it. And more importantly, a happier person.

Dear 16 year old me,

I know you hate school. I know you skip frequently, and you don’t see the point of any of it. You sit in the back of class, and as a front you seem as if you’re taking notes-but really, you’re planning out every detail on how to get out of here.

Let me tell you, that wandering mind of yours never changes-but you realize how important school is, eventually. You might have got by without picking up a text book in high school, because you were smart enough to figure out the logical answers to the questions without even studying the subject. But, college is much much different, my friend-and you learned that the hard way the first couple semesters.

But wait, you’re probably wondering-how did I even end up going to college? I thought my plan was to go off into the horse world, and never come back?

Well. You did that. A week after you graduated high school, you hopped on a plane to London, Ontario, and worked at a major hunter/jumper breeding & show barn for a few months. And in the end, you were absolutely miserable, and had no idea what the hell you were doing with your life. But that’s getting ahead of ourselves.

You’re 16. I know you hate high school, and I know you avoid looking at people in the hallways, and avoid the lunch room at all costs-and either go to your favorite teacher’s class to eat, or go to the library. I know it sucks, but people in high school are just as confused and miserable as you-but they like to take it out on other people, and that’s not your fualt. It’s not your fault that you didn’t fit in, and it’s not your fault that miserable people liked to point that out as often as they could. But you held it together, and my god, you made it.

I know horses are absolutely everything to you. I know that they saved your life, literally. You still remember every single horse show, every single horse you ever rode, and all those late nights practicing at the barn. I know they were your crutch through those years you were so alone, and I know it almost seems impossible to imagine your life without them, because to you-life without them is just hell. I know you never show a single emotion to your family, and that’s still rough for you now, but it gets better. Once you move away, your relationship with them actually improves. You get a taste a freedom, you gain confidence, and let go of things I know you thought you would never let go.

But I know you arn’t actually totally alone, you do have a couple of good people in your life-and you won’t really realize how important they are to you until later. Madeline, the girl a few years younger than you at the barn? Yeah, y’all always showed together, and you liked her a lot, but now you feel a little ‘too old’ to be hanging with a 13 year old…well, she ends up being your best friend, and ya’ll are 24 and 21 right now, and the age difference is nothing because you’re basically the same people but she’s a Hufflepuff and you’re a Ravenclaw. You also met a girl in high school that is absolutely opposite of you in every way, but yet she’s always nice to you and super talkative and friendly-and ya’ll end up having a lot more in common than you think, and a couple years into college ya’ll start hanging out, and become best friends obsessing about Harry Potter. You actually go with them both to HP world-3 TIMES-and everytime it was an absolutely magical experience.

But, let’s go back to you. You’re 16, and although you’ve never had a boyfriend, I know what you’re feeling for that boy you say is ‘just a friend’. I know ya’ll become close, and the lines blur, and I know that deep down you want him to realize someday how much you care for him. But you never want to hope it, because you feel like you’re nobody and not near pretty enough. I know you also know deep down, that he knows the way you’re feeling. And he’s playing you. Eventually, it gets too much to take. It gets even more blurry lined, and even more complicated, and you don’t ever say how you feel, because deep down you know how this is going to end. Eventually, it does. He breaks your heart, and you’re the one that feels stupid and pathetic.

I wish I could tell you to avoid him at all costs, but I won’t, because whatever pain he caused you, however many years it took you to finally trust and hope and love again, eventually you meet someone that loves you just as much as you love them. You meet someone who really deserves you, and he’s incredible in every way. But, until then, you’ll have Taylor Swift to get you through all the heartache-and when you hear or really listen to’Dear John’ for the first time it’s going to stab you in the heart, because how can someone know exactly what happened to you? but it’s also a relief to know that Tswift got through it and moved on to bigger and better things, and better people, and so can you.

Your social life after high school takes a 180 degree turn, and as much as you thought you were okay with being alone, it’s surprising how much you absolutely love meeting new people and making friends now. I mean, you moved to San Antonio, and you freaking joined the soccer club (random, I know, but you’re actually really good at it for never playing), and made a best friend with a teammate-and she is one of the most wonderful persons on this planet. You both are dreamers, and now she’s living in NYC, the city of your dreams now too. You room with her in your last years on undergrad, ya’ll get each other through those terrible study days, and she ends up taking you out to parties for the first time in your life. And you love it. You know why? Because you are actually with good, genuine people, and they love you as much as you love them.

