Monday, May 26, 2014

Leaning in to hard things

Tomorrow my sister is doing something very hard. She's starting school for the second time. For some this might be easy, but to do this she's had to make some very hard choices. She sold her house, quit her job and is ready to (somewhat literally) ride toward her dreams. It's inspiring, but I also know it's been a very scary journey.

If you don't know Courtney, this would be the best description of her:

 She has a gift. Animals love her and are drawn to her. As kids, we always had a ton of animals. Our mom has a love for animals that she inherited from her mother. We're lucky that a love of living beings is a family tradition. It is so rare to find a path that you are 100% passionate about, but getting there isn't always easy.

My sister never believed she was smart. She thought that she couldn't take science courses and excel in them. So when the time came to chose a major in college, she decided to pursue business and communications. This wasn't a poor choice and at the time it seemed like a good idea. Fast forward eight years and she's done well in account management and navigated the tech world. Her good friends helped her make a very smart investment. She bought a house and kept working hard. That's what we're supposed to do, right? It just didn't make her happy.

Two years ago some people gave her a horse. According to the old adage, she should have looked this gift horse in the mouth and probably not accepted the horse. He was untrained, seemingly neurotic, a biter and 6 years old. In other words, a horse she had no business even being around. But he awakened something inside her. Something she had been hiding from for a long time. Her childhood desire to be around animals manifested itself once again. Instead of hanging out with her friends all the time, she started driving two hours round trip to go to a barn to see this horse. She spent hours teaching him tricks. The one problem was that this horse didn't seem to be able to be ridden. He was hurt. She started down a road of research trying to figure out what his medical problem was. Through this, she found that the one thing she wanted to do was to research, rehabilitate and fix animals.

But how do you get there? She was a business major and hadn't taken any undergraduate science classes. She basically needed to redo 2 years of undergrad and then tack on 4 more years of grueling vet school. The truth is that there isn't anyway to get there except to get started. At 30, she's chasing a dream she didn't think was possible. The only way to get there was to do some hard things.
My sister's trailer and her horse Calif
So she did what many people would have been too afraid to do. She quit her comfortable job, sold her adorable house and moved somewhere less expensive. She's going to be living in a trailer so that every day she can see her now rideable horse and save money as she prepares to continue her studies.

It's been inspiring to watch this journey begin. For me, someone who has been chasing my own dream of physical fitness, it's a constant reminder that life is always open for change. The hardest part is leaning in toward the dream and letting go of the life that was holding you back. 


  1. <3 wow so inspired by your sister right now, what a beautiful entry

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