Wednesday, July 6, 2011


"I have learned that you can't change people and that you should never fall in love with someone's potential."
-Kimberlee Auerbach

I'm currently rereading a book I bought from a Borders bargain bin a couple of years ago.  It's called "The Devil, The Lovers, & Me" and it's written by Kimberlee Auerbach.  It's described on the front cover as "an irresistible memoir for anyone who's ever wondered what's coming next". 

I love this book.  I don't know why exactly, but it speaks to me.  The cover is kind of ridiculous, and basically the narrator goes to see a tarot card reader and for each card that's dealt in her reading, you get a flashback or look back into her life to explain how that card is significant to her in her journey.  There are so many quotes in this book that I love, and the one opening this entry is one of them. 

I guess if I had to re-appropriate that quote as my own, I'd have to amend it to read "I am learning.." because clearly that is a lesson I'm still stuck on.  I am notorious for falling for someone's potential as opposed to the person they actually are at the time.  I look at people and I see all of the good things they are capable of, the kindness they have tucked in them somewhere, the ability to be something wonderful somewhere down the line.  But generally when I am seeing this, they are a work in progress.  Under construction.  Full of detours and roadblocks.  And we all are works in progress to a degree, I get that.  But I tend to fall for the projects that are permanently stalled.

I guess that at heart I am a fixer.  A caretaker.  As much as I've tried to deny it, I guess I like the feeling of helping people turn a positive corner.  Being their cheerleader, the one who shows them the way.  I get such pleasure out of the small things in life, and sometimes I feel like I want everyone else to experience the world that way, too, and I make it my mission to show them how.  Guess what?  It almost never works.

People are who they are.  They evolve and change and grow, but sometimes they regress or even just stand still.  Sometimes staying in place is just as bad as moving backward.  And whichever direction a person is going, they are going to keep on going in that direction until they are ready to change course.  Nothing I do or say or show them is going to alter that path. 

I keep falling for the works in progress.  I keep looking past the faults and flaws and envisioning the greatness that could come to pass for these people, all the awesome ways they may open up down the line.  But the reality is that right now, these people have nothing to offer me but fleeting happiness, most of it very superficial. 

Here is another quote from the book, one I can identify with so clearly that it almost hurts.  This is my life, and this is where I'm trying to get to.

""My life is complicated. I really don't think I can give you the attention you need and deserve."

So I ended it. Just like that. I didn't linger for 2 years. I didn't crawl back into bed, wishing he could love me the way I needed to be loved. I made a choice, bold and strong."

Do you know how many times I've heard that?  I can't give you what you need/want/deserve.  I am saving you from the mess that is me.  This was fun, but you're too much work, you want too much, you expect me to follow through on things I say and do what I agree to do and it's all too much to handle.  You are an obligation I do not want to meet right now, so I'm going to pretend it's about me being inadequate when really it just means that you're not the person I'm willing to put the work in for.

It may be true that I deserve better, but it would be nice if that were left up to me to decide.  I'm tired of the decision being made for me, the power taken out of my hands.  I'm weary of never being the right person.  I'm exhausted of potential, I want someone who's actually reaching their potential, or exceeding it.  I don't want a project, I want a partner.

I do apologize for the tone of my posts so far this week.  I guess I've just been feeling kind of introspective, and really thinking a lot about what's been going on in my life lately, and where I am in it, and what I'm bringing to the table.  I'm trying to break the bad patterns and figure out how to redirect myself.  This life is in need of a serious recalibration, and I guess I'm just muddling through trying to figure out how to start.


  1. Never apologize for your posts. It's your blog, you can use it how you want/need. Besides, introspection is often a precursor to change. Perhaps your ex should spend some time looking into himself. ;)

    This: "You are an obligation I do not want to meet right now, so I'm going to pretend it's about me being inadequate when really it just means that you're not the person I'm willing to put the work in for."

    I don't agree with it. I think you may have helped bring "inadequacies" to the surface and encouraged change, but he (or they) doesn't want to do it, whether it's out of fear or unwillingness - neither of which are your fault. Remember, it isn't enough to want to change for your partner. You've got to want to change for yourself. Everyone is a work in progress to some degree, it is just a matter of being willing to actually progress.

  2. @MWF: I guess that I sometimes feel that if someone is with the right person, they feel motivated to make the real changes, and until that person comes along, they just hand out excuses like the above.