This past year has been a journey of growth for me. I have learned a lot about mistakes I have made in the past, and what I am looking for in the future. One of the things that I have struggled with is being me in relationships. There have been so many times in my life where I never felt goo enough for that person so I would just change myself to fit what the person wanted me to be. As a result, I slowly chipped away pieces of myself and was left with a version of Casie that I literally didn’t know. I gave up working out. I gave up taking care of myself. I gave up fashion. I would do whatever they wanted, just to please them and yet it still never seemed to work out.
A man whom I once loved, and thought loved me unconditionally, wanted me to change. If I didn’t wear or do what he wanted, he didn’t love me and after 3 years, it began to take a toll on my self esteem. I would be lying if I didn’t say I think in some ways I was hoping he would change too. And I guess I should have known, just based on that, it wouldn’t work in the end.
I know that any successful relationship requires compromise, which is something I am constantly working on, but I truly believe there has to be a balance of being you, and at the same time making the other person happy. First and foremost, the person should love you unconditionally for who you are, your grey hairs, no makeup, brutal honesty (ok I can work on that one), shopping addiction (I can work on that one too!!), along with all of my other flaws (and there are many).
I know I can always improve and be a better person, as I am always working on myself. But fundamentally, who YOU are, your passions, and your values should not change for anyone, unless you want them to.
I once knew a guy who was dating someone and they ended up having a child. The mother moved far away with the child and wanted nothing to do with the father. One day, she called him and wanted for him to meet his child. As soon as she wanted to reconnect and he found out that she wanted him to be a part of the child’s life, he got so excited and wanted to sell his car to be able to provide for his child. While I am all for supporting children financially (I actually think it’s a necessity), this guy had a very stable job, nice car, apartment, and lived a pretty nice life, he decided that he wanted to sell his vintage car that he had been putting a ton of money and time into. Cars were his passion; he loved fixing them up and cruising around, and eventually trading or selling them. I said, “Look, I’m so excited that you get to play a large role in your child’s life, however you can’t give up something that is so important to you. This is your passion, and you can’t just change that because your circumstances have changed.” OK, technically he could just sell the car and be done with it, but would that make him happy? A few months later he called me and said, “Thank you Casie. You were right. I sold my car and I was miserable. I loved that car and I realized that even though I have a responsibility to my child, I still have a responsibility to make myself happy.” Now obviously, I’m not therapist or psychologist. I’m not telling anyone what they should do, because every situation is completely different and you truly have to do what is right for you and your family, but I do know that if you continue to give parts of yourself away, you will be left with someone who is for the better or worse unrecognizable.
As this year has gone by, I have realized the importance of being yourself. Your full authentic self. And honestly, I haven’t perfected this craft yet, but over the past year I have definitely learned a lot about how to just be ME. The crazy, sometimes ditzy, fashionista, hard worker, dog lover, passionate, stubborn, brutally honest, and sometimes bitchy, CASIE. I am who I am. And even though some days its hard to be me, I’m never going to let anyone take me away again. And neither should you.