“Be fearless in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire…”
Even long before I had heard this quote I lived in this manner. I’ll be forever grateful to my parents for their love and support of all things I was interested in and for teaching me the value in working hard towards those goals. They weren’t the “force” their kids to do things type, but instead the type that would help however they could so long as my brothers and I were putting forth 110%. I wanted to pursue horses and competing, my parents were willing to buy the horse and trailer, fund the housing and lessons, so long as I was out there every day before and after school caring for my horse. So long as I participated in the building of barns (yes, we built several when I was a kid), so long as I helped build and maintain the pastures and the fences. They weren’t about to just hand it to me. Before I could drive on my own I had two jobs. My mom was willing to cart me to and from those jobs provided I worked hard and efficiently. But the funds from those were not just to pay for horse show entries and pretty colored tack, no, I now had to buy feed and bedding for my horse first. Of course if I didn’t have enough they were always there to rescue me. I know there will be some neigh-sayers that disagree with this and there are plenty of kids now who would fake being broke to get their parents to pay, etc, etc. I wasn’t like that. It was a sense of pride that I put in the work, that I was 15 years old I bought all the feed for my horses.
Now, hind sight, there were plenty of rough times. It was frustrating to go to county fair and have the horse that I trained myself and get beat by the girl who had a $20k horse and got to keep it at a fancy stable and her parents paid for everything. Those times were tough and even today scenarios like that are difficult. I question why others have gotten it so easily when I have worked my butt off and barely make it and sometimes it isn’t even enough. But in all honesty I would never change it, any of it. That’s because I know and value the time and effort, blood, sweat, and tears that goes into all of. That’s because I know that I have strength to endure the tough times because I have done it. When life has given me hurdles or knocked me down, I’ve overcome those, I’ve gotten back up and kept on trucking.
Very seldom have I ever been asked why by someone. Why do I keep doing what I’m doing? Why do I keep at it when it has given me challenges? The “it” in this case isn’t a singular thing. It is whatever I have chosen to go after in life. In a twisted way, now reflecting, I have very rarely asked myself why. Maybe that is the reason few others haven’t questioned it, because I have pushed through life and trials and pursued my goals with confidence and muster that says “she’s got this.” Either way, it isn’t theirs to know or care about, it is my “why”. I have never wanted to go through life with regrets or look back on the what-ifs so I’m determined to go after what lights me up, what makes me, me. This is where the leather business was born from.
It has taken me a few years to learn techniques and to grow it where I want it to be, I still have goals in it that I would like to achieve and things I would like to do with it but I’ve plugged away consistently at it. I’ve set it aside a time or two to deal with life. I’ve threated to give it up altogether. Has it taken time, yes. Have I worked long hours after my 9-5 and after farm chores, yes. Has it exhausted me, yes. Has it been worth every second when I see one of my creations in the arena, absolutely! It fuels this fire in me that I can never completely explain… It combines my love of creativity and artistry with my passion for horses and the western lifestyle. It allows me to use my artistic vision but still be an engineer and build something with my hands. It requires patience yet efficiency. I have met some of the coolest people from across the country along the way. It allows me to work in the quiet and solitude I enjoy but also interact with customers and bring to life something they never though possible. It truly has been a blessing in my life.
Growing up I’d have never thought I’d be able to make a living doing something artistic, creative, and that had to do with horses and still enjoy doing it. I was always told that it couldn’t be done. But here I am. Just because I have hit some of my goals doesn’t mean I will be stagnant or complacent. I set new goals all the time and choose to pursue them every day, as soon as my feet hit the floor. I have live an unbelievable adventure through life and I cannot wait to see what is in store. I’ll always be fearless….
#gunningirlleatherworks #gunningirlleatherworksblog #cowboymountedshooting #customleather #dreambig #aqha #livinglife