I am a TCK through and through (see definition below) currently living in Germany.
As defined by David C. Pollock: “A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture. The TCK frequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture may be assimilated into the TCK’s life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background.”
A new word I learned the other day that describes me well is being a “multipotentialite”. That is, the opposite of a specialist. A specialist is extraordinary at one particular thing, whereas a multipotentialist has lots of interest in all sorts of directions and is good at a lot of things. Here is the TED Talk that inspired this thought.
That is absolutely me! In school I found all subjects interesting and found a love for languages, as well as the sciences and sports. At University I had the hardest time deciding what subjects I wanted to study because I could imagine studying them all – they are that interesting to me. I found it particularly hard to decide between Music, Science and Veterinary Medicine. Whilst all that time, my hobbies kept changing. In school I got quite good at Volleyball, then Basketball, have been playing the Violin solo and in orchestras since I was six years old, have been into and around horses since I was at least six years old, started snowboarding and am now a qualified snowboard teacher, started skiing, etc. – you get the point.
I enjoy my life as a “multipotentialite”. I enjoy getting to know something new, then putting all my time and effort into it and once I have reached a certain level of savvy, I will enjoy this new skill continuously and move on to learn more.
This allows me to be great with horses, because all facets of the horse are important and interesting to me. I pursue them all with equal vigour. I know the importance of foundation before specialisation and once I have a solid foundation, my goal is to learn as much about horses as possible in various facets.
I am currently obsessed (and forever will be) with Natural Horsemanship (doing the Parelli Program).
I am a massive learn-aholic.
When people ask me what my favourite colour is, the reply is bright and colourful! If that is not an option…it’s yellow – the bright kind! That’s a bit about me.
How I found Parelli:
When I was a teenager my parents would take me on holidays to this Austrian Monastery – St. Gerold – every couple of years. They had a stable with horses, offered a few riding lessons here and there and did therapeutic riding in particular for children with special abilities of all sorts. I spent all day in the stables, helped out and got some riding lessons in return. Usually there would be a different Teacher working there each year. One year it was Andrea Loidl.
One day she gave me a really long rope with a horse attached and told me to point to the left. Then the horse started walking to the left, which was quite exciting. I had only ever ridden up until then. Then I started moving and she said to keep still and not turn with the horse, just listen. So I did. Then the horse magically came around again. I was fascinated that it just kept walking behind me. Then it passed me and she told me to look at its butt. Somewhat perplexed I did so and the horse turned to me with two eyes and two ears with such a positive expression on its face. No horse had ever looked at me that way as a result of something I had done. It felt like he understood me and I could talk to him, instead of just telling a horse what to do with mechanics. I remember that moment like it was yesterday. I was so filled with amazement, joy and wonder that I thought then I need to learn all about this. This is it – that’s what I want to do with my life. Even though I had no idea what that was or how I could turn this into something to do with my life.
A few days later she took me to her stable where she did a demo which absolutely mesmerised me. She played with the horse but had no rope attached to it or anything else and it was following her everywhere, circling around and jumping over barrels. Then she got on it! Without a saddle or bridle or halter or anything. Then she did almost the same things, circling, jumping over stuff but with nothing on the horses head. She just happened to do all that to one of my favourite songs at the time. I started crying happy tears when I saw that and heard the music.
Then I started bugging my parents about Parelli and got the red and blue Level 1 and 2 for Christmas and birthday. Even though I had no horse to play with I devoured the DVDs, took notes and studied it like my homework for school. When I was 16, I think, I printed out the scholarship application for the Externship and carefully read all they wanted to know. Since then I have been counting and collecting lots of experience in the things asked for on the scholarship form. This was also the reason I have counted all my play time since the beginning and knew that it was very important to play with more than just one horse. This would teach me a lot.
Then horses started to come into my life one after the other. Usually owners who were looking for someone to do something with their horse because they didn’t have enough time or were out of the country.
In September 2011 I finally found a couple of horses that I would have access to over a period of a few years and started progressing through the levels. The more I knew and understood, the more I wanted to know and understand. I had a hard time motivating myself to do my University homework and study for exams because I wanted to study Natural Horsemanship instead.
In April 2015 came the point when I could no longer stand being torn in two. I decided to suspend my University studies (Chemistry and Biology) with only 1.5 years to go and turn my passion into my daily life. With no financial or emotional support from my family, this was a very hard decision to make, but there hasn’t been a single day that I have regretted that decision. On the contrary, I find myself wishing rather often that I would have found the courage to make this decision sooner in my life.
My current and future goals are to pass Level 4, collect as much experience with Instructors as possible before heading to the Colorado Campus with a scholarship. My aim is to stay at the University in Colorado for as long as possible and learn as much as possible.