Not very many kids at seven years of age know what they want to do with their lives. I did. That made me a very strange case to my classmates, who thought my obsession with horses was just a phase I’d grow out of. I’m sure my parents thought it would be something I grew out of, but after a few lessons, and years of begging for a pony, my parents surprised me with two horses of my own.
Why such a strong love of horses at such a young age? I believe they are in my blood, but also, reading books such as Black Beauty, The Saddle Club, Pony Tails, and Thoroughbred solidified in my young, malleable brain, this is my life. My nickname in school became Belle, because yes, I always had my nose stuck in a book. Journals and notebooks littered my desk and I’d daydream while staring out my window of all the stories I could tell surrounding my love of horses.
At 14 I picked my university and started outlining the courses that I wanted to take. I only applied to a few colleges with Equine degrees and riding teams. My number one and two pick accepted me, and I chose the dream college. Years of showing, riding, lessons, clinics, lazy days spent at the barn, finally culminated to this wonderful moment. I got to study what I loved and was good at it.
During my elementary school, to highschool, to college life, though, another parallel love emerged. Singing and theater. I’d always be a writer, but I just assumed that would be for my own viewing pleasure - no matter how great it would be to see my words in print. Horses were my dream and that was my goal. At college, the theater became a huge part of my life and my friend group. I continued to sing and acting became second nature. The hours spent on stage at rehearsals were just as valuable as my time spent in the barn.
Long story short, I made it through undergraduate, and then went on to move down to TN to complete my masters. From there, I moved to KY to work in the thoroughbred industry and thus secured my dream job. BUT, it wasn’t fulfilling.
By this point, I’d gotten into cosplay, allowed my inner nerd to shine and attended and participated in in-character panels at Anime conventions. My love for acting and performing rose from the ashes and soon began to fight for dominance in my life. The breaking point for me came when a friend of mine asked me, “Kylie, if you could do anything in the world as a job, what would it be?” The response out of my mouth, shocked everyone around me. “I would be a writer.”
And then it hit me, this unease, this unfulfilled hole in my soul wasn’t my fault, or my jobs fault. I’d taken on a mammoth of a task for the majority of my life and did it! I proved people who told me I couldn't do it I could. The revelation of mastering one dream, and finding that another one just below the surface, which had been with me from the start, parallel to my love of horses, came like a punch to the gut.
Guilt for feeling like I was letting my family down came next, followed by the crushing weight of student loans for a degree I would only use half of. Yet, after a while, and at my friends and family’s reassurance, I accepted this new direction for my life. So, at 25 years old, I moved back to TN and picked up odd jobs, before eventually going back to the equine world to make ends meet.
Everything happens for a reason. The final job I had in the equine industry set me up to have a gym membership in town. I wanted to get a personal trainer so I took the money I’d saved for just a gym membership and spent it on one. She introduced me to my future husband. He was already an agented actor in the Nashville area and well versed in audio engineering. We quickly became best friends, and so much more.
After mentoring in voice acting, I started working in audio books, along with writing the first book of The Legend Series. Everything fell into place. I quit my full time job for audio, got married, and publishing my first book. From there, we moved to TX and never looked back. Now, we are both living our dreams. The only difference is, I’m on my second.
Reading, writing, and horses all started out at the same level for me, encouraging each other along. Just because one seemed more impossible then the other, didn’t mean I couldn't do it. Besides, I’d already proved to myself and others I can achieve my dreams. Why not take a chance on another one?
Don’t take those little passions and loves in your life for granted. They could be building, waiting on you to take the next step in accepting them. And they could bring you the peace of mind and soul-fulfilling work you’ve been craving.