Oh, and I know you never thought you’d even go to college, so let’s talk about that. So, you did it. You moved to Canada and became a working student at a major hunter/jumper barn. You even get to go to major shows, and are planning on being in Florida for the winter circuit. But, you quit in August. I know you don’t understand really how or why you would do that, and at the time it was just as confusing.. But you were miserable. And it wasn’t the amount of work, because you understood that that was the life for a working student. 12 your days, 6 days a week. But, you got to spend it with horses, so it all seemed worth it. It definitely did in the begining. But, eventually, you start to feel so lost. You start to realize, that you want so much more out of life than being at a barn or in the show ring all day. You grew up truly loving to read and learn, you just hated school when it came to grades and the social aspect of it. But, you miss it. You miss books. You miss learning, you miss using your brain to think of creative ideas, and you start to become so miserable that everyone at the barn notices that you haven’t been sleeping or eating much, and you even lose 20 pounds (and you were only 120 to begin with.) You realize you can’t keep living like this. You’re just going through the motions, and find yourself craving the bed every day, and don’t even really see the horses that surround you anymore. Something snaps in you, and you get just enough momentum to call home and book a flight, and just like that you left that world without a glance back.

You come home, and realize you need to sign up with ACC to just learn how to really go to school. You also continue to ride, and get to ride an awesome horse named Guy Smiley, and he brought back the joy you had with riding before you went to Canada. After a couple years, you get into UTSA. And at UTSA, you realize how freaking small you are in this world, and how much you need to learn about it. You get involved, and you become..happy. Truly, happy. It’s weird at first, because you feel weird that you arn’t riding while in SA, but, that eventually comes back into your life. You take a couple years to explore life outside of the horse world, and in those years you end up meeting the love of your life in a poli sci class. The first time ya’ll hang out is literally the song ‘Begin Again’ by Tswift (and every day after is every good feeling song by her) And ya’ll are now engaged, and finally planning your kind of secretive escape wedding-and it’s going to be freaking incredible. Oh, and you end up going to grad school, and are focused on becoming a lawyer someday.

I know that everything I said sounds crazy, because none of it is anything you want to do or even think about right now. That career never passed the mind of a shy and troubled 16 year old, but you become so, so much more than that over the years. And really, the person you are at 24 was in you all along, you just needed some time to grow into that person. And really, at 24 you still have a lot of growing to do, but you’re okay with that.

At 16 you may think you are a ‘nobody’, and you may think you don’t belong anywhere in this world, but that isn’t true. You may think you aren’t brave enough to do any of the things I say you are going to do, but you are. Right now, at 16, you are. You just don’t know it yet, and need to have a little more faith in yourself. Once you do, there’s nothing that can stop you.

The ‘Lost’ Years

This is a common theme that continues to emerge in nearly every one of my posts, and that’s probably-no definitely-because the last year of my life, and the next year of my life, is just a confusing time that has left me in the inability to move forward.

I don’t want to complain about my life, because there is truly nothing to complain about. I get to learn, I get to explore (on a low budget, but still), I get to be with people I care about, I eat well, and I have a nice roof over my head. Things I have in my life are still just dreams to some people, and I try to remind myself that constantly.

That doesn’t mean I don’t get frustrated, lost, and depressed-because I most certainly do. You see, I know I have great things to be thankful for, but I just feel so trapped in a stage of my life that sometimes I feel as if I’m not even living.

The past year I have been stuck as a grad student, stuck on the same budget, stuck being slave to professors-both in turning in papers, and grading undergraduate work for them-stuck as a working student at a barn, stuck in San Antonio, stuck in one stage of a relationship, and yet I’m still getting older without any ability of my life to move forward at the moment-or for another year.

It’s enough to drive me insane. I’m the type of person who constantly tries to push myself forward, and I also am the type of person who embraces new challenges, and new adventures. But the past year has been nothing but stagnant. It’s driven me to emotional breakdowns, with me wondering when I’m finally going to be able to do something worthwhile with a career, and wondering when I can finally get to go on all those adventures I’ve been constantly dreaming about.

