The Grand Return!

Yes, we're back. Got in an hour or so ago. It's 1:30 Wisconsin time, approximately, so I really ought to get off to bed. (Not like any of us are getting up early, except my dad. He works.) Anyway, I did some blogging while I was off in painter-land.

12-28, 1:40 a.m.

I should be sleeping.
All that talk about wanting to go to bed early, and here I am... still awake.
I could say that I’m having a hard time falling asleep, but, truthfully, I haven’t even tried yet.
I feel like I’m turning inside out.
I invested so much time and energy in become a different person... a better person. Someone other than myself. Or someone better than myself.
I was smart. I got good grades. That’s me. I like to achieve.
I knocked on doors. I hate knocking on doors. But, oh, I acted so enthused... when people were looking... or when they cared.
I wore skirts and cute flats. I gave up the baggy jeans and flannel shirts. I parted my hair on the side. I used natural shampoo and toothpaste.
I became vegan. I passed out tracts and talked to strangers about God (whether they wanted it or not).
I switched my music styles. I stopped watching TV and movies, loathing even the occasional glance, as though it were the first step of a staircase directly to hell.
I threw away all my jewelry (preferably in the presence of those who would approve). I got rid of my books that weren’t on the “approved list”. I smiled. A lot.
I learned to fit everything I owned into my car. I disdained the thought of further education. 
I stopped joking as much. I stopped jumping around. I stopped quoting movies. I became less eclectic, more suitable and tame.
For 2+ years, I molded myself to fit the “acceptable” image. That’s what got hired as a bible worker. That’s what they saw as I carefully crafted my replies to the inevitable, “How are you?” or “How are the bible studies coming?” I was a master at manipulation. Of course they thought I was an awesome, on fire, motivated, canvassing-loving young woman!
And then it all went to hell. Everything that I so wanted to be... proved to be a veneer. The girl that’s got it all together is falling apart. The happy-go-lucky smile is wallpaper.
The fragile structure that I had erected caught fire and smoldered slowly down to ashes. What was left? A smaller version of myself... huddled, untrusting, longing...
And so I learned to love. To trust. To grow. But I still carried the veneer, the shiny polish of the girl who never was to fend off inquiring eyes.
And now I’m here. I’m in the past, though it fervently claims to be the present. And it’s all here... waiting for me... everything I ever was, it’s here.
I’m still the same person.
I can’t get away from myself.
I thought that the crisp air of Idaho had washed me clean... somehow removed my past and my choices and my hobbies and my hopes and my dreams and my family and my experiences and set them off on a shelf somewhere... still valid, still impacting, but afar off... kind of like watching the world from the bottom of a swimming pool. 
And now I’m here, with them, and I find that I still watch movies, and I still know all the lyrics to my favorite oldies songs, and I still drink my coffee the same way, and I still quote the same movie lines in the same situations, and I’m still... just... Cassie. I’ve ignored her, I’ve beaten her, and I’ve stifled her, but she’s still... there. She’s still me.
It’s like living in a scrapbook. I see snatches of our past all around us; photographs in my mind that play and replay in an endless loop. I am, once again, the teenaged girl in the bohemian clothes who sits and waits for the school bus. I live in the room with the bunk beds and the “wall of everything” (my collection of anything and everything) and the dresser that I sanded down myself. I still surround myself with the trinkets of places I’ve gone and things I’ve done and people I’ve loved.
But God, I don’t want to be her! I left her behind! She’s supposed to be gone- dead, buried, and decomposing. I hate that girl! She’s so weak, so clueless, so... everything I ever disliked. She’s not responsible. She sleeps in. She doesn’t know what to say at the right times, she doesn’t do the right things, and she is easily confused. She’s the one that was abused, not me. She’s the one that picked one loser boyfriend after another. She’s the one that never stood up for herself or her sister. She’s the one that didn’t even have the willpower to stop sleeping with C for a year after she called off the engagement. She’s the one that lives in my head, ever ready with a gem of sarcasm or biting wit.
I hate her. But here, I am her.
I can’t wait to get back to Idaho so I can be Cassandra again. Cassandra gets up on time. Cassandra learns new skills. Cassandra is responsible, clean, dependable, attractive, and funny. Cassandra is a good cook, especially considering her food limitations. Cassandra is a happy, harmonious girl who knows who she is, where she’s going, and what she’s going to do to get there (at least, mostly). Cassandra loves Jesus and it shows.
I am not Cassandra right now. I am Cassie... the disappointment.

12-29, 12:53 p.m.

Curly fries and roast beef. I haven’t had either of those in years. Oh, it was heavenly...
We’ve made awesome progress on the house. I have learned to mud walls, sand, spackle, caulk, roll paint, cut in edges without tape, cut out old caulk, annnnnd... I think that’s about it.
But seriously, I have a question that I’ve asked myself countless times before... How much is enough? I never feel like I’ve done enough. There’s always a reason to be dissatisfied with the job I’ve done-- I didn’t get enough done, I didn’t do it perfectly enough, I didn’t do it fast enough, and on and on and on. I’m getting sick of myself, honestly. What is enough? Will I ever reach the point where I can take a look at a job well done and say, “It’s enough. I am finished right now.”
This is a serious big deal, because it haunts the facets and corners of my every day life. I only feel as if I’ve done “enough” if I’m totally exhausted, or if I’ve done twice as much as most people would attempt in a day.
Why am I like this?
When is enough enough?
Why can’t I just be happy with the progress we’ve made instead of hating myself for not doing more?

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