"Well?" he said, waiting for an answer. "What are you going to do?"
We were sitting in his office - him, leaning back in his chair with his feet on his desk, me, in the swivel chair across from him with my feet tucked beneath me, spinning myself around and around and around as I tried to make a decision.
I had been planning the cross country move for more than a decade. I attended university after high school like my parents wanted, even earning a "sensible degree" in economics - but my passion had always been horses. The deal was that if I graduated from university, my parents would support me in whatever I chose to do next - even if that meant moving 3000 miles away to study horses at the best school of its kind in the country.
Hours earlier I had received a letter from that school informing me that I had been wait listed. They allowed ten students into the English Horsemanship program and I was unlucky number eleven. A month before I had flown across the country to tour the school and perform a riding test. I made one mistake - picking up the wrong canter lead and not correcting it quickly enough - and I was done. "You're welcome to try again next year!" the letter said.
What was I going to do?
"I'm going to go anyway!" I finally said, surprising even myself with the boldness of the statement.
"Seriously?" he asked.
"Seriously." I reached out to stop the spinning chair. "I mean, it's now or never, right?"
"Well, if that's what you want to do ..." I could tell he wasn't sure. I don't have a history of courage, by any means, and the thought of me, moving across the country to a place where I didn't know anybody, had no place to live, and had no job lined up must have seemed a little bit silly. But I was sure.
Three months later he dropped me off at the airport with a crushing hug and a promise to keep in touch, and I stepped onto a plane with two suitcases crammed full of my worldly possessions.
* * *
If there's anything I've learned over the past ten years, it's that courage produces more courage. On that day, in that moment - I was terrified. I had no idea if I was doing the right thing. I had no guarantees, no real plan for the future - but I did it anyway.
And when I look at my life now - an entire decade later - I can't help but think that I became the woman I did because I took that first brave step.
Because for me, it was more than a cross country move:
It was a conscious decision to cut ties with the past,
And it was me choosing to chase my dreams even though it clearly wasn't going to be easy.
* * *
Spoiler alert: I'm not an Olympic equestrian. I'm not much of an equestrian at all, at this point in my life.
But it all worked out. It always does, doesn't it?
I'm not where I thought I would be, ten years ago, I'm somewhere better.
* * *
So here's to the big decisions.
Here's to the frightening moments.
Here's to the times where you trust yourself, and you trust God - and you do it anyway.