My Year of Happy Accidents.

I think it’s easy to get carried away with New Year’s resolutions; lists of things we are determined to do, changes we simply must make. We look around and see our friends making these grand declarations to ring in the New Year – I will do this, I won’t do that, I’ll avoid these, every day I’ll do that, and so on. So we make plans for ourselves, rigid schedules, color-coded charts and well-placed post-it notes to remind us of our promises to ourselves; our newfound resolve towards a “better” life.

I hate the whole mess, really.

Last year, I didn’t make any resolutions. I probably hadn’t made any for the several years before either, but last year I intentionally chose to not make any. I was tired of the guilt that came when I left my resolutions behind. And I was frustrated with careful planning ahead, only to see my grandiose plans fall by the wayside, sacrificed to life, bad timing, financial straits, and uninterested men. (Still holding out for that first kiss, gentlemen.)

Instead, I chose to roll with life this last year. I decided to allow room for me to change my mind, to be impulsive, to make mistakes. I gave myself the freedom to live without my own self imposed restrictions. I left room for randomness.

This last year was the year of happy accidents and beautiful coincidences. It was month after month of surprises and laughter. This year gave me back my smile and thawed my heart. It was a year of many changes and lovely moments. This year was kind and generous with me. I can’t imagine trading it for anything.

This last year gave me new friends.
As ridiculous as it may sound to you, Twitter was an absolute Godsend to me. I had spent years making fun of it, so the fact that it is my new favorite thing is probably karma and God laughing at me. I have met some perfectly wonderful people because of Twitter; people who make me laugh, inspire me, and tolerate my raging inappropriateness. I wish I knew them in real life. I wish I could have a glass of wine or two or three with Molly, a coffee with Lauren, wreak havoc with Micaela, and see a movie with Cory while making inappropriate jokes. I adore these lovely people more than I can say, and my days are brighter because of them.
All because I said hello to a stranger.

This last year gave me mistakes.
I moved to Nashville this last March, a few days before my 24th birthday. After planning for less than a week, I moved across the country for a job I hadn’t really wanted to a place I had never been. Considering I’m now back in the Pacific Northwest, obviously this was not the best choice I ever made. It was a bit of a mistake, emotionally and financially, and I found myself lying on my bed with tears in my eyes more nights than I could count.
But I started writing while I was in Nashville, really writing. My heart opened up and the words flowed out. And to this day, I can’t seem to stop them. And I learned that I can take care of myself. I can make the tough choices and live through a worst-case scenario. I can be strong for myself, and I can always find a way.
All because a friend texted me with a job opportunity.

This last year gave me confidence.
I spent quite a few years doing academics. And I was good at it. History and literature, I live for them. I could spend hours reading, researching, and writing about nineteenth century women in Victorian London. I can talk for hours about Jane Austen or historiography. I knew who I was in academics, where I stood.
And then I walked away. Because somewhere along the way it stopped being enough. It stopped fulfilling the ache in my heart. One day I realized I needed more. For awhile, I didn’t know what the more was. I was lost and desolate, trying to reconstruct myself from the ashes. Until one day a writer I admire said I could write. He said I was good. He said I was talented, that I had a gift. And one day I allowed myself to believe him as self confidence once again began to take root in my soul.
All because I wrote a review for a book I liked.

This last year gave me back my words.
My sister showed me a blog about a year ago, sometime last December actually. She annoyed me about it constantly until finally she just started reading it aloud to me. I was mesmerized, taken aback by the honestly and cleverness. I was left smiling, because I understood and he understood. This was a new world. So I read more. Then one evening, I decided to try it for myself. I created a blog and wrote something. Then I wrote something else. Most of it was wretched, I’m sure, but something inside of me wouldn’t let me stop.
I found the stories hidden in my imagination; stories I had silenced in order to try and write what others wanted. I realized that my story is the only one like it, and if I don’t share it, no one else can. I discovered that maybe this is what I was meant for – to put pen to my thoughts, and to show love and grace to those who read it.
All because my sister stumbled across To My Future Spouse by Cory Copeland.

I couldn’t have planned out this last year. I couldn’t have sat down at the beginning and made resolutions that would have brought me to where I am now. Granted, there is still a lot of growing I can do. There is much I have yet to accomplish, changes I wish to make. And for some of these things, I need to plan. I need to be proactive in making them happen. But sometimes the best parts of life are the accidents that happen along the way. The unplanned moments, the random coincidences. A year ago, if you told me that I would be writing on a blog three times a week, working to make writing my life, with close friends I’ve never met, I’d have laughed at you. But today, as I live that life, I treasure it. It’s exactly the life I need at this precise time in my life. God brought me exactly here, resolutions or not, because it’s what I needed.

So as you go into the New Year, thinking about the resolutions you want to make, I encourage you to leave room for some messy randomness, for mistakes, for impulsive choices. Realize that not every moment of your life can be planned out perfectly, and just maybe the best moments, the ones you’ll remember always, are the moments that happen completely by accident.

Thank you for reading! And maybe (definitely) follow me on Twitter. I’m pretty entertaining.

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Gentleman (perhaps not) needed.

To my future husband,

Hello, my darling. I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately with the holidays drawing near. I see my sisters with their significant others, and I crave that for myself, just once. I have no reason to doubt it will happen and yet I do. I feel as if with each passing year I fall farther away from you.

Some days, I don’t believe you exist. Most days, I know you don’t, deep down in the most secret and empty part of my heart – the part you’re meant to fill.

