Friday, January 7, 2011

Here Goes...

I have written this post six times now. I realize just by saying that, it’s setting you up to expect some greatness in the words below. It’s nothing great, in fact I think it’s quite ordinary. And I don’t know how to say what I want to say without sounding like I’m either ungrateful for all the happiness in my life or like I’m so wrapped up in my husband that I don’t have a life of my own. It’s hard, this putting yourself out there thing. But these New Year's posts have a shelf life, so I’m just going to do it, okay?

2010 wasn’t a great year for me personally. Of course, there were lots of fun trips and delicious meals and reasons to celebrate, which you know if you’ve been following along for any length of time. But as a lone person, not a wife or a daughter or a friend or even a pet Mom, I feel like I just kind of stagnated. When I got to the last day of the year and looked back, there wasn’t a whole lot of personal growth to be proud of. Between all of our obligations as a family and everyone being sick and work and commuting, 2010 was a year I just got through, not a year I thrived. And I saw it happening along the way, but I kept telling myself that I had so much going on and I was just tired and it was okay to keep putting off action for another day or another week. And then in a blink, we were clinking champagne flutes and watching the ball drop and the year was gone.

Let me tell you about being married. It’s hard. I say it’s hard and I think I have a really wonderful marriage. In fact, it’s the single thing in my life of which I am most proud. And if I do say so myself, I am a really great wife. But being a good spouse, even in a happy marriage, takes a lot of work. And being a good spouse to a medical student is a whole different beast. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting Hugh, or even reading some anecdote I’ve written about him, you know he is pretty fantastic. He’s always going and doing and making something happen. Most of that is because he is who he is, but a part of that is because there is some serious support and behind-the-scenes work coming from yours truly. I am proud of how our marriage has thrived over the last year and I certainly don’t regret the time and attention I’ve given it, but I know I can't hide behind the obligation of making it priority and using that as an excuse. I won't continue to feel happy, or even interesting, if being a wife is the main focus of my life.

So, part of the stagnation is because I’ve been so wrapped up in the other parts of my life. But that’s not all of it. The other part, the bigger part, as it usually is when you’re standing still, is fear. I’ve been so afraid of failing that I just don’t even try. I keep thinking what if I try to be better, more fulfilled, to figure out what my big dream is, to breathe life to it, and I can’t. Because here’s the thing, I’m not even sure what it is I want to be doing at the end of this year. You know how a lot of people have one big dream that they want to achieve? Well, I have like fifteen. And I feel embarrassed when someone asks me what my dream job is and I can honestly say I don’t know. I don’t know because there are so many things I love and I’m scared to choose just one. I’m scared to invest the energy into something I think I might be great at only to find I’m not, and then I’ll have wasted my time and resources and I’ll be right back where I started. Shoot.

But this year I’ve decided: enough of that. Enough of floating along through my life, wishing I was doing something I loved, waiting for the perfect opportunity to fall into my lap. This is my year of figuring it out, of investing in my dreams...whatever they may be.

Goodness gracious, once I start typing this just poured right out. And I really, really don’t want to post it. Because, of course, I’m scared of what people will think. But maybe I’m not alone in feeling like this. And even if I am, December 31, 2011 will be here before we know it and I know I want to be able to look back on this year very differently. So, I’m posting it. Please be kind with my delicate little heart, friends.

Postscript: I want to give a disclaimer. Hugh is the one who encouraged me to write this. When I started talking to him about it last night after I tossed and turned for half an hour, without pause he started working through the details with me and reminded me that he knows how I feel and I know how I feel, we both know our marriage is a priority, and salty commenters will always be behind the scenes judging away. You see, this "where is Cassie's life going" conversation is nothing new for us. Hugh has been encouraging me to just do something, to just start, for eighteen months. Not coincidentally, since we moved and he started med school. As always, I'm coming around in my own good time and he's right there talking it out with me, for the twenty-third time, with the patience of a saint. He's my number one fan. Thank goodness.


  1. I know exactly how you feel. Hope you find what you are searching for in 2011. Happy 2011.

  2. Take the plunge. You will be an even better wife, daughter, sister, friend when you find something that you love and that challenges you each day. Succeed or fail, you will always have a fabulous safety net and/or cheering section! Love you!

    Catherine J.

  3. No one says it better than Dr. Seuss--

    "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..."
    — Dr. Seuss (Oh, the Places You'll Go!)

    Only you can measure YOUR success. Can't wait to see what unfolds...
    XO, E