'Journey of life starts with a full bag of luck and an empty bag of experience. The goal is to fill the bag of experience before the bag of luck gets empty.'
Today, I'm grateful that most things in my life didn't go as planned or as expected. I am grateful for the sh*tstorms, rough experiences and times I had to adjust my mindset to create a different outcome. More often than not, I did not even want to make these changes. But I'm glad that I did.
People tell me I am lucky for the (work)life I have. Or they express how great and strict my boundaries are. I just never have the heart to tell them how much of me it actually took.
How during my first 2 years in the US, I didn't get paid at all despite working full time as a wrangler and trainer. How I had to postpone what I wanted to be of service to someone else, pay for my own gas to get around, pay for lessons, tack. I sure as hell didn't get paid for falling off or staying with a horse while they pass away or travel somewhere for transport. But I was there anyway.
Even when -in my 3rd year- I did got paid they told me 'we can't possibly pay you what you deserve' I replied that I wasn't in it for the money. If money became an issue, I would try and generate some income elsewhere and I did. But I was there to learn and to help. Luck and Experience went hand-in-hand from then on, because the Universe rewarded me with the exact right people and places to work with.
Humble, compassionate, resilient, loving people who put their trust in me from day 1. At that point it didn't feel like work anymore, it felt like home. Money was just a bonus by then because I would have never traded working at these places for anything in the world. It gave me everything I needed and so much more. But the point is: it didn't happen overnight, and it for sure wasn't easy. Co-trainers gave up or in some cases never even showed up, which meant more work for me and chances to prove myself. I never asked for life to become easier. I just asked for more life lessons so I could simply give myself a chance to beat the odds.
Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.
Zoë van Mourik: Equine Trauma Specialist, Behaviorist