I’ve always felt responsible for making the things around me go well and the people around me happy. It is something I take a certain amount of pride in. This sense of responsibility is something that allows me a certain level of trust, respect and autonomy…and it wasn’t until recently that this responsibility started to feel heavy…crushing, even.
I once joked with my friends about how my cowgirl name should be “Wimpy-Ass-Cass” because I’m such a wuss about all things. The truth is, I’m not so much worried about falling off and doing something that kills me. Nah. Death doesn’t scare me much at all. What scares me most? Letting people down. The past couple of years have lead me to realize that my self worth is directly connected with my ability to take care of things for people. At least in my mind. So, you see, if I were to fall off a horse and end up unable to do anything, in my mind, I would be unworthy of love. Therefore I don’t have the freedom to be bold and wild and brave. It hasn’t bothered me much until recently but lately I’ve been getting a taste of what that Cassidy would look like…and I like her.
My horse trainer has been working on getting me comfortable at the lope on a horse. I tense up, I freak out. I can’t relax…until I can. The day I felt it was life altering for me. For a few blurry moments I was free of fear, free of responsibility. It was just me, the horse and the wind. And it was amazing. When I felt that, knew I needed more.
I remember the first time I read the quote above. I burst into tears. It felt like somebody hit me in the gut. But if I’m not carrying mountains, what is my life worth? And it’s weird because I’m at a place in my life where I’m suddenly surrounded by people who expect nothing more out of me than friendship. They don’t expect me to keep all of the plates spinning and to be the one holding everything together. And they support me even when I’m being wimpy and neurotic.
The other day I had a conversation with my best friend, Ellie, about how wonderfully uneasy this place in my life makes me and she said, “That makes sense. All your life you’ve had a job and now your only job is to be your authentic self.”
Bingo. She nailed it.