Writing

The Danger of Diving in too Deep

Recently, I took up an old hobby of mine, riding, and after, or maybe during, the first lesson the alarm clocks started chiming. Intensely. With the same intensity, my already overloaded brain started to figure out how life would look like if I let the horses back into my life again. Ideas started popping while I sat on the horse and tried to focus on how to land both sitting bones in the saddle. I’d been away from riding for six years, and horses in general for about four. For a reason. Now, I was back in the saddle and all my dreams came rushing back to me with such power that I would easily overlook everything else. Except for that chiming alarm that seemed to claim reality check from me, every other minute.

Horses have been my passion since I was 8 – 9 years old. One of my passions. Because I always had many things that I’ve been passionate about. I’ve had a tendency to dive deep into whatever was on my radar of interest. Without hesitating, without taking the needed reality check, without questioning my optimism. In most situations it was not a problem. I just tend to be a teeny tiny absorbed with the things I focus on, but I usually remember to, once in a while, get my head above water to breathe and check how far away from the bank I am, and adjust if I’m in too deep, or take a break on shore before diving into my thing again. I realise now that I have balanced on a fine line between without having the balance, overview and safety net line dancers have.  I’ve always somehow made it to firm ground, worn out, fragile, fatigue, but after some time in the sun and some needed rest, I kick down again and race onto something new with the same speed, intensity, endurance, and passion. And with the same blindness for how I do this. Safety net isn’t for me. If there’s anyone who needed safety net, that would’ve been me. The last time I dived too deep into a passion it involved bankruptcy, burn out syndrome and horses. I refused to give up on my horses, I refused to give up on my dream. I kept on, trying to get the firm back on track, trying to start a new firm to reduce the fatal loss that would come in the wake of a bankruptcy and no safety net, trying to follow my dream, trying to overlook the burn out syndrome and its symptoms. Thinking that it’ll pass if I only get all the other things back on track, that everything will fall into places and that I can continue riding happily into the sunset every night. Well it didn’t take long before my body clearly said to me that that won’t happen, I was so stressed so my entire body was all cramped up and I couldn’t sit properly on a horse. I couldn’t sit on a horse.  Well, change of plans, I could walk happily into the sunset.

Long story short: Of course things didn’t fall into places. My dream had blindfolded me, I had been so obsessed with the project, which I still think is awesome, that I had forgotten to check my surroundings, whether I was on safe ground. Which I of course was not. I got lost in the wilderness of my own dreams, I became fatigue due to searching in the wild jungle I had placed myself in, and betrayed by my own body. Without energy running a business is impossible, keeping horses is also totally out of the question. I realised after a long (LONG) while that by following my dreams I had lost myself and the good life I expected to live as a result of executing that dream. I let go of the business, or what was supposed to be a business. I let go of the horses and by that I let go of my dreams. I started a new life, trying to find a new path. The business idea, the dream and the horses haunted me almost every day, but I was able to make a distance as the time went on.

Until I had to get back in the saddle as part of physiotherapy. Then everything came back to me. And that’s when the chiming began. I could easily overlook the alarms, after all I’ve done it before. I had successfully channeled such “negative” thoughts out and focusing on the “positive” ones. But something had changed, I listened to the alarming voice, I checked in with myself on what this was about and then I started to evaluate what I had done wrong before. I recognised my pattern. And I realised I wasn’t willing to go through something remotely the same as I had done. For once in my life I realised that it’s OK just to feel a light connection with the things that interest me, that I don’t have to go all in, just because I think something is super-interesting. I realised that I actually don’t enjoy diving, I prefer to explore things while I still have my head above the water and can take a break easily. I realised that I’ve learnt that that’s far more effective, because I then constantly get new perspectives, I’ll have a fresh mind when working on things and I can have the oversight that is important to me. One more thing I sadly overlooked: the dream that I dreamt wasn’t actually my dream. Somewhere along the line I had let influence by others interfere with my own dreams and I let that voice speak – not mine. I let myself down because I didn’t listen to my inner voice. I had been too preoccupied to carry out something I had started than stopping and taking a reality check to see if this was really it. And by that I uncovered another pattern. My dream involves horses and starting my own company, but not necessarily together. The chiming reminded me of the wonders of being pragmatic and don’t get carried away by emotions and picture-perfect fantasies. I’ve learned the hard way that diving in too deep can cause more harm than good. The good thing is that I’ve learned from it.