Even though I know, or, hope, that in the end this grad degree is going to put me in a better position with getting into Law School, and one day I’ll be a lawyer-and finally get to stand up for causes and people who need someone to stand up for them…at the moment I truly feel useless and ungrateful.

Sometimes, it’s just too hard to ‘keep my head and my hopes up’, becuase my life just feels like a never-ending state of limbo. It’s almost torturous at times, because I just know it’s still going to be so long until I can finally feel ‘useful’, and even then, I don’t truly know if that will happen. What If I flunk the LSAT? What if I don’t get in to a good law school-what if no one want’s to hire me, what if I don’t get paid enough to pay off my loans? And I end up causing problems in my future marriage because of it-and if I never get to own a horse, my life-long dream since I was little? But most of all, what if I’m stuck working for people who have none of the same aspirations as me; people who just care about the money, and not about the cause? What if what I truly want to accomplish, is unaccomplishable? What if everything I’ve had to go through mentally this past year, and this next year, isn’t even worth it? What if I still fail, and then what happens?

While I should be grateful for the life I’ve been given, at the moment, I only feel unable to even live it.



A Necessary Adventure

Let’s be real. Sometimes, even if things are going relatively pretty great in life, we all need a break from it. Or, maybe ‘life’ isn’t exactly what we need a break from, but our own mentality about it.

Last weekend, I took a necessary adventure with my crew to the wonderful wizarding world of Harry Potter-and let me tell you, I’ve been there twice already, but that world never fails to just get my mind back in the right place again.

My ‘crew’ are my best friends, Madeline and Megan. A Hufflepuff and a Syltherin, mind you. Our squad gets a bit chaotic at times, since we have all different personalities-but yet, we all actually have the same ideas and values, we just show them in different ways.

I think that’s one of the great things about Harry Potter, we all seem so different than each other at times, but something about HP reminds us that when it comes down to the important things, we’re not different at all. That’s probably the greatest reminder that HP can give us: especially in times when the world seems to try and divide us into ‘deaths eaters’ and ‘good people’.

In my line of study, (politics and law), and in this time in the United States, I honestly feel like Harry in the Order of the Pheonix. I just feel so angry at everyone. I don’t understand how the U.S. Could have let itself get into this situation. I feel so frustrated at the lies and the incompetence of the White House, I get angry at my own family for falling for it, I get angry at politicians who continue to divide us in ‘left’ and ‘right’ in order to keep control (seriously, I study political tactics along with my focus on the judiciary-no political party cares about you, they only care for your vote), I get furious at the denial of evidence in order to confuse the mass public, I feel enraged when basically Dolores Umbridge herself is about t0 be appointed secretary of education, and I fume at the blindness of so many at the warning signs of this administration.

The constant day in, day out, of learning the depths of the political world, and the lack of me being able to do anything about it at the moment, threw my mentality into a torment of dispair. I began to have break downs because I so badly just want to be able to do something worthwhile; but this world constantly reminds me of how even when people do try to do what is right, they are constantly defeated.

And, as silly as it sounds, Harry Potter is a story of much of the same feelings that I’m going through right now. And many of the people I talked to over the weekend, and people I’ve met through Harry Potter, and especially my best friends, all are experiencing very similar problems.


Regardless of our different areas of study, or jobs, we all want to be helping the world, in some sort of fashion, and sadly we all constantly are reminded of how tremendously difficult of a task that can be at times.

But, we’re also reminded that there are other people out there having the same troubles,  the same fears, and the same hopes. It’s truly remarkable to know how many people are actually just like you, in the important ways.

That people just like you also feel defeated, that people just like you want to see this world change for the better, and people just like you won’t back down no matter how frustrating or discouraging the situation. That people out there, that are no different than you, are trying to stand up for what’s right, even when everyone tells them to sit down.

So I needed this adventure, because I needed a reminder of what’s important. My best friends, our love and understanding of each other, and our similarities in our hopes and fears all helped me and my mentality return to a better place. And it’s thanks to the world of Harry Potter as well, in reminding us to come together when the world is trying to divide us apart.




