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The Fixer Upper

When I was younger, I’d ride around in the car with my mom looking at houses with her. Id point out brand new constructions while she looked for fixer uppers.

I’d roll my eyes in annoyance not understanding why she’d pick a downtrodden home when there were so many new homes that could cater to our needs better and faster. You know, they say the older you get the more you find you are JUST like your mother. The parallels I see in that now have become apparent. But my thing wasn’t homes, it was people.

In the past I found myself prone to only seeing people for their potential and not for who they truly are. I wanted to see the good in people. I wanted them to see the good in themselves and to know that they will always have someone rooting for them and have a team player when it comes to me. However when it comes to romantic relationships I find myself in detriment when I operate this way. I used to be a person who fell in love potential. I would put people on pedestals expecting them to operate a certain way for me and then I would get upset when they don’t match my standards. I would look at them and be like “but you could be so much greater, you could grow so much more” but I realize that I can’t want for someone what they don’t even want for themselves. I realize in my times of rooting for someone to reach their potential they took it hard because I would have to show them the mirror of where they fall short of my expectations.

Where I would say “I see your greatness” they heard “you’re not good enough.” And I’m just now coming to terms with how unfair that is on my behalf. How could I preach to someone of their potential when I have yet to reach mine fully? And why did I always end up with people I felt I had to build? Because being the savior in other peoples lives helped deflect from the fact that I need work.. I need saving as well. I was ashamed. I watched my mother fix up homes we ended up having to leave time and time again, because the faults end up being dealbreakers in the end. We’d make a fantasy of building a new life in a new home - making it our own. But that home was still the same old same old, no matter how nicely decorated it was. So why wouldn’t I go for someone newly constructed? Why wouldn’t I find someone who already comes equipped with the love and support I need? A part of that came from the fears that what I wanted was unattainable. And another part came from the fact that I too had to work on myself to obtain that. I didn’t want to face the mirror, but wanted to fix other people’s reflections. All because I felt deep down that I couldn’t have the love I deserved. Love to me now, is finding one that comes with what I need. Not one I have to fix up or need an instruction manual for. One that WANTS to grow and doesn’t have to be forced to. I find the more “fixer upper” relationships I get into, the less tools I have to help myself. I now look for love where we are both equipped enough to grow through love together.

- Mariah 🌿

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