back on a horse

Don’t let the title of this post or the accompanying picture fool you. The horse of which I speak is purely metaphorical. The pictured horse’s name is Cheyenne and she threw me from her back in the spring of 2014. The day I met Cheyenne was both magical and horrible. I met flamingoes in the wild and met some French firemen. I also vowed, as I rode through France in their firetruck with a hurt knee, never to ride a horse again.

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I’ve had some time in the past few days to think about Cheyenne. This morning, I submitted my last grad school application for the 2016-17 school year. Finishing my last essay, pressing the submit button, and watching my bank account recede by another $75 felt like something important and productive. I now have one less thing to worry about at night, one less undone task hanging around, one less something else to do.

And, most strangely, I feel like I’m getting back on a horse. The real expression doesn’t really fit. “To get back on the horse” implies I’ve been off the horse, that I haven’t been doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I don’t really think that’s true. I’ve been working on everything I came to South Carolina to do–and more. I’ve been working at the bookshop, reading, writing something every day, teaching English, taking a drawing and journaling class, doing new things. I’ve been running a crowdfunding campaign to do some research and writing in France.

But there is a feeling that I’m getting on some metaphorical horse. I’m filled with this energy I haven’t felt since I graduated college in June. I want to read and write all day. I want to study. Someone get me to the library. Maybe it’s just the knowing that somehow, somewhere, more academia is on the horizon. I’d like to think it’s not that–if only because the acceptance rates to most MFA programs are so low. I don’t want to get my hopes up, make myself feel so certain I’ll be kicking leaves and carrying a backpack and sharpening pencils a year from now.

It could also be that I’ve found the perfect way to stand while I write and email at the coffee shop downtown, the perfect productivity stance. It could be that it’s cloudy and the leaves are starting to turn and I’m wearing my favorite rain boots (the same ones I had on when I fell off Cheyenne). It could be that a barista here has figured out a way to blend my favorite two teas into one pot. It could be that my residency in France is starting to become a possible real thing.

I’ll take it–whatever it is. I’m back on a horse or I’ve changed horses or I’m visiting with a new horse. And things are good.

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