Pursuing ‘side interests’ in your Twenties

Have something you always wanted to try, but just never really got around to it? Maybe you didn’t have the money, or the timing was wrong-or you simply just are kept way too busy for it?

Well, there will always be a million excuses not to do something. And maybe there are some really rational reasons not to do so. But one thing I’ve learned about being a twenty-something, is that life isn’t supposed to be a 100% rational. ESPECIALLY not our twenties.

Recently, as in, two days ago, I bought a DSLR camera with my fiancé. Yes it was a purchase I definitely didn’t need, yes I hardly make any money as a part time graduate assistant, and yes I guess in my future I have some pretty hefty expenses (Law School, Horses, ideally a house) But you know what? Right now, I’m 24. And right now, I want to have fun taking some photos.

Yesterday, Brian and I took the day to do some exploring around The Pearl, a small market/business/living area in San Antonio. And oh my god it was so much fun.

If I’ve done this properly, you should be able to click those pictures to view a full size file. Not too terrible our first time out with the camera, but of course we’re amateurs-and will stay amatuers- but hopefully our photo skills will improve.

But it was just so great having some sort of creative outlet. I get so bored watching Netflix, and sometimes going on a hike just isn’t enough to entice my brain. I need a mental outlet, not just a physical one-and it’s nice having a challenge, too.

We also took some photos out on our hiking trail, which I think turned out pretty cool.

The main point I’m trying to make of all this is: if you have something your interested in, do it. What I’ve found in my life is that the things I’m interested in have always added to my life, not taken away from it. It doesn’t matter if it just becomes a hobby, or it’s not your main interest. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t bring you ‘anything’ in the monetary sense.

Thinking in that way that you have to constantly be pursuing things that lead to financial gain is just depressing. That our lives always have to be about money. That everything we do needs to be for our future financial security. It leaves much of us with little room to enjoy the present. And after all, isn’t the present all we really, actually have?

While I’m certainly not doubting the importance of money-there is SO MUCH to enjoy in life, and although it seems like we should always be planning for our future selves, maybe invest in your present self now and then.

In the end, I think your future mental health will thank you.

Torn Between Two Worlds: The Grad Student/Equestrian

When I was a kid, meaning ages 8-18 my life was consumed by horses. It started as lessons, but eventually led to my parents selflessly getting me my first pony when I was 12. I say selflessly, because I do not come from a wealthy family-we’re not poor-but horses, especially in the ‘english’ realm of equestrian sports, are extremely expensive.

My mom even got a second job, because she knew how much horses meant to me. She didn’t want me to miss out on something I was so passionate about, just because society isn’t always fair. She made me believe that just because I didn’t come from money, didn’t mean I couldn’t be included in areas of interest typically reserved for wealthy.


Scooter and I chilling at our first show together

If I could be half the Mom she is one day, then I think I’d be doing a pretty good job.

But yes, horses and the show world consumed my life. Shows at least twice a month, riding every night after school, literally living at the barn or in hotels over the summer. I was aware I didn’t always have the best show clothes, or maybe my spotted pony wasn’t the typical look for the hunter divisions, but I didn’t care. I was in love with everything about the horse world, and believed I could make it to any level I wanted to-regardless of the fact that this was an extremely expensive and perhaps single-minded dream. This dream started to become even more of possibility to me when I started showing other people’s horses from the barn, and started to get catch rides from other trainers at shows. I also ended up getting a free’project pony’ when I was 16, and ended up taking her to pony finals. I thought that I really could make something of myself in the horse world.


My project pony at pony finals


Scooter being adorable


Bella at Tyler


Basillio-my trainer’s horse

Meanwhile, I didn’t care about school. In fact, I rarely went. Pretty sure I got in trouble every year for missing too much. Or never turning in my homework. But, I always got A’s on the tests, so what was the point of showing up or doing work anyways? I frequently argued this point to my teachers and administrators, who at one point almost accused me of cheating since I didn’t show up to one class for over half the semester, but yet still managed to get a 100 on a test (pretty sure my parents don’t know how much school I missed, so if you happen to be reading this-mom, dad, I’m sorry that I would stay home in bed most school days). Regardless of the logic to my argument, the grading system is not set up to reward people who do no work (even if they are smart enough to not need to.) I still ended up with a less than average GPA.

