Happy New Year!!
2020… a new decade and the year of the woman!! This year we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which gave women in the USA the right to vote. It did not happen without a fight and the strenuous conviction of many independent, strong female heroes.
I am excited for this year, although it is easy to get lost on the disarray of anxiety and uncertainty that surround us nowadays. We are going through a tough period in history. Never since I moved to the USA, I witness people so divided and so extremists. There is almost a lack of willingness to meet in the middle… which I find fascinating if not disturbing.
I grew up primarily in a female household. My mother got divorced when I was about 8 years old, and my dad kept everything. I saw my mother transform herself from a perfect housewife to a tiger mother, working days on end to give us, her three daughters, a chance in life.
Needless to say, she raised three strong and independent women. I left Brazil when I was 18, and never returned. One year became two, two years became the rest of my life. I don’t think I would have survived the loneliness and struggle to adapt (to so many different cultures, I lost count) if I would have not been raised by a strong woman, who showed me how to get up after a fall, dust off and keep on going.
My independence was not always well received, but in many cases gave me some pretty cool stories that one day I will be happy to share with my grandkids. Many of you know I was a dressage trainer. That was everything I could think of in my youth, horses. I never realized how unusual my life was, but now, looking back, memories of myself as a young tall slim girl, ready to conquer the world, not taking no for an answer is what comes to mind.
I remember once driving my 6 horse trailer into a truck stop somewhere in the mid-west when I was on my way to a horse show, just to have some absolutely awesome guy try to help me with my buckets of water because a lady should not be hauling all that weight. I politely decline any help but start a conversation that did, in the end, focused on my trailer and my dully (yes, I drove a Ram V10 dully and I loved it). I never told him that I had actually loaded the trailer with hay, feed, my tack box and 4 stallions all by myself. That story always brings a smile to my face.
I have always been a tough girl… once, while living in Salzburg, Austria, I pull a dear by its antlers out of a frizzing river. Well… I did not do that alone. It was spring and most of the snow has already melted. The air was still cool. I was crossing a bridge with my (at the time) boyfriend and we heard shouts coming from the river below, which was flowing strongly because of all the melting snow from the mountains around us. There we saw a man that had jumped in the river to help a deer that was being dragged by the cold water. They were visibly in distress. Without thinking twice, I jumped the wood fence and reached the man that was having a hard time climbing out of the water with the half-frozen animal. At this point I grabbed the deer by its antlers and pulled it out of the river laying it on a patch of wet grass, then I sat on its shoulder. My instinct was telling me that the deer was in shock. I knew that when an animal in shock wakes up, they can be unpredictable. Still, I had to keep it contained, so I put all my weight on its shoulder, one of my knees on its neck and held its antlers with both hands.
My boyfriend helped the man out of the water and by now we had many people coming from the houses around with blankets. The fire department arrived. Now there were neighbors, curious people and firefighters around the beast that started moving around but the interesting thing… I WAS THE ONE sitting on it. No one offer to switch places or help mobilize the poor cold animal. Honestly, that made me feel very powerful because I think they truly thought I knew exactly what I was doing.
At one point the deer tried to free himself and moved his head so fast that I got scraped on my leg by its antler. I had no idea how sharp those things can be… Again… no one moved close to us. All I could hear was their talk about what to do. We were still so close to the river and in such a steep area that allowing the deer to go free could end with him falling in the water again. At this point, they had figured out that the deer came from a farm not far from where we were. It may have fallen in the water upstream and not being able to get out due to hypothermia. The farmer was contacted, and he arrived 30 minutes later with a trailer and a harness for the deer. It took three men to load the now, somewhat rambunctious animal into the trailer… but only one WOMAN to hold it down… LOL.
Why I am sharing all this on my ART blog?? I am not sure… maybe because I believe that by sharing experiences like this you will all understand better who I am. This is important to me because what I am doing demands a level of trust and respect, and one cannot achieve that without showing his or her true colors. Or maybe, I just feel like writing about my awesome, crazy, unique life experiences and inspire others to do the same.
The point is:
Live your life to the fullest. Do not be afraid of the unknown and trust your instincts. Making memories is a gift and being able to share them is an accomplishment.
So… to my daughters and all women out there… go kick some ASS!!