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  • Writer's pictureJessica Champagne

Taking The Leap

During the past few months, when we have all spent a bit more time slowing down because of quarantine, I have reflected a great deal on how I have gotten to this point in my life. There have been many twists and turns, and definitely a lot of unexpected and unplanned paths that I have ended up going down. Ultimately, all of them have propelled me to confidently and successfully move forward with the incorporation of my very own business and brand, Pine Point Equestrian. Many valuable lessons have been learned along the way, and I feel as though they could be of great encouragement to you as well.

The majority of my transitioning into this eventual career path really started to evolve during college. While at The University of Maine, I studied psychology and spent a great deal of time in a research lab, even conducting research of my own after being awarded a grant during my senior year. I attended multiple conferences and earned awards based on this research. I had an amazing professor who mentored me and facilitated these experiences. By the time I graduated in 2018, I thought moving forward into a masters degree program to continue my education and research in the field of psychology was a no-brainer. Except it wasn’t that simple.

Although I had become very passionate about psychology (having never once changed my major even after transferring universities in the middle of my sophomore year), there was another area of my life that I was equally (if not more) passionate about: horses. I have been riding since I was four years old, and was fortunate enough to own horses and take care of them in my backyard since I was eight years old. Besides a short stint of running track and cross country in middle school, competing horses was the only sport I played growing up. I began teaching riding lessons and offering training services during high school, and continued that endeavor throughout college. I even graduated high school one semester early to spend the winter in South Carolina to further my education in the industry. In college, I worked at multiple barns and was the assistant barn manager for two years at a large facility. While my college education was growing, so was my education in becoming a successful and effective horsewoman. When it came time to graduate, choosing a career path really was not that easy or as simple as I had hoped it would be.

So I chose something that felt “safe” to me at that time. I moved back in with my parents to save on rent and worked at a job that, while it used my psychology degree, I felt as though it wasn’t quite the right fit for me. I felt stagnant in that job and I barely had time to ride. Three months later, I found myself searching for a new adventure. I was back to browsing barn management jobs, anywhere between New York and Florida. I was lucky enough to know a professional at that time who was looking for someone just like me. Within three weeks, I had quit my job, packed everything that I owned into my truck, and moved myself and my dog to Florida.

That was September 2018, and now we are in June 2020. Since that move to Florida, I have switched jobs three times, moved four times, and officially incorporated my own business, along with picking up a pretty cute boyfriend and another puppy along the way. I have discovered more about myself in these past two years than I ever have in my whole life. Some pretty powerful life lessons surfaced for me during this time, including:

  • You learn about what you like, what you’re good at, what your skills are, what your passions are, how you get along (or don’t get along) with people (in life and those you work for and with) through getting out there in the world. You have to try new things, put yourself in uncomfortable situations, and experience different jobs and career settings in order to figure out what the right fit is for you.

  • You don’t have to get it right on the first try (or the second, or the third). Each step you take or job you find yourself in or person you make a connection with will teach you something new about who you are, where you’re going, and the job or passion or dream that you want to fulfill.

  • Don’t worry so much as to what the job is; instead, focus on what is important to you in all areas of your life. Would this career suit you long term? Are you able to hold space for other things in your life that are equally or more important than work? Does this job attract people who you enjoy being around and working with?

  • Listen to your heart, your gut, your mind, or whichever one you trust the most. If something isn’t for you, then move on. It doesn’t matter whether it’s been 3 weeks, 3 months, or 3 years. Take what you’ve learned, be grateful for the opportunity, and move forward towards something that gets you closer to where you want to be.

  • Life is a continuous journey; not many people find their perfect career on the first try. Allow yourself to grow and discover new and exciting opportunities in each season of your life.

Trying to figure out what’s next in your life, whether you are just graduating high school or college, or even thinking about making a career change no matter your age, can be pretty daunting. During a time of feeling like I needed to make a grand decision about what my life would look like for the next one, five, or even ten years, I felt as though I had little encouragement to try new things. This made me believe that once I picked something, I had to stick with it for (what felt like) forever. This idea caused me to choose the easier path, but only after spending months making myself sick over the choice. It wasn’t until after I took a huge leap that I learned it is okay to try new things, even if it means having to move on to a new adventure more than once in the same year. These lessons that I have learned in the past couple of years have shaped my future in a way that felt unattainable to my younger self. The future no longer feels daunting because I have learned that if I find myself in the middle of something that doesn’t suit me anymore, there is no obligation to stick with that thing forever. We all learn, change, and grow as individuals at our own pace, and every time you try something new, no matter how long you stick with it, there are always lessons to be learned and experiences to be gained. I hope this has encouraged you to take that leap.

Thank you for joining and supporting our community. We are so excited to have you along for the ride!

Until next time,


pc: Jessica Champagne

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