I did not set out to arrive where I am at today.
If you would have asked me in high school — or college for that matter — what I intended to be when I grew up, none of who I am today would have made the list. Not entrepreneur, artist, rancher, or writer (well, maybe writer, but only in the context of a fantasy job).
When I look back, I can see where all of the pieces began to fit into place. I can examine the moments where I made the decisions which ultimately lead me to where I am today. Sometimes they looked like missteps; other times they looked like out-and-out mistakes, but the path lead me here. (And, just so you know, I am not done. There is still plenty of trails to explore ahead, plenty of opportunities to become something, someone new.)
At 16, I would have told you being an entrepreneur looked like too much work.
At 18, I would have told you I was not capable of being a rancher.
At 20, I would have told you I didn’t have enough talent to become an artist.
At 21, I would have told you there was no money in becoming a writer — at least not for me.
But here I am, at 50, to tell you I am all of these things.
Some came easy — becoming an artist was undeniable for me, I could no more deny it than I deny my need to breathe. Is my art for everyone? Absolutely not. But that’s being an artist.
Being an entrepreneur was unavoidable — it stalked me like an errant lover, begging me to go on an adventure. I did not require much convincing — although I did break up with it once or twice.
Becoming a rancher I did reluctantly at first. Running a ranch is hard — harder than you could ever imagine. Doing it alone, well, that’s even more difficult. I’ve come close more than once to losing it all. I live by the skin my teeth more than I’d ever like to admit. But, I am capable. I have done it now for over 15 years. I have proven I am capable at least to myself.
Being a writer is who I am in my soul — a storyteller, a tale spinner, a wordsmith. It is the core of my being. It is what nets the whole thing together.
As I enter this very crucial turn of the corner toward the home-stretch of my life, I can see I am more powerful than I ever imagined — and weaker than I will ever be able to reconcile.
I also see within that realization an opportunity to impart the lessons I have learned — lessons from my life, from my art, from my business — and most importantly, lessons from the ranch, lessons about that reluctant part of human nature that won’t let go; that part that yearns to be let free to range into the synergy of passion.
So, no, I am not where I expected to be at this point in my life — but I am right where I am supposed to be.