Personal Reflections

“Horses, George Leonard, ‘The Girl Within’ and Me” by Pam Buda

By October 21, 2014 November 20th, 2022 One Comment

We welcome our guest blogger, Pam Buda. Pam Buda is a new friend here in Sonoma County. When I  was introduced to Pam by a mutual friend I felt an immediate connection.  I  know as we age it is important to build new relationships with those younger than ourselves.  You can see why I was drawn to her by the thread of perseverance that winds through Pam’s following blog:

Ever since I was a little girl I was horse crazy–I am not sure how that happened as both my parents were born and raised in Manhattan and I grew up in a modest suburb on the South Shore of Long Island. The closest farms grew vegetables and potatoes for NYC kitchens, or raised ducks for their markets. Not a horse for miles. Nonetheless, I vowed to learn to ride and convinced my little sister (or so I thought) that we would raise thoroughbreds on a farm in Kentucky when we grew up.

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Fast-forward a few decades to my adult life in San Francisco. I was working in software sales and marketing for various high-flying startups in Silicon Valley and Cambridge, MA, and I had spent ten years flat out racking up hundreds of thousands of airline miles and developing business contacts and friendships around North America. There was little to NO balance in my far-flung exciting but exhausting life. Time for a change! I decided to develop a new career setting up a consulting practice for sales and marketing for new high-tech startups. Less travel, more balance, and more time for horses!

I started riding seriously and deepened the skills I had developed as a child. Books like George Leonard’s Mastery kept me going when I suffered setbacks in my learning. His mantra that success is not an ever-upward arc was helpful. I would hit the ground going over a jump or not be able to complete equitation tests the way my competitive spirit desired. It was useful to be reminded that for all success and growth plateaus and even setbacks were a normal part of the process and they inevitably meant that a higher level of ability was just around the corner. Leonard’s wisdom helped me with riding and life challenges.

During this time (my early- to mid-forties) I grew a bit restless. From previous experience, I recognized this signaled a transition for me. As I frequently did over weekends and holidays, I visited a friend in Sonoma County, armed with poor-quality faxed images of country properties for sale printed on thermal paper from an old fax machine. (Real estate marketing has come a long way since then!)

I was determined to see what kind of horse property I could get if I sold my house with beautiful bay views in Point Richmond in the East Bay. After all, a few years earlier Emily Hancock of Berkeley had published The Girl Within encouraging women at a point of transition in their adult lives to look back at the girls they had been to find inspiration for reinventing their lives. I surely resonated with this because I was reinventing mine!Horses - 2

One weekend of casual looking in December translated into the sale of my Point Richmond home in March and the purchase of a beautiful 3.5-acre country property outside NW Santa Rosa, surrounded by horse properties and vineyards, just as my childhood imagination suggested. I had come full circle in my 3rd Act, combining my love of horses, my strengths in sales and marketing, and my dream to help people find their little bit of heaven here in Sonoma County.

Pam Buda

CA BRE #01381495
Tel: (707) 480-4142


Pam’s strong knowledge of and passion for country property and Sonoma County runs deep. Pam is a country property owner, grape grower, and horsewoman thrilled to live and work in Sonoma County.  She is a Realtor (trademark) at Terra Firma Global Partners Sonoma Offices. When Pam became a full-time realtor in 2003, she found the skill set she had developed in high-level sales and marketing positions in Silicon Valley and from negotiating and developing partnership marketing with Apple and Adobe among others, enabled her to represent her clients with great expertise and care.

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