The Last Year of Marriage

There’s a very good chance that this will be the last year that I will be married. Though we have been separated for almost a year and a half, technically we are still locked in union according to the law.  I still help pay his student loans.  He is still on my health insurance.  Neither of us is in a rush to get this thing finished, to break apart a union that is 16 years in the making, but we also know that eventually the cord will have to be cut and ties severed.

Sometimes I honestly don’t know which times we’re harder.  Was is the years we spent distant and cold, simply playing the part of husband and wife, the outside world oblivous to the struggles we were having within ourselves?  Was is the year I said I was leaving, but had to stay, the couch my permanent home, so much hate traveling back and forth between us while our children looked on, bewildered and overwhelmed?  Or was it this year?  The year filled with anger and remorse, both wanting to be with my kids full time and knowing that doing that meant hurting all of us in the process.  I simply can’t be sure.

The only thing I do know is that all of them were hard and all of them have taken an irreversible toll on me.  Anger, guilt, despair, panic, and disappointment and utter sadness have been my constant companions  and some days it takes every effort possible just to remind myself to take in air so I can keep living.

I’ve spent so much of the last year and a half fighting with a person I was supposed to love until the end of time.  He knows how to push my buttons better than anyone else and knows exactly what to say to make me go from quiet and content to a rage filled nightmare.  Sometimes I think he does it accidentally, forgetting how much I look into every word spoken, sure there are hidden meanings.  Other times I know it’s purposeful, and those times are the hardest to bear and the hardest to break free from.  Because how in the hell did we get to this place where we’ve become vindictive and spiteful to each other on purpose?

The other day we texted back and forth about something completely innocuous; a movie quote from a movie I know is one of his favorites.  It was a short, but lovely, conversation simply because it seemed so easy.

And then, of course, in true Cassie fashion, I started to cry.  I wanted to crawl into that conversation and live there because for the first time in a long time, I felt safe in that relationship.  Did I want to get back together?  Absolutely not.  We were horrible as a couple.  Not in the beginning, but in the many years that followed.  Our relationship was passive aggressive at best and self destructive at worst.  We were mean.  And nasty.  And horrible to each other.  And that’s putting it lightly.  Love should bring out the best in two people and for us, it didn’t.  Not anymore.  But that simple conversation showed me something I hadn’t seen between us in a long time.  It gave me a glimmer of hope that maybe one day all the conversations could be like this.  Maybe it will get better.

And while we may not ever really be friends, maybe we would stop intentionally trying to hurt each other in ways we only know how.



Complacency, Love, and the Weather

As is too often with these posts, I start by saying…it’s been too long since I have written anything new.  I could blame work, school, kids, life,  but really that would only be the icing on a cake too tall to tackle.  The real problem is myself and even that is not enough to explain what has happened to me over the past few months.  As is usually the case I am torn between being happy (complacent) with the life I have and wanting (needing) something more.

While I feel like I say it every year, this one, by far, has been the hardest one to navigate.  Between friendships found, and lost, and found, the bumpy and panic inducing ride that is 11 years of marriage, losing and finding myself over and over again, and simply finding time to breathe through it all, I feel like I’ve been broken and put back together so many times that I wonder if all my pieces have survived.


I wonder, sometimes, if my biggest problem is more simple than I realize.  That maybe my expectations for people and their behaviors are simply too high. Mostly, I feel that people will never meet mine and am forever doomed to sit and silence and ponder if it’s them or me.  And yet, why ponder?  I know it’s me. I simply assume everyone puts forth the same amount of everything I do: love, effort, understanding, movement, change.  And when they don’t I am undoubtably dissapointed.  “They” say expectation is the root of all heartache and this is something I wholeheartedly believe.  But do we give up, accept this, and work to assimilate to the “others”; the ones that we feel are disappointing us?  Decide to live in quiet complacency, knowing we could have it worse?  That maybe if we just let things go, decide to give up what we feel we need, that we could live an almost happy life?

Or do we simply wait?  Wait for the changes we are asking for.  Wait for love we know we need and deserve. Wait for a life we know we are not going to simply exist in…but actually live in.