Horses were way more important to me than school, in fact school was an afterthought after everything else in my life. That’s to no fault of my parents, it’s just I can’t seem to work at something unless I’m genuinely interested in it.

But oh has that horse/school mindset reversed.

After I graduated high school, I moved straight to Canada for a job at a warmblood breeding barn/show training stables. They had their main breeding facility in London, Ontario, and had a barn in Ocala, FL, for the winter months (there’s a big winter circuit there, a lot of show barns up north have a second barn in Florida.) I was so excited to start this big adventure, but when I went, I realized how big of a mistake I had made.

In truth, it wasn’t the work load. Yes, we worked 12 hour days 6 days a week, and part of the work was basically a groom’s job, but we also got to learn how to ride and train well bred 4-5 year olds, and even go to shows-and help warm up NICE horses at those shows as well. The ‘working student’ life is tough, but totally worth it if what you want is to live, breath, sleep horses. Which is what I thought I wanted, but it wasn’t.

When I was there, I realized that it didn’t matter if I somehow managed to become a professional, or became a grand prix rider-I realized, even if all my dreams in the horse world came true, I didn’t want it.

How did I come to this conclusion? To put it in the simplest way, I wasn’t happy. Again, not about the work, but…I wasn’t happy about ‘my dream’ anymore. It seemed…incomplete. I felt like I was missing something, and I had no clue what that could possibly be. Horses had been, and were, my whole life. What could I be missing so much? At first I put it off as home-sickness. But, that wasn’t it. Because, although I did miss somethings about him, I wasn’t missing my past. I was missing a future I hadn’t allowed myself to think I could have. I had never, ever considered going to college. And all of the sudden, I was realizing that I closed so many doors on myself by only allowing one possible future for myself. I felt constrained, I felt trapped, I felt desperately that I had made a huge mistake in giving up everything for horses. And that’s not how you should be feeling about something that is supposed to be your ‘dream’.

When I called my mom, telling her I needed to book a flight home, that I couldn’t do this, she knew I wasn’t ‘giving up’ or ‘chickening out’. She had known all along that I needed to see how that life was before she said what she thought I should do. That women knows me-she knew I wouldn’t be convinced to do anything unless I realized it myself. That time period must have been tough for her, seeing her 18 year old kid get on a plane to a different country, not knowing if I would decide to come back or not. But she knew I needed to make that decision for myself.

For two years after I came back, I stayed at my parents house and went to a community college. Like I said before, I had learned nothing about study habits in high school, so before I applied to a University I needed to actually learn how to ‘do school the right way’.

Those two years were so strange, kind of like these grad school years I’m in now-it was sort of like limbo. I knew I was doing what I needed to do, while at the same time not being at the place where I could go forward with my life. But these years also allowed me to figure out what direction I wanted to go in for school, and also allowed me to stick with riding at my old barn. I had to struggle with trying to find a new school/horse balance, which bit me in the butt now in then-college is not the same as high school, you definitely can NOT take a test without studying and expect a 100.


My favorite horse in the world.


Zach in waco.


The two best boys! Guy and Gesan.

But, soon I would start a new adventure. I got accepted at UTSA (after being declined at UT-like I said, high school GPA bit me in the butt), but after all this time in San Antonio, I have to say I’m so thankful UT didn’t want me.

When I first moved to UTSA, which was the fall of 2013, I decided that if I was going to go to university I was going to do it right. I joined clubs, I lived in a dorm, and I basically lived in the library. I also gave up horses. It was a tough decision, but in the end it was the right one. For so long, I had only seen my life as revolving around horses-almost like an addiction-and instead of horses being the happy part of my life, it started to just be something I depended on. So I gave it up for my last two years in undergrad, and gained so many wonderful experiences for it.

Those junior and senior years, I gained new friends, a new significant other, and most importantly, new knowledge and a new outlook on life. I grew up. I realized I needed to have dreams that not only involved my passions, but were dreams that were somehow useful to society. I couldn’t just think about myself anymore. I decided I wanted to go to law school, and do something to help others with it-not sure exactly how yet, but luckily I don’t have to figure that detail out right this second.

