So it’s taken me ages to really get started on my blog, and for a while I was really asking myself ‘why’, until a few days ago. Three events happened to me that helped me find at least part of the answer and prompted me to (finally!) write something down.
Firstly I watched the movie ‘The art of getting by’ (2011), and I got the first real ‘zinger’ from it.
George (who is a talented young artist but struggles to actually paint anything): ‘Every time I think about a subject, or even try and visualise an images of what I think I should paint, I just feel… I just feel like I’m full of shit, like I’m trying to be something I’m not’.
As I heard that line I realised that character had put into words exactly what I was feeling, every time I considered writing down and publishing a comment on something I would literally feel like I was ‘full of shit’. I felt like I wasn’t qualified enough to have an opinion, let alone publish it.
Thankfully the answer swiftly followed:
Dustin (the ‘Mentor’) listened while flicking through Georges drawings, comments that the drawings are good. George replies ‘They are just doodles, immature crap’ and Dustin replies…
‘This is what you should be painting, at least until you evolve into something else…’
And in my mind in that instant I realised that was the answer. Regardless of how undeveloped my writing or unseasoned my horse training repertoire right now may be, I need to start in order for it to evolve into something else.
Carl Hester posted a video of him and Nip Tuck competing at their last GP Show. I watched the footage and instantly had some misgivings regarding the quality of the extended trot. Immediately I did some research and I posted my thoughts and findings on the ESI Graduate Forum page on FB.
Now what got me thinking was why did I ONLY post on the ESI Graduate page? If I would like to generate some sort of change via constructive discussion and education I need to post directly to a public forum.
Primarily the answer lies in the above comment on ‘feeling unqualified’ to have an opinion and how if you pass comments that run contrary to popular opinion or winning results the community of ‘they’ are very quick to often very brutally dismiss you.
Now to be clear I have zero issue with someone disagreeing with my opinion, everyone has a right to one, and of course we will never all agree. However frankly what scares me is how often people attack others on a personal level, rather than keeping the disagreement to the fact of the matter, it’s not very nice to come under personal attack from perfect strangers.
I realised this is what I was scared off, and therefore why I wasn’t writing.
But I have reminded myself that:
A) everyone has a right to an opinion
B) as long as I am being impartial and not bringing emotion or any form of personally directed judgment into my work, there is nothing wrong with writing and publishing my opinion and
C) if I want to help instigate change in the horse world via publishing my thoughts in order to try and educate others to new ideas or practices, ‘haters’ are going to be par for the course, I just have to ‘deal’…
So that night after epiphany No 1 and No 2 today, I watched ‘It’s kind of a funny story’ (2010) and again was struck by a few good zingers.
Craig a 16 yr old boy has checked himself into a mental hospital and he has two conversations with his psychiatrist that struck me.
Craig: ‘…There’s something bigger going on here’
‘And what’s that?’
‘I don’t know but it’s big’
Basically I feel like that sometimes, that there is something going on but I don’t know what it is yet… and I still don’t know what ‘it’ is but it’s nice to know that I’m not the first person to ever feel like that.
In the other conversation, the doctor asked Craig to explain how he feels about a particular topic that is worrying him, his answer:
‘I don’t know it’s hard to explain’ (Yet he has this immensely clear visual in his head, he knows perfectly well what the problem is he just can’t actually vocalise it).
Her answer: ‘Do you have anyone you can explain it to, friends, family…you know it’s important to have a support system, people you can really talk to…’
So reason number three. Is partially a reason why I should be writing but also partially a reason why I haven’t been writing.
Why I should: Because I don’t really have those ‘people you can really talk to’ at close access all the time. So the answer to this problem is – write it down!!! BLOG!!
Why I haven’t: Some of my thoughts are personal, and some involve people close to me.
However I have realised I simply need to be smart about how I write things, a story doesn’t need to be perfectly factual in order to convey a message. I will make sure the important and necessary facts are correct, altering names and locations etc will not diminish the point to the blog.
That’s it, three points that I feel have been very important lessons to learn. I guess I feel like I have given myself permission to be real. I will write what I want to write about, when I want to write about it, with my real opinion behind it. I will just be smart about how I write, I will always endeavour not to hurt anyone, including myself along the way.
And like the good man said its all about ‘evolving’ so quite possibly I’m going to stuff it up many times along the way. I guess in the end that’s the lesson isn’t it – if we want to ‘evolve’ we have to change, and I have come to realise change and mistakes are inextricably linked. It reminds me of one of my favourite quotes…
“What if I told you that 10 years from now your life would be exactly the same? I doubt you’d be happy, so why are you so afraid of change?” Karen Salmansohn.
So this is me, raw and real, but not uncensored… 😉