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Directionless

November 5, 2010

I love Fort Collins.

I really do.

I dig the mom and pop stores, the bike culture, the front yard gardens, the abundance of horses and backyard chickens, the pretty elm trees, and the funky hippy rancher vibe. Those are all wonderful and fantastic things….but every once in a while I get the niggling feeling of, “What am I doing here?” accompanied by a longing for cold mountain mornings and the smell of sage.

7am this morning I was writing a paper on research methodologies. Derrida, anthrozoology, sociobiology, national literatures, gender performance theorists, Nietzsche, and feminist theories were all floating around in my head. I couldn’t help but think what 7am in my past life looked like.

7am would mean the middle of roundup. Riding the fence deep into the far corner of Graveyard Pasture. Dew and dam water saturating my boots. My fingers curled into the animal heat of the saddle pads. Riding, scanning, spotting, loping up the hill and over to the draw. Peering over the edge into the swirling mist of  creek water. Pushing the herd back. Whistling. Weaving. Loping here and moving there. Fluidity and hard work in the cold morning. Loping up the sage covered hillside to make up for time, deep into the valley and through the aspen grove. Fertile smell of hay grass and morning soil. Letting the horse go up the wide access road. Rising just a bit in the saddle and stretching the rein hand toward eager, flickering ears. The muscles bunch, launch, and release. Relishing the sound of hoofbeats on packed road. Freak’n cold and the wind tearing my eyes and whipping my hair. Riding into the sunrise over the rocky mountains. Counting my blessings and never wanting to be anywhere else. Following the undulating mass of palomino, chesnut, bay, paint, and gray. Tails flick, whinnies echo, hundreds of legs like a mirage. Through the bog again, around the draw, one more aspen grove and it’s hot coffee and french toast for breakfast

.

That’s how I want my 7 am to feel.

My parents tell me that I lack direction. Not true. I have plenty of direction. It’s just mountain bound and horse oriented. When it comes to horses and manual labor, I’m a hyper-focused protestant work ethic fully directional BEAST.What I don’t have is the desire to apply myself when I dislike the direction I’m heading in. This is probably something I need to get over. I can’t realistically make a career of romantic early morning roundups. Besides, there are certain expectations of me. I’m the smart, creative child. I test well. I’ve had a stellar academic career. summa cum laude undergrad and a 4.0 in grad school. I’m supposed to be a professor or a published scholar. Besides, I’d be a shit cowboy. I can’t double dutch let alone handle a ranch rope.  *sigh*

This is all compounded by the stress I’m feeling about my job prospects and money issues. I freaked out a little at the public library and bought all sorts of personal finance books. Although I have enough money in my bank account, much of it has been gifted through an inheritance. I generated very little of it. This has to change. I need to be smarter about my money, if only so that I don’t feel so helpless about EVERYTHING. If I can control my money intelligently, it will be at least a small comfort.

None of the personal finance books recommend buying a pretty little palomino pony.

What do they know…

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 5, 2010 2:03 am

    Sigh. I walked away from life on the farm to go to law school. I look back and wonder why on earth I did that? Other than the fact that I knew I couldn’t live off the peanuts I was making as a groom forever….

    • goamwat permalink*
      November 5, 2010 4:38 am

      Why is the most expensive hobby the least lucrative career?
      Why couldn’t I have a burning passion for systems analyzing or computer programming?

  2. Marc permalink
    November 7, 2010 12:59 am

    you are really cool. Do what you love – education is a life long journey and comes in many forms

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