I graduated from undergrad the fall semester of 2015, and also became engaged that same semester. Life seemed to be going great, but I still felt conflicted about my future. You see, law school is expensive. I’m talking tuition of about 35,000 a YEAR, and thats only an average. I felt scared to dive in to something like that, and to further sign in to debt world. At the same time I was having these financial doubts, one of my professors told me that I was nominated for VIP admittance to the UTSA grad school-meaning I didn’t have to take the GRE, I didn’t even have to apply, and my books would be paid for (and I also was awarded a scholarship).

So, while I was having a bit of doubts in my lawyer dream, I was presented this opportunity to basically stick around and improve my education while also giving me more time to see if I really wanted to commit myself to law school. It also gave me another great opportunity.

You see, I was missing horses. I knew school was important now, I had gained the experiences I was missing out on, and now I knew it was time to have horses back in my life.

And so, when grad school started in January of 2016, I also called up a barn in SA to start picking up lessons again. After just a few lessons, my trainer started having me hop on some other horses at the barn-she seemed convinced I did actually know how to ride, and wasn’t just another crazy person signing up for lessons claiming they ‘know how to ride’ when they’ve really ‘ridden a horse on a beach vacation once’. Trust us, we can tell the difference.


Gracie the lesson horse/pony




Chunkie, one of the sale horses


Jazzy, one of the sale horses

Eventually, starting the summer of 2016, I officially was not a lesson rider anymore, and became a working student for the barn. Basically, I assist the two main riders with the horses they need to work, and help set jumps. It’s a great trade off, because I get to have fun with horses again, but I’m not expected to devote all my life at the barn.

Basically, those two years I took off from riding were extremely tough at first-but in the end, had made my horse/school relationship actually work. I know how to balance the two worlds now, and even though I’m still anxious for the day when I can finally own a horse-and get back into the show ring-I can finally say I’ve struck the balance between the two main focuses in my life. Even though I love horses, I needed a dream where I can have a real, full life-one where I can work towards something that allows me to be somewhat useful in society, and not just stuck in my own world-or the horse world.

I’m thankful for the wonderful people that I wouldn’t have ever known if I had stayed with that barn in Canada. I’m thankful for the education that has allowed me to grow as a person. I’m thankful for the two years I spend away from horses, because now I’m back in the horse world with a much more grateful and patient mindset.

Instead of ‘the dream’ of being a professional trainer I had so long ago, I have a new dream. It’s a bit more complex, because it’s not just about my career-but about how I want to live my life. I want to be balanced, I want to work towards goals that don’t just involve me, and I want to keep horses in it as well-but as an amateur.

This dream will still take as much sacrifice as the old one, if not more, but I’m genuinely happy with this new life. I know it will be worth it because even if I don’t become absolutely everything I plan to be-I have wonderful people in my life, and I get opportunities I never had before, to grow and try to help people while I get through this wandering road of life.







Life in Limbo: The Struggling Twenty Something

Welcome to the mind of a grad student with plenty of dreams and passions-who is also stuck in the between-years of the early twenties. Wanting to ‘adult’, but being stuck in a situation which lacks the ability to be independent and free-the way I always imagined ‘adulthood’ as a kid.

So much I want to become, but yet so much of that ‘future ideal person’ depends on these next few years. Finishing grad school this year. Getting into law school. Doing well in law school. Navigating the equestrian world on a zero-income budget. Making time to write my book. Keeping happy, healthy relationships while doing so-and getting married at some point in all this (I’m engaged). This blog is about how I’ll be working through this journey.

It won’t be easy, but I know a lot of you out there are dealing with similar anxieties. Let’s figure out these ‘limbo’ years together. I’ll be attempting many different planning and organization ideas, and sharing my thoughts on the best ones. I’ll be navigating the road to Law School this next year, so I’ll be sharing my study schedule (that will include my study schedule for dealing with grad school as well) and thoughts on the whole process. I’ll also be sharing the day-in-the-life of a working student equestrian: how and WHY every horse-crazy person should keep riding while going to school.

Basically, I’ll be sharing my experiences with the ups & downs of trying to get to ‘the dream’, and hopefully give you tips to navigate your own dream as well.