Looking Back

amywink December 31st, 2009

My favorite holiday of the year is New Year’s, and the week leading up the the new. I try to take a positive look on what I accomplished during the last year and think about what I hope to move toward accomplishing in the next year. I don’t make resolutions, but rather think about goals and aspirations, writing down things I’d like to consider for the new year. This year, I am also try to take a long look back, especially since this past year was a “5 year” mark on several things I’d aspired to do.

The course to accomplishing many of those goals was a complete surprise. I never imagined I’d be able to spend my summer working at Haven Hill, learning as much as I could about driving and horses, and in tandem, learning as much about myself in the process. But that experience (and all the amazing people I’ve met through this new hobby) is what made driving Will at Agarita on our 5th anniversary entirely possible. And with that experience, I now have what I hope to be the makings of an interesting book–something that was not on the horizon 5 years ago!–which I plan to begin writing in 2010.

The book that was on the horizon then is now in print as Tandem Lives: The Frontier Texas Diaries of Henrietta Baker Embree and Tennessee Keys Embree, 1856-1884.. The publication in April 2009 was a long awaited event and I am looking forward to the presentation and book signing in March 2010. That project was also full of Providential surprises, including the eventual discovery of the original diaries. . . . or, I should say, the eventual discovery of *me* by the owner of the original diaries!

These accomplishments represent a interesting convergence: my own recovery of a long-desired and long-denied relationship with horses (a self denied) along with the completion of a writing project which I think of as both the end of the pursuit of academic writing– writing about self (auto), life (bio), writing (graphy)– and the beginning of writing for my own life. The resolution of each story line required a combination of sheer will and individual effort as well as many fortuitous events and unimagined blessings.

It is an interesting pairing, one which I hope will move me forward into the New Year and many more wonderful experiences.

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