Everything and More

Also titled; Red Jeans

Today I wore red jeans. It felt good. Somehow the simple act of choosing those jeans over the others gave my spirits a much needed boost.

As a consequence of this, I have spent most of the day dancing around the house to my summer playlist. The dogs weren’t quite sure what was going on, but they joined in as best they could. And I baked. Yay for baking. It’s been ages since I baked here (for obvious reasons) so it felt nice to crack out my beautiful cupcake cases again and get busy in the kitchen. I did find myself missing the island from the Tsiopani’s kitchen though. Very convenient space for baking that. We don’t have one of those. Come on parents, get on it!

Now that all my stuff is in places it should be and my room is free of cases and bags etc, it almost feels like I was never away. I still feel slightly out of place though. Which is what reminds me that I haven’t been here all summer. That weird feeling deep down that’s telling me I’m in the wrong place. Curse you. I don’t even know what I’m cursing. I have nothing to blame.

I am totally torn about the whole going back to college thing. I do want to go back, finish my qualification and learn more. Of course I do. And the staff are great, and the other students are a lot of fun. So it’ll be nice to see everyone again. On the other hand though, I really don’t want to go back into education now that I’ve worked all summer. I was given responsibility and trust and calls to make. Some days Tillie and I actually ran the place on our own because the other staff had a day off. It’s going to be very strange going back to all those rules and health and safety regulations and playing it safe.

I’m going to really miss the confident attitude of “yeah, just give it a go, you’ll be fine.” When I think about the things I’ve done in the past five weeks that I’d never done before, and how I was thrown into them with no preamble whatsoever. And I did them all, without any problems at all. Because Ginny and Sara had faith in me, so I believed I could do it myself.

I have cantered and jumped without stirrups on ponies and horses. I have jumped without reins on ponies and horses. I did cross country schooling, including jumps, banks and cantering on a 12hh pony who pretty much skipped out the canter part altogether and went straight to gallop. I vaulted. I fucking stood up on a walking horse. I rode bareback through a river. I took out treks on my own. I taught stable management and vaulting to kids. I taught kids how to lunge. I lunged a horse while kids vaulted on him. I schooled horses simply because I felt like it, with no supervision. I rode western style and fucking loved it! I taught a riding lesson to a group of kids, half of whom didn’t speak English.

All this stuff, it’s awesome stuff. I’ve achieved so much. I can barely believe that it was actually me who did all that. But it was, it really was. In five short weeks I have learned so much. When I think about it in terms of what I’ve gained, it’s been a phenomenal summer. Fucking magnificent.

And that’s just the riding. Personally I’ve gained so much more. I’ve made friends from all over the world who mean more to me than I ever realised they would. They’re the best people. The absolute best. I got over some of my issues with socialising and touching. Which I honestly thought would haunt me forever. It’s going to be hard not to revert back to some of my old ways, as I’m not feeling so happy here. But still….hugs no longer terrify me and being in a group of people makes me feel quite content rather than like I’m going to run as fast as I can in the opposite direction. And I opened up enough to have a relationship with the most fantastic man.

So in terms of what I did and what I learned and what I gained,
it was a beautiful summer.

It was everything and more.

It’s impossible not to smile when I think of it like that. Even if I tear up at the same time. When I think about where I’m at now compared to where I was before we went…I’m bigger and better than ever.

Ireland you absolute hero!

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