I was five years old when I started Kindergarten. I remember my main goal in kindergarten was to be allowed to go to speech therapy with the other kids. I also wanted a puppy. My wants changed gradually throughout my school years, and I would like to say that they got more and more sophisticated – material wishes turned into abstract, unreachable ‘dreams’ about horses, sunsets, and perfect hair that never had to be brushed. Then the progression finally turned to making somewhat impossible goals that would possible with a shitload of hard work and some chance. (Only later did I learn that the ‘chance’ aspect of my goal-attainment in those days actually meant ‘parental support’.)

I still consider one of my greatest achievements to date, the process of buying my first horse. I didn’t know at the time that this process would actually define my character, work ethic, and personality well into my adulthood. From the very beginning of the Woodies Goodies cookie business, to that moment at the horse auction when the most drugged-up horse in the ring was ‘Going…. going…. gone, to the girl in the yellow shirt!’, I was learning that if I wanted anything in life, I would need to use all of my focus, skill, creativity, willpower, and physical energy to make it happen.

The next greatest lesson was also learned through the horse hobby – but this time, it was a slightly less inspirational lesson. All the hard work I had put into acquiring the horse was one thing, but now that I had the horse, I didn’t get to just move on to the next goal. Every morning, I needed to groom, feed, haul water, pick hooves, and shovel poop. It is more difficult to work if you don’t have a specific goal in mind that you are working towards, but I learned this kind of work is valuable too. Although a little bit anticlimactic, the lesson was probably even more important than the previous one.

I am entering my 20th, and final, year of school. I am intensely following another very large goal, with quite alot at stake. This time, I must continue to work hard, and alot more is left to chance. Once I finish in April, I will enter the professional world fully, and I will have no more excuses not to take extraordinary risks to achieve my goals. All I can do now, is draw on the same lessons that I learned when I was a girl, and thank my parents for facilitating all these incredible opportunities. I am ready.