The conundrum exists: do you hope for the hurricane or simply enjoy the calm and still air of almost?  Sometimes, the hurricane is worth it.  It’s beautiful and perfect in its power and destruction, changing the landscape of your life forever, tearing down the extraneous walls you’ve built up to keep things out (or in).  Other times it simply destroys everything, coming and going in meer moments, leaving an empty hole where something stable (maybe not profound or amazing), but stable used to be.

I’m watching people take these leaps and bounds in their lives and am becoming completely envious. Picking up and moving away.  Finding a new and meaningful job.  Leaving behind a mediocre life for a great one. For a while, it was hard to watch their journey because of the jealousy.  What luck to get exactly what you want; what you’ve been hoping for. They made it looked so easy.  But now, I know it is their bravery I covet.  The sheer courage to say “This is what I want and I’m going to go for it.”  They decided take some action instead of sitting around and talking, wondering, or even writing about it.  Taking the risk in the hurricane, even if it destroys everything.

No matter how much back and forth I do in these situations, deep down, I know what it is that I want.

And it’s time to go and buy an umbrella.



It’s almost that time.  My favorite time of the year.  The day we all get a blank slate to begin again.
I’m so excited.  I’ve been looking forward to this for a while now.  The last couple years have been marred by big events, both good and bad.  From new relationships and friendships, to break ups and new babies.  New houses and old baggage, and starting and stopping many times over.
I know the calendar has nothing to do with this, but there is something about the last number of the year changing that signifies a baptism.  The past is put aside so new experiences can emerge.  With the change in number so comes a change in attitude, purpose and resolve, almost as if the year is shedding off it’s old coat in order have renewed sparkle and shine.
In the past I’ve spent time coming up with strict, structured, and concrete resolutions; run this much, weigh this much, eat this food, be the person.  But not this year.  Instead I’ve decided to come up with a word, a theme if you will, that will drive the way I live my life.  My word this year will be brave.
In the past few weeks I have flirting with this concept, almost as if I’m simply tasting it to see if it’s something that my palate can agree with.  I’ve been more honest, stood up for myself, engaged in mild confrontations, and spoke truths that I’ve been too scared to address in over two years.
And I’ve never felt better.
Some of my braveries will be small (I’ve never tried steamed mussels) and some will be life changing.
I started this blog as a way to express myself and and make sense of my soul.  But in a way, I’m still hidden.  I speak the truth, but only a part of it.  I add sprinkles to items I’m not ready to completely address, like a way to liven up a bland sugar cookie.  I leave out details I’m sure will get judged.  But not anymore.  I’m ready to be open and honest about certain elements.  I’m ready to embrace who I am; the good and bad, the ugly and awesome.
I’ll probably be judged.  I’ll probably lose friends.  But that’s ok.  I’m almost 35 years old and life is short, dammit.  Why be someone I’m not?  It’s getting too hard.
I’m read to embrace 2016 and all of it’s amazingness.  And I’m ready for me to be amazing as well.
In 2016 we should resolve to be who we really are.
Be brave.  Be fearless.  Be you.