Because you are meant to fill me, are you not? You are meant to complete me. You are the reason I was born, my reason for existing. You are my other, better half. Why can I not find you? Why am I so alone?

I wonder if you think of me, consider me, dream of me. I wonder if you imagine what I will be like – what I will look like; what my laugh will sound like. Do you wish you knew me now, at this moment? Do you wish we were together? Are you lonely? Or are you unready to be with me?

I’m not ready for you.
I fear I never will be.

I’m beginning to believe that perhaps you aren’t meant for me, that I’m not meant to have you or know you. Perhaps my world is to be my own – unshared and untogether.

Perhaps you aren’t mine.
Perhaps you never were.

And where does that leave me, then? Incomplete? Less? Unfinished? How am I to go on alone when I’ve forever been told I’m to wait for you – a man who can’t possibly exist. What’s left for me without you?

Who am I?

How did I get to this place, needing you more than anything else in this world? When did I become so enamored with knowing you that I ceased to know myself? I am so lost. I’ve trailed after you only to find myself amidst the darkness, a chill piercing my heart. I cannot find you, nor can I find myself. I lost myself in you, even though you are not here.

I am stronger than this.
I am better than this.
I am worth more that the empty darkness I’ve fallen into.

You cannot make me whole.
You cannot complete me.
You cannot save me from myself.

You never will.

And that’s okay, I think. Because though I would love to be with you, near you, I‘m afraid of what I would become were I to find you now, in this moment. I would ask too much of you, make you into a hero you could never be. It’s time I was my own hero. It’s time I moved on without you always haunting the corner of my mind.

It’s time I let you go.

Because I am allowed to save myself. I’m allowed to be on my own. I’m allowed to go forward even if you aren’t by my side. My life doesn’t have to pause because of your absence. I’ve used you as an excuse, a reason to put my life on hold. When I find him, I tell myself, then I can begin. I’d like to think you’d want better for me than I’ve wanted for myself. You’d want me to be happy.

I’d like to be happy, I think.
It’s been far too long.

So while part of me will perhaps always carry a small hope that I’ll find you, I’m going to start hoping for other things. For happiness, for change, for strength, for new friends in new places, for opportunities, for a life I can be in love with. I’m going to live for me instead of merely waiting for you. I’m going to become the woman God intended for me to be.

Even if that means living without you.
It’s time I learned how to love myself.

Yours always,
Cassi

Thank you for reading! And maybe (definitely) follow me on Twitter. I’m pretty entertaining.

gentleman (someday) wanted.

To my future husband,

This is an apology of sorts to you. It isn’t filled with any scandalous confessions or outrageous epiphanies. Instead, it is a simple “I’m sorry” for some things I’ve done, some thoughts I’ve had. It’s an apology for the way I’ve behaved on a few occasions, even when I knew better. It’s a simple note, and it’s for you.

I’m sorry for putting all the responsibility for finding each other on your shoulders. I’m sorry for asking you to come and find me, when I haven’t put much effort into looking for you or seeking you out. I don’t want any part of our marriage to be solely up to you. I want to be your partner, as well as your wife and best friend and lover. I want us to be equal. I want us to want to find each other, because we’re both ready.

I’m sorry for my impatience. I’m sorry for catching myself thinking that maybe it wouldn’t be worth it to wait for you. I’m sorry I took off my purity ring and considered giving to someone else what I’ve been keeping safe for you. I’m sorry that the only reason it’s safe is because God protected what I couldn’t. I’m so sorry I thought it wasn’t a worthy gift for you. I’m sorry I almost threw it away. I’m sorry I walked around hoping a man would see me in a sexual light. I’m sorry I have to tell you this.

I’m sorry for objectifying you. I’ve built you up in my mind to be this amazingly wonderful, perfect, Adonis of a man. I’ve made you into an amalgamation of the best parts of the guys I know or the ones I read about. I’ve created you into something you can never be, and I’ve set myself up to be disappointed. I’ve set you up to fail. I’m so terribly sorry. You don’t deserve that pressure, especially since I don’t want it for myself. I’m sorry for not wanting you to be you, wishing instead for a ridiculous dream.

I’m sorry my relationship with God isn’t where it should be. I’m sorry I don’t have a strong pillar of faith to offer you, when I’m mostly filled with unending questions. I’m sorry I don’t take time out of my day to pray for you, to ask God to keep you safe and happy. I’m sorry I won’t be able to share random verses with you for encouragement, because I don’t read my Bible often enough to remember them. I’m sorry to know so little.

I’m sorry I’m so fickle in my pursuits. I’m sorry I jump from one thing to another without much care or forethought. I’m sorry I get restless and make decisions without considering how they affect others. I’m sorry I’m selfish.

I’m sorry for thinking you can solve my problems. I’m sorry for thinking that finding you will make my issues disappear. I’m sorry for thinking you will be the end of every unhappy memory. I’m sorry for putting the expectation of a perfect future on your shoulders. I’m sorry for assuming you will be there for me, while I only passingly understand I will also be there for you. I’m sorry for thinking you will take care of me, regardless of whether or not I take care of myself.

But mostly, I’m sorry that I’m not ready for you. I’m sorry for thinking I was, when really I had become complacent. I’m sorry I stopped trying to find you, to be better for you, to be the partner you need. I’m sorry it took me too long to realize.

Sincerely,

Your future love.

Thank you for reading! Follow me on Twitter.