Turning pages and stepping sideways, but never back...

Written by Monday, 07 December 2015 14:45
Positive riding from Phoebe, Stratford Hills HT 2013. Positive riding from Phoebe, Stratford Hills HT 2013.

'I want to dedicate this blog to anyone who has cried when they shouldn’t.. Wipe your tears, because if the person who caused those tears isn’t wiping them for you, then your tears are wasted on them...'

A couple of weeks ago I got asked how I started riding and how I kept relevant. It got me thinking... Am I really relevant?

Lots of people won’t know that I didn’t actually start riding till very late. In fact, I didn’t have my first lesson until I was in my early teens - being from my background we always had ponies around and I used to ride them bareback, but I always wanted to ride ‘properly’ despite that going against everything I was brought up to do and be. You see I just couldn’t let this fascination with riding horses go... My parents thought I’d out grow the ‘riding ponies phase’ but I never did, and I left school at a very young age to ride/work with horses...

I left school partly because I was really badly bullied. I was not and won’t be the first or only kid to be bullied at school. Kids can be the cruelest things in the world... I guess, looking back right from that point my ‘tough’ skin was forming. You see, in my teenage years the thing I struggled with the most was that I didn’t fit in anywhere - everyone knows about my background and it’s nothing new, but I was brought up to not mix or talk with the ‘normal folk’ and here, I was not only mixing with them because of the horses but I was also enjoying there company... There were a few years in my mid to late teens were I mixed 50/50 with the gypsy community and the non gypsy community - I would go to a gypsy party or wedding and my own people wouldn’t try very hard to hide the fact I didn’t fit it. Same with normal folk - some were great, but some not so much.

The overwhelming feeling I have felt all my life is that I, in some way or shape, am letting someone down or not fitting it. Either I am not speaking correctly, am too outspoken or am being to honest. This isn’t a case of poor little Phoebe feeling sorry for herself, it’s how I feel. You see I am not a massively confident person, but I am a very assured person. I know when I have messed up, ridden well or said something I shouldn’t have and I’m happy to throw my hands up and be honest to everything I do or say. Good or bad...

I spent my early to mid 20’s dating someone totally toxic for me. He wasn’t a bad person, and I won’t slag him off as I’m not that type of person, but he was ashamed of my background and he would drum that fact in to me. Was he a bad person? No... Was he a bad person for me? Without doubt... Am I the first girl to be with the wrong type of bloke? Of course I’m not!! But he did rip my confidence to pieces, I remember him saying he was pleased I had a fall at one major event because I was getting to ‘big headed’.

I started to question everything I said and how I behaved... I had always thought that I was a fairly level headed, down to earth person but here, the person I loved, was telling me I wasn’t. So there it began – the beginning of Phoebe Buckley trying to be everything she wasn’t and everything she thought everyone else wanted her to be... For years I watched my P’s and Q’s in fear of not fitting in even more than I already didn’t. Then I went even further the other way, I used to pretend I was happy and didn’t mind the fact that people didn’t like me, that I didn’t fit in or that I didn’t have any friends. When in fact, I hated it, I hated that I had forgotten how to just be me. Some days I’d just cry because I hated not being comfortable in being me... Everything suffered and I truly believe I have not achieved half of what I would have achieved had I just been in a more settled place.

But hey ho, I wasn’t and I didn’t... Sadly that ship has sailed… For now…

A couple of years ago I started to find my feet, I was getting back to me...

Something happened. I started my trips to Scotland and wow.. I was given a shiny new start, I went there knowing that no one from Scotland had ever met me before. I promised myself on the first flight up that I was going to be 100% me... 100% Phoebe Buckley. If they didn’t want me to come back so be it, but to my amazement they all seemed to love me!!  My Scottish friends will never be able to understand the confidence they have and are giving me... I don’t soft soap any of them in my lessons, they fall off, I shout at them, I push them and above all I tell them when they have done a great job... So far they all seem to quite like the  real ‘Phoebe Buckley’.

Am I totally back to me? Nope... Not yet.

I still have wobbles when people say things, but when I do have those wobbles I try to remember to take a deep breath and I remind myself that those wobbles are the very reason I am relevant...

Because I'm human – I’ve had shit boyfriends, I’ve said things I shouldn’t, I’ve posted things on Facebook I wished I hadn’t, I’ve enjoyed success, I’ve ridden badly, I’ve ridden well,  I’ve cried when things have gone wrong or when I’ve lost horses... I’m honest to a fault, and I want people to know that the toughest of people still care what people think.

I have learnt the very hard way that worrying about what people think isn’t the problem. - It’s worrying about what the wrong people think is where the damage is done...

So from this day on, if someone says or does something that upsets you, just turn the page on them, never see any mistake you make as a step backwards... It’s a step sideways at worst - if you learn something from it then it’s still a step forwards, even if it’s only a small one.

I want to dedicate this blog to anyone who has cried when they shouldn’t.. Wipe your tears, because if the person who caused those tears isn’t wiping them for you then your tears are wasted on them...

Have a great Christmas everyone! And I hope 2016 brings you all everything you wish for.. Over and out…

P x x

Re-published with kind permission from Phoebe Buckley|Blog


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  • Comment Link Liz Sinclair Thursday, 10 December 2015 12:00 posted by Liz Sinclair

    Thank you for sharing, it makes me know I'm your kind of "normal" have a wonderful Christmas.

  • Comment Link sarah west Tuesday, 08 December 2015 16:07 posted by sarah west

    Well said Phoebe! Being true to your self is sometimes really hard, but nothing compared with the pain inflicted on yourself by trying to be something you are not for others. Have a fab Christmas x

  • Comment Link Abi Rule Tuesday, 08 December 2015 10:39 posted by Abi Rule

    Another fabulous blog!! Happy Christmas Phoebe! x

  • Comment Link Sue Paine Monday, 07 December 2015 17:30 posted by Sue Paine

    Good for you. I think it is human nature to want to be liked by everybody. It's just not possible. I discovered that the most important person to have liking you, is you. Go out, be well mannered to whoever you meet, but, if they don't show you the same courtesy back, then cut them out of your life and move on. :)

  • Comment Link Ellie Fells Monday, 07 December 2015 16:17 posted by Ellie Fells

    Loved this SO much - so inspiring x