Category Archives: Wyoming

An Unwritten Life

“There’s no such thing as an unwritten life…just a badly written one.” -The Brothers Bloom

Here we are, at the end of the first week of my senior year in high school. So much has changed in the period of a year, and while usually the reflections come in late December or early January (the calendar definitions of new beginnings), my chapter is ending and a new one beginning, here in September. To be honest, I don’t know where to begin.

I feel like since last September, the benchmarks of my year have passed by in a blur of hospital beds and doctors appointments, starting with a horseback riding accident that put me in the hospital in Jackson. Afterwards, it took me a whole year to conquer a fear of horses I never knew I could have, but I’m proud to say, I did it! I travelled for the sixth time to Wyoming this year, and had an amazing trip, mainly because I was able to stay on a horse. Despite the wildfire smoke that clouded our view of the Tetons, the views were gorgeous, the elk and bison herds were impeccable…and my dancing skills are still horrendous. But I’ll be practicing my Texas Two-Step and the Wobble for next year. 😉

This past year has also felt the most natural for me. I’ve done more self discovery in this year than I ever have before, which makes me breathe a sigh of relief. But, the sigh of relief doesn’t mean a break in my busy schedule. I’ve been teaching music lessons, nannying, and interning for The Bioengineering Group.

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I am a firm believer that we are characters in our own stories. We live out the stories and plans as they have been scripted for us. It’s proven that we cannot control the universe, or what the world throws our way. We can only control our actions, our reactions, and our words. More importantly, we control just how we tell our story. My favorite movie is The Brothers Bloom, about two brothers who make their way in the world as conmen. As one of their marks explains, not really knowing just how true her words are,

“I decided [my story] wasn’t a story about a miserable girl trapped in a house that smelled like medical supplies  wasting her life on a dying person she sometimes hated. This was a story about a girl who could find infinite beauty in anything, any little thing, and even love the person she was trapped with. And I told myself this story until it became true. Now, did doing this help me escape a wasted life? Or did it blind me so I didn’t want to escape it? I don’t know, but either way I was the one telling my own story.”

Intriguing? Yes. But you’d have to watch the movie several times to truly understand the context, coupled with where I’m going with this.

I’m turning a page in my life, once again writing a new chapter. My story is filled with mistakes and imperfections, inkblots of insanity, and cliffhangers. I don’t even know what happens next. What I’m trying to say is this:

I know sometimes life throws you curveballs. But if your life is so unpredictable that it feels you can’t handle it, you can. You are more than equipped to handle what you’re presented with. Be confident and trust that the universe brings good things unto those who think positively, and ultimately trust. You follow?

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When reflecting on the struggles I faced in my junior year, one of my friends asked me what I’d change if I could do it all over again. The classes? The medical issues? The people? And finally, it’s nice to be able to say:

I wouldn’t change a damned thing.

Home is Where the Heart Is

I’ve always told people I’m from Boston when I’m traveling because 1.) It’s quicker and more convenient than trying to explain where Topsfield is on a map, and 2.) I love humoring people with my subtle accent, which only pops up when I talk fast.

51 weeks out of the year I look forward to that one week in August in big sky country. Those who are in the martial arts business know there’s something to be said for structure, but freeing myself from the taught reigns of suburban life can sometimes be even more comforting than a familiar routine.

Day 1 I was thrown off my horse Jesse James. But let me just put it out there: I’ve probably ridden only 18 days collectively in my entire life, so I’m no expert. I think the pain was masked by the shock of being on the horse one moment, and on the ground the next. Overall, I think riding is a lot like playing an instrument; there’s a lot of time keeping involved. The minute you lose the beat, it’s all downhill from there. However, I DID learn the importance of that saying, “fall off the horse 8 times, get up 9”. I think everyone should fall off a horse at least once just for the experience 😛

later on in the week was the all day ride to the campground the teens would be staying at overnight, via Elk Ridge. Elk Ridge is a vertical cliff the horses (and riders) despise for its height and location (thousands of feet over the Snake River.) Every year it scares the living daylights out of me. Imagine if I could conquer all my fears in one summer!

In conclusion, cowboy boots are the most comfortable shoes I own. The lessons of being thrown off a horse were well worth the “hematoma bruise” (as my friend Lilli calls it) that appeared later.  It’s upsetting that I have to wait 300-and-something days to see those friends we re-bond with year after year. And those sobs I tried hopelessly to muffle on the plane ride back are only mourning for the Milky Way and meteor showers that were visible every night.

They say home is where the heart is. So while it’s true I’m from Topsfield (or Boston as some like to think), I’d be lying if I said that’s where my heart is at this moment. In reality, this heart is still lying out under the Big Dipper, preparing for a lope through the sage brush of Moose, Wyoming.

Wyoming: Year 3

Tomorrow, Mom, Scott, Rachel and I fly to Wyoming via Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s our third year visiting Triangle X Ranch in Moose, Wyoming, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the excitement in our house is tangeable at this point.

When we arrive, we’ll explore the ranch, see what’s changed since years past, and greet newcomers, as well as people we’ve already met. Later we’ll head down to the campfire where the ranch owners will speak a bit about the local news, and things we should be aware of during our stay. Then T.J., the head wrangler (a fancy name for trail guide) will talk about the horses, trail rides, etc… and find out a bit about each guest. This way, he gets the complicated task of pairing up guests with horses.

One of my favorite parts of the week is Monday morning (at the ranch anyway.) Everyone heads down to the corral after breakfast and finds out who their horse is. Immediately following is the gossip: “Oh, I love that horse!”, “I had that horse last year, good luck.”, and the very common “Does anyone know who my horse is? No? Oh great I’m flying blind.”

Trail rides happen twice a day. We cover trotting and loping, and if you’re lucky, galloping. Every age group is assigned a wrangler, and they (the wranglers) range from fresh-out-of-college to been-there-foreverrrrrrr. The rides are scenic, and offer something new every day.

After everyone’s gotten their bearings on the horses, and had some time in their own groups, all the families take a ride up to a campground for dinner. This is where we met former Vice President Dick Cheney two years ago :-O

Dick Cheney, Rachel, and Me

Dick Cheney, Rachel, and Me

Other activities over the week include: an overnite at a nearby campground for the teens, a trip into town to see a rodeo, a trip into town to a water park for the kids, and lots of other fun events for kids, teens, adults, and families together.

So the reason I’m writing about this NOW is because there’s no internet at the ranch, but I can’t wait to write more about my trip when I get back!