Grateful Thursday 27.07.17

Today I am again grateful for my friends and for the fact that they are willing to spend time and money to visit me. My last Grateful Thursday was about the fun I had spending time with my friend V and today is a reflection on the time I spent with my oldest and one of my 2 ‘bestest’ friends, L.

L. and I go way back to our first days at grammar school and this year actually marks our 20th anniversary. We went through all kinds of ups and downs, had times when our relationship was a bit shallow and superficial, she was my witness at my wedding (we don’t do this whole bridesmaids and maid of honour thing in Germany) and we always shared a love for horses. If it wasn’t for L, I would never have met my Viking horse S.

Last year when I dropped L off at Edinburgh Airport I could hardly find my way home as I was crying so hard. Although I had to swallow a couple of times today, I wasn’t quite as sad as last time. This is not due to the fact that I couldn’t stand her any longer but based on the fact that I hadn’t been home or seen my friends for months last summer. Only when she’d left last year, did I grasp how homesick I had been. Since then I actually managed to see L twice when I went home to Germany. I know I will see her again in September when I travel home to fulfil my duties as a German citizen by casting my vote in the Bundestagswahl.

I would be lying if I said I am not a wee bit relieved to have my home to myself again or if I pretended I wasn’t exhausted after 2 weeks of having friends disrupting my life. Still, I am so grateful for them staying with me and especially for having had the chance to go hacking with L (although less often than I’d planned due to bad weather). L and I used to go hacking a lot back in the good ole days before her horse moved to another stable. Horseback riding, or at least the way we do it, is not a hobby but a lifestyle choice. Especially, when you own the horse. It is such an integral part of your life, your very being, that hardships in your daily life or problems with your horse are mutually weighty on each other. On the other hand, a good time hacking can exhilarate you in a way that is difficult to measure. Even more so when you enjoy it with an old friend.

In addition to being able to go horseback rinding with L, she also helped me in other ways and managed to pull my head out of my a*** with her blatant comments and her accurate observations. She is a shoulder to cry on but also an inspiration in an utterly imperfect way. The comment that really struck a cord was the one she made about my tendency to make things too easy for myself. This happened after an incident with one of my dogs. I said that I will have to live with a certain behaviour due to the type of dog she is and L rightly pointed out that this was just an excuse, an easy way out. It made me realise that it is, in a way, my standard behaviour. I find excuses to not face a problem or sabotage myself to make my life easier in the short term. This not only makes my life harder in the long term but quite simply keeps me from moving forward, from being happy or at least content.

Yes, I like going back to something close to normal now that she went back home but I am so grateful that she was here. I was in dire need of this disruption as I was stuck in a major rut. I needed the talks, I needed someone who knows me but doesn’t judge me to talk to and tell me (when necessary) that I was talking utter BS. Whether I am going to implement her advice or utilise the disruption to change for the better, is up to me and nobody else. Wish me luck!

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