“As one door closes, another opens…” – Have you ever heard that?

I think it is safe to assume that many of us have said that phrase to friends, business associates and even ourselves on more then one occasion….I think it was created to help us deal with the changes that constantly come our way as we go through life…It is a way to embrace them and look forward towards and positively upon them….and that is a good thing right? To be positive and look forward…Not all of us are so great at it naturally, some of us have to acquire that ability…sort of like how one can perhaps acquire a liking for gorgonzola cheese? Hmmm, I have always thought that Gorgonzola cheese was a black or white issue – you either love it. Or you don’t. No grey area needed….so I am sure it is not hard to understand that I am not one of those people who runs towards change and all things “new.” I have learned however, that change is really good. New ideas, new inspiration, new confidence all come to light when “change” happens in to stir things up…I recently learned this lesson all over again through a seemingly innocuous happening, and thought I would use that as an introduction to some of the new and exciting (as well as some old favorites returning) things that are going on at MDE…

So as many of you know that read this blog in addition to being an event and wedding planner, I happen to have a crazy love for all things horse related, and have been horse crazy for most of my life….(for those of you that have not read this blog before, there are references to riding in many of them).  In early 2010 I came back to riding after close to 8 years being away (work will do that to ya) and have been ecstatic about it…I love where I ride and just enjoy everything about having riding back in my life…

I especially love when some of my other passions in life cross over into riding…and I included some of my favorite photos from those passions in this blog…I happen to love fashion – so what better sport to be in then one whose attire shows up on the runways of multiple designers every fall?? Or the fact that our saddles can come from Hermes and that Gucci has a horse bit as one of their more iconic symbols….YUP, I certainly do enjoy all of that.

Another fun fact? Italian companies make some pretty phenomenal apparel for riders. And as most everyone knows, The only other passion in my life that rivals horses is probably the one that I have for Italy, particularly Tuscany, where my family is from (and still lives).

So, as I mentioned before, earlier this year I started back to riding…and I will be honest – I had a really hard time adjusting to all of the changes that had happened while I was away. Helmets were different, some of the teammates I loved like family were no longer with us, even the 5 horses of my childhood had all passed away. These things being different just never crossed my mind. I never once thought I would have to walk into a new barn, with a new trainer, and new people…I certainly never thought about having to buy “new stuff.” I was so NERVOUS – terrified really…that in I went with my very old helmet, pants and boots. I liked them. They were comforting to me because they had been with me throughout all of my horses and all of our competitions. I was convinced they brought me luck…I did not need any fancy new boots – my 16 year old ones were just fine, thank you very much. Until one very hot and humid day at the Traders Point Horse Show when I could barely pull them on…the “new fan-dangled” zippers that everyone was now wearing were starting to sound pretty appealing…

My trainers and riding friends probably REALLY wanted to say something to me, but they know me well enough to know better then to push, and eventually on my own I came to the conclusion that I would have to get all new “stuff.” First the helmet, and a saddle, eventually the clothes…but I hung on to the boots. I just could NOT bring myself to let those go….

Finally in late September I gave in and was measured for new custom boots. Now, the average girl gets excited for anything custom, from Italy no less…and I was to an extent but really I was just very much wanting to remain slightly cantankerous and in my old beat up boots that had been so good to me….I wanted to stay in the warm hug of the “gold old days…”

And then it occurred to me – I was behaving exactly as a crotchety old grandpa might when he lectures his grandkids on walking uphill both ways when he went to school. And THAT feeling, that realization that I was so inherently opposed to a change as small as a pair of boots got me thinking….I might just be over dramatizing and in the process limiting myself. dramatically.

And then this week, the NEW boots that I ordered finally came. They are lovely really….beautifully made and entirely custom and they came with all this fun stuff like polish and a travel bag…it was all very exciting.

And for any of you that have ever owned riding boots, you just know – the PAIN that comes with breaking them in is pretty much unique unto itself…The grimacing and limping, eventually followed by a blessed numbness… Ankle bones and that vulnerable spot behind your knee cap are fair game to the new unyielding leather…and as I put them on for the first time it HIT me….these boots pretty much describe my life right now (remember, I have a slight flair for drama). I’ll try to explain:

In life, I think we all cling to what we know because it is comfortable. What we know has been with us through the good, the bad, and the ugly – and what we do not know, what is “new” has not been with us so we fear it a little. We are wary, skeptical even that what we don’t know will not be as good as what we do know. Guess what I learned? What we are about to know can be so much more then what we had before…not better, just more.

The first three times I wore these boots I was in all kinds of pain. They poke at me a little bit where I’m vulnerable, even make me walk a little funny which just makes me feel a little funny and nobody likes that feeling. Exactly how no body likes anything “new.” But…the longer the boots are around, the more I realize how ready I was for new ones, and that the old ones had served their purpose and served it well – but onwards and upwards we go with the new ones. Just like we do in life.

So it has been an exciting week in the world of Michelle Durpetti & MDE and NOT just because I got some fancy new boots and a life lesson out of the deal….we have a new member of the MDE team and we are VERY excited to introduce you to her…we have a gala for the Chicago Chapter of Wish Upon a Wedding next Monday! And trunk shows and holiday parties in December and weddings in 2011 we want to tell you about!

And guess what? If I had never ordered those boots, and finally put them on and made them my own…Not only would I not be sitting here blogging about it, but I wouldn’t have any of this fabulous news to share with all of you! So the lesson learned is this:

Change is not easy. It is a little scary. It can hurt, and hit you where you are vulnerable at first. It can mean taking a risk – sticking your neck out and putting your heart on the line without really knowing what lies ahead…But eventually…these “new” things and people mold and adjust to you who are, and you to them – and they become part of daily life, just like these boots will – and for me, THAT meant more great riding lessons, fantastic new people in my life, new opportunities to grow my business and myself all the while learning some rather profound life lessons…All from a pair of new boots!!!! (ok – perhaps some of the new people have shared some of their wisdom as well…can’t give ALL the credit to the boots!) I happen to think that is a pretty fantastic thing don’t you?  Stay tuned! 🙂

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