The time has come, the Walrus said, to talk of many things

Tis the season.  For families, and holidays, and presents, and cheer.  Like most, I love this time of year.  The chill in the air, the twinkle lights everywhere, the break from work and school (and many annoying responsibilities).  But I’d have to say, Christmas is not my favorite holiday.  If I had to pick one, it would definitely be New Years.
Honestly, I am big fan of New Years Resolutions.  While I agree that you can begin a resolution at any time and you should never wait to change something you truly believe in, there is something so wonderful about the year ticking over to a new new number. It’s almost as if New Years Day is a form baptism.  With the change of a number, the mistakes and regrets and uncomfortable feelings cease to exist, making it that much easier to start fresh and anew.  With the rip of a calendar page the whole world can begin again. You can set goals, make new decisions, basically become the person you have been waiting to become.
2015 has been a roller coaster of a year.  I don’t think any other year has accomplished so much amazingness and turmoil all at once.  From babies had, houses moved, friends gained and friends lost, races run and races quit, and love found and then rescinded, I’ve been undeniably busy and just living.
In so many ways I know who I am. I tend to have too many emotions and too often, the way I express them is over the top.  I cry too much, feel too much, love too hard, get jealous when I shouldn’t, and have a terrible temper. I’m loyal, but cautious.  I don’t always believe the best in people, and I’ve been proven right.  These are simply things I am not going to apologize for anymore.  I shouldn’t have to apologize for my feelings because they are real and a part of who I am, and the way I feel is important.
Very recently I’ve become more honest with myself which has allowed me to be more honest with those around me.  Often I would avoid conflict or confrontation at any cost simply because it made me uncomfortable.  But now, I’ve learned that the discomfort does go away and after speaking your mind openly and honestly, you feel so much better.  Just a few days ago I said good bye to a friend, not because of anything they did wrong, per se, but because the relationship we had built over the past 3 years was not working for me anymore.  I wanted a change and the other person didn’t.  And for three years I let someone elses wants and needs trump my own.  But not anymore.  Walking away was so hard.  But not as hard as staying in an unhealthy friendship.
Long story short, what I’m learning is that it’s ok to care about your own wants and needs…and to do what you have to do to meet them.
I’m allowed to try hard.  I’m allowed to be good at things. Hell, I’m allowed to be bad at things.  I’m allowed to love you too much and tell you about it.  I’m also allowed to tell you why you are hurting my feelings if you are.  I’m allowed to take a break from people who aren’t letting me be me and are constantly trying to put me down to make themselves feel better.  I’m allowed to be who I am, and if someone doesn’t like it, it’s their loss.  I actually think I’m pretty awesome sometimes.
I’m ready  to take some time in 2016 to focus on me, what I want, who I am and who I want to be.

Remember when we were friends…

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.” ~Jane Austen

Shockingly enough this is not a post about being a mother.  Nor is it a post about running or some form of transformation I hope to create for myself.  This is, in simplest terms, a post about friendship.  I’m not quite sure where in my sub-conscious it formed, but I know it’s a story I need to tell.

Earlier today I received a text from a friend saying she saw a certain friend of mine having lunch with someone else I knew.  It was semi-shocking news knowing these two people have a tumultuous history, but nothing completely out of the ordinary.  What struck me most was the fact that for awhile, this friend and I had been rather close, inseparable even, and now it hard to remember when I last talked to or even saw this person (actually, it was December 2013, so about a year and a half ago).  While the “conversation” didn’t really make me miss this particular  friendship per se, it did get me thinking about the idea of friendship in general.  In the most juvenile terms it really had me thinking “what happens when you’re not friends with your friends anymore?”

Last August I wrote this post about friendship.  I talked about how amazing my friends were at helping me through a really tough summer after my dad died.  And yet, out of the four people I named in that post, I haven’t seen two of them since last July, and one of them, I haven’t even “talked” to except maybe once or twice via text.  That’s not to say that I don’t think about these people or wonder about them or even miss them, but it’s just interesting how one minute someone can be one of the most important people in your life and the next minute you have trouble remembering the last time you had a meaningful experience with them.

I can literally name maybe five people that I am legitimately friends with at this moment, but in full disclosure, I tend to just have a few close friends instead of a large amount of acquaintances anyway.  I think in the era of the “Facebook Connection” we tend to think we have more friends than we do.  We think that all these social media platforms are helping us, but rather they are actually harming us and our friendships.  We, as a society (me very much included)  don’t feel the need to reach out and keep a tangible connection to the people in our lives because people are “right there” with the touch of a button.  These quick connections take all the effort out of maintaining a friendship and friendships, like any relationship requires work.  We post posts or like photos with the feeling that we are keeping some form of connection going when, really, are we?

And what happens when someone, a friend, doesn’t like out photo or our post?  Half the time we run through the following thoughts and questions: Are they mad at us?  Are they being petty or jealous?  Do they agree with me and my opinion? Or maybe, the thought that never occurs to us, maybe they don’t spend every minute on social medial and didn’t see the actual post.

I realize I went off on a little bit of  a tangent and with all my post-pregnancy brain-ness I don’t really know where this was going in the first place.  But I think what I’ve gotten out of it is that I need a break.  A break from all the wondering.  A break from trying to figure out people or even figure out where I stand.  A break from feeling like I’m losing something that wasn’t ever really mine in the first place.  A break from the second guessing of certain friendships and relationships when I have a house of people right here to focus on.

Because you can’t fight for everyone, especially those people who don’t want to stay in the first place.