My eldest little boy is obsessed with skiing. He reads books about it, studies YouTube clips online, is thrilled at the onset of winter and the potential for the ski fields to be open. Despite no one else in the family being skiing-oriented, his passion for it leaped out of the snow the very first time he hit the slopes and he hasn’t stopped thinking about it since.
My youngest boy loves climbing. If we drive along in the car, he points out any boulders or rocks along the way that look potentially climb-able. He practices climbing on the couch and examines door frames for potential hand and footholds.
His climbing gym doesn’t have any child-specific climbs, so his 5-year-old self climbs the adult routes. And he gets to the top.
I appreciate their passion and I encourage it. I believe that what lights you up is the point of life, and if I am able to facilitate their loves in any way, I am happy to do so. I have no idea what will come of either of their passions- but what will come of them is beside the point. The fact they love what they do and they put energy into it IS the point.
I wouldn’t care if one could only manage the slope into the car park and the other only made it 2cm off the ground. I’d be fist-pumping them in any case.
Which is why, when I meet stories of people being told that their passion for horses or their riding is fruitless, selfish, or a waste of time, I don’t mince words.
No one around you has to share your passion. They don’t have to see the point of it and they don’t have to want to do it themselves. But all of those things don’t give them the right to diminish what matters to you.
If your horses and your riding- in whatever shape or form that looks like- matter to you, then it’s valid and what’s more, you do not explain or reason why that is the case to anyone.
So if they hand you their reasons as to why what YOU do doesn’t sit well with THEM, then you can hand them back to them. Because they aren’t for you to hold.
Do we need to be considerate in our lives and approach things with fairness and generosity? Absolutely.
But hold fiercely onto what’s important to you.
At the end of the day, it’s the whole point.