Monday, December 10, 2012

Me University

In my before life I had many "projects" I dedicated all my energy to. I had a ginormous garden I'd work on for hours. I worked hard at my job as a teacher, investing every ounce of myself into being the best teacher I could be. I worked hard on my marriage, too, considering it my most important project of all.

The one thing I never for a second considered as a viable project was myself. Here and there, I'd try to address my own issues, of course, but it wasn't a project that I considered a major priority.

I realize now that when Dave died I gave up all my projects. I quit teaching, and moved to the city. 

Making myself and my own happiness and healing a priority never seemed viable before, but suddenly it was just me. No more teaching, no more garden, no more marriage.

I struggle against the idea of making myself my first priority. I keep trying to add new projects.

Go back to school! Get a job! Start a business! DO SOMETHING whether you want to or not! says a part of me.

It is beginning to dawn on me that I've been doing this because I never believed I was a worthy project. I guess I thought it was too indulgent for me to focus only on myself.

Now, I've been slowly allowing for the possibility that it's okay to make myself my one and only priority. It doesn't make me selfish or indulgent or immature to do so.

The other day I read an article in a magazine about a woman named Carrie who was in the empty nest phase so she quit her job to find out what she wanted out of life. She was taking all kinds of classes and learning new things and simply having fun. She called it "Carrie University" and suddenly, something in my mind shifted. Dedicating this time in my life to myself isn't something to be ashamed of. I didn't recoil when I read about Carrie. I didn't think "Ew, how selfish of her!"  I thought "Wow! What a courageous and awesome way to look at a new phase in her life!".

I will think of this phase in my life as Me University.  I will learn all I can about myself and what I like to do. I will, for the first time in my LIFE, make myself a priority. And I WON'T feel guilty about it!!!

Well, I'll probably feel a little guilty, but I won't let it stop me.

I didn't choose this new phase of life for myself. I don't want it and I'd trade it in to have Dave back, but I can't. Instead I will make ME my new project.

Thank God the admissions requirements for Me U are lax because my SAT scores sucked.


  1. I so can relate to your post! I have done the same thing, put myself last when I need to put myself first at times.Thanks.

  2. Great post, Cassie. I, too, have realized that this is now a time in my life when I can do, learn, attempt or not do anything I choose. And I, too, would give it all up to have Jim back. But I can't so I am determined to make the most of it. It's good to be at this point on this path. Finally.

  3. Love your post Cassie..I find myself trying to stay so busy with projects that I forget about me and my needs. Thanks, good reminder for all of us..

  4. Others have told me that this "grief journey" is all about me. I used to feel guilty about this. This post has now have a new perspective regarding this. Thanks!