When I was 25 years old I desperately wanted a pair of REAL cowboy boots. For a L.A. suburbian-born ‘n’ raised girl who’d only been on a horse twice in her entire life [both of which already knew exactly where they were going, thus requiring no riding knowledge from me whatsoever] this may not have made sense. But, on a hot summer’s day exploring off the strip in Vegas with family I said, “The one place I want to find is somewhere I can buy a pair of REAL cowboy boots!” Not fake ones, ya know….from Walmart or something…dressed in hot pink with rhinestones on the sides. Find that place we did find, and for a whopping $35 I bought ’em! My prized pair o’ boots. Plain, leather, comfy, fitmelikeaglove boots.
I’d worn them a handful of times over the years, mostly out to dinner, and once in a while to work, or to the county fair. Those I hung out with weren’t the country-types…again….L.A. suburbia doesn’t lend itself to field-skipping, clean-air breathing, look-at-all-that-open-land viewing citizens. Sure, my dad owned a pair of boots and busted ’em out once in a while tapping into his younger days in Colorado, living in a cabin with his brother, the good life. But, deep inside I longed to not only wear my boots, but wear them riding on a real horse (again, no fake merry-go-round stallions for me), to become a true cowgirl, or at least as close as I could get, seeing as I was off to a late start. I guess I never really voiced this desire openly…perhaps I felt my friends and family would scoff, as they sometimes did, at my escapades. “Oh, Kase! What on earth are you thinking? You wanna what? Now, where did that come from?!”
But, just as I was told to “never quit my day job” when singing commercial jingles in the back of the Volkswagen bus with my bestie, and then 20 years later found myself the lead singer and worship leader at church and also in a local band…my heart kept yearning. Ride….ride….I wanna learn to ride….I wanna wear my boots with purpose…fulfill the dream that hid behind the purchase. Horses, ranches, being away from everything city, peace, comfort, and happiness. And, as the boots followed me through trials and tribulations, enduring their own hardships (like being eaten and tossed about by my dog who loves leather), life took a twist that landed me smack-dab in the middle of horse country. A twist that could have been a “make it” or “break it” moment in my life, and I chose to MAKE IT.
After settling on the Mesa in our small, little Central Coast town, I embraced the adventure. “Maycee…wanna learn to ride a horse?” “Really, Mama? Yes!” And, so it has been, for 2 1/2 years….these boots weren’t just made for walkin’. They were made for me…a small dream fulfilled that has literally changed our lives and my being. They endured the course and now have earned their sand-scuffed, dog-eaten scars so that when people happen to take a glance, it leads them to ask, “You ride horses?” And, my smiling, proud answer…”Why, yes I do!”
I love my boots, just as they are. A symbol of what could’ve been and ended up being…not “some day” but now. A reminder that it’s never too late, don’t give up, don’t give in, and keep on dreamin’!
Readers, do you have any stories to share about fulfilled dreams that seemed out of reach? Please do because we are our own source of inspiration.
Remember, life is short, so make the most of it, and if you get a little hitch in your “giddyup”, give a chuckle!