I’ve always tried to save people.
I am not sure why I have always gravitated toward someone who would make my life messy—someone who I thought could change their shitty habits if they had my guidance; someone who could be the best version of themselves because of me.
My project. My personal masterpiece.
I took in people who had commitment issues. I allowed people who were emotionally unavailable to find a place in my heart. I found people who had been broken, and didn’t know how to put themselves back together.
They didn’t know how to love, how to let go of their past, how to show up for me, how to be the person they were meant to be.
I thought that if I overlooked all of the times they blew me off, left without a warning, said hurtful things and forgave them each time they came back, they would be one step closer to being ready.
See, I wanted to be with these people. I saw something in each of them…pieces that weren’t shown to everyone around them. I thought I knew these people on a level that was deeper than exterior looks and fronted personalities.
Their souls, their fears, their stories…that’s what I clung to.
But as time has gone on, and I reflect on all of the projects I started, I realize that I have no masterpieces to show anyone. I have a lot of projects that were started, yet never finished.
Every person I have tried to save and loved without question, ultimately proved to me that they were not capable of being the person I thought they could be—the person they swore they wanted to be.
In a way, I always felt like I failed them. Had I done something differently, maybe they would have realized it is possible to let go, start over, embark on a new journey with someone who wanted the best life for them. They would want me. They would want us.
But all I have been left with are years of sleepless nights spent worrying about accommodating someone else’s feelings and putting my own on the back-burner. I was the crutch, the crying shoulder…yet when I needed their support, they were nowhere to be found.
I have always tried to save people…and I have always lost myself in the process.
I am still trying to learn and accept that love shouldn’t be this big, complicated situation where you need to save someone. Everyone has their issues, their own form of baggage. However, you shouldn’t have to work on molding someone into a better form of themselves in order for them to fit into your life.
You also can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved.
At some point, we have to realize that people are who they are, and nothing you say or do will ever change that.
So this is 22-year-old me, who is about to graduate college, and is encouraging you to look at the situation you are in right now and analyze whether or not this is healthy.
We can love someone so much that we don’t want to accept that they don’t add value to our lives. But trust me when I say that until you let go of the idea that you can save this person—that you can keep someone around who is not easily kept, you will miss out.
You will miss out on someone who shows up on their own. Who calls back without being asked. Who makes a commitment because they want to and not because of guilt. Who does the little things because that is who they are as a person.
So if you find someone who you cannot save, show them love, but send them on their way.
Because the only person you can save is yourself.