First Impressions


“I thought you were sweet”

It’s funny how the way you see people changes over time. Obviously that’s what happens when you get to know someone, it’s just interesting to hear it first hand. Becky told me today that she thought I was sweet when she first met me. She did admit to also thinking I was a bit stuck-up at first too. Which I can understand; I am aware that I sound very well-spoken and I do tend to hold myself at arms length from people most of the time. Also, when I’m taking things in or thinking, I probably look a bit unimpressed.

And, I was terrified when I started so I spent most of my time just taking things in. Becky also told me she had no idea I was so scared of everything back then. But that was kind of the point. I’m a confident person on the whole and I’m very good at putting on a brave face. So no-one knew how terrified I was, because I didn’t want them to. Now that she knows me better, Becky produced a list of adjectives to describe the way she sees me. The only ones I remember were “crazy, smart, funny, smiley.” Which sounds about right. Although she did say “still sweet” as well. Which made me laugh.
Because I don’t think of myself as sweet or cute or any of those things. They’re too gentle and girly to be attributed to someone like me.

I used to worry a lot about what people’s first impression of me would be. And I used to try too hard to make it good. Nowadays, having relaxed considerably since my teenage years, I tend to care a lot less. Because if someone’s first impression of me is not actually of who I really am then boy are they going to get a shock as they get to know me! I’m not going to work my butt off so that someone else looks at me in the right light. Which is probably why I was so chilled when it came to meeting people for the first time over in Ireland. I wasn’t actually nervous about that at all, despite thinking I would be.

I used to have to tell myself off a lot when it came to my first impressions of other people. I was quite judgemental when I was younger and made snap decisions about people based on trivial and superficial things. I think maybe all teenagers and young people are inclined to do that, because it’s a hard thing to realise you’re doing. I picked up on it with myself though, and I didn’t like it much. So I worked on it, and I’m now able to meet people without allowing those first 30 seconds to colour the rest of my relationship with them.

In fact, I usually discard the initial meeting pretty quickly. Because no-one is completely themselves when they meet new people. It’s always a slightly awkward situation so nerves and tensions are to be expected. I like getting to know people though. Finding out about them and who they are. I always feel very sad when I realise that I don’t like someone (fortunately that doesn’t happen often). One of my favourite things is the creeping realisation that someone has grown on me to the point that I consider them a friend. I like that feeling.

That’s something I love about people. Our ability to grow on each other and the way we build friendships.
I think it’s lovely.

I had another ride with my man today. Maguire was particularly perky this afternoon which was nice for me. I didn’t feel like I had to work too hard to keep him going. Or maybe that’s just because my legs are stronger. Who knows. Either way, we had a good ride. He was responsive and forward going. And we were getting things right straight off rather than having to do exercises again and again. “Ride him straight, through those poles” Georgie said. Which is exactly what we did.

I may not have been racing around cross-country and jumping 4ft fences the whole time while I was in Ireland, but the hours in the saddle have definitely left me feeling more confident and secure. I know my legs have got stronger, because my aids are much more effective. It also feels like they’re more secure, position wise. In general, I feel more relaxed in the saddle. I was never particularly anxious beforehand, but now I just feel totally at ease. I expect things to happen when I ask them to, rather than waiting for something to go wrong. And to be honest, I think that’s half the battle. As it is with most things.

My faith in myself is gradually improving. I’m getting there, slowly but surely. And I know there will be more knocks and more blows that will throw me back down again. But I’m learning how to build my way back up now, so maybe I might just stand a chance out there.

I also had a nice evening after work, chatting to my lovely Mum. I don’t see much of her anymore, which is a shame as we do get on well. We used to be able to drink coffee together and have a chat and a giggle and go out places and enjoy each others company. But her new job means she’s working full time during the week. And I’m away for half of that anyway. Most weekends see me on the yard as well, so I very rarely get the chance to actually physically talk to my mum at the moment. So this evening was lovely. It has left me feeling light and happy which, just before bed, can only be a good thing.


Tomorrow I bake brownies.



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