By Hilary Sutton Lagares
This month we feature a guest blog by Hilary Sutton Lagares, who, with her husband Juan Carlos (“JC”) went through our Premarital Preparation Program before their wedding.
4 years ago today JuanCarlos and I got married. And while it may seem like marriage and work have nothing to do with one another, I have to tell you, they totally do.
It’s no coincidence that my career began to blossom after JuanCarlos and I tied the knot. And sure, part of it is because I got into a more focused phase of life after my gypsy years. But why was I more focused? In part, because of JC. Let me explain…
I have so much more mental space now that I’m not on the dating scene. Constantly trying to figure out dead-end relationships takes up a lot of mental energy. Now I have the space and energy to focus in on work, to take risks and to be creative because I’m not obsessing over relationship problems or a crush. I don’t have anxiety about “finding the one.” He’s here. I had no idea how much mental energy I spent on the opposite sex until I was married. Man, talk about simplification. I sincerely believe when the dial was turned down on that part of life, I had more brain waves to put toward my life’s work.
I have a built-in cheerleader. JC believes the best in me. That empowers me to do great things, to do hard things. Whether or not you’re married, I encourage you to surround yourself with people who believe not only in your potential but also in who you are deep down. You need people who get you and encourage you on your path toward becoming better.
I have peace that comes with someone knowing all of my quirks and flaws and loving me anyway. There is something to be said for someone choosing to love you even when you are being… challenging. JC is in it with me not because I constantly make him happy but because he chooses day in and day out to be in it. And I don’t ever doubt that he’s there. That sense of safety and belonging gives me more confidence to go big in my work and risk failure.
I have a home to retreat to at the end of good days and bad. At the end of every work day that’s hard, draining, or frustrating, I’ve got a “home” to go home to. I’m not duking it out in the cold world on my own. And the inverse—when things are really good at work, I have someone who celebrates with me, that proudly tells his co-workers about all my random projects. Having him as a teammate brings peace into my own life.
I have a built-in brain trust member. I’ve got someone in my corner who is wired nothing like me. I can pick his brain about any situation and he’s going to give me perspective. And he loves to play devil’s advocate. He’s constantly challenging my thinking. That makes me a better leader and a better team member.
I have someone in my life every day who is loving and service-oriented. Not only is JC committed to helping people (he’s beginning a career in professional counseling) but every day he goes out of his way for me. Whether it’s bringing me a cup of coffee, mowing the lawn or doing the dishes, every day JuanCarlos is happy to help out if I’m in a pinch. Now, not only is that nice to have, but it’s also a challenge to me every single day: do for others. Give. Go out of your way. Serve. This makes me a better freelancer, a better co-worker, a better boss, and a better human.
I’m wired to passionately pursue a meaningful life and a meaningful career. Being married to JuanCarlos has shown me the incredible benefits of having a dependable partner, a real “home,” consistent encouragement, and an example of service right here in my own home. All of these things have helped my career grow massively in four years.
I had no idea that marrying the right person would not only tremendously affect my personal life, but also my work life. It’s incredible how the people you’re closest to have such an impact on every area of your life.