Leaving People Better Than You Found Them: The Pain of A Wounded Bird Collector


Today I saw everything that I ever wanted in my relationship: a man, dressed in the coat that I bought him for Christmas, stopping by the store to grab dinner and wine for the woman that he loves. The man has a level head, looks confident and seems optimistic about his future. Too eager to get to his lover's house after a long day of work, he keeps conversations with acquaintances brief and zips down the dark road, passionately anxious about who is awaiting him.

Unfortunately, I am not the woman that is awaiting him and he is no longer my man.

Both my mom and my year as a Brownie Scout taught me to leave things better than you found them. I guess that morale carried on to the men in my life as well. I've always been a very patient person, as well as an excessively giving person. The combination of these two characteristics is a lethal recipe for disappointment when greeted by others who don't possess the same character traits. I'm not sure if it is just the way of the universe; however, I am always in tandem with people who need fixing.  

I guess I am somewhat of a wounded bird collector; collecting birds and nurturing them until they realize that they are strong enough to fly on their own. As noble as it seems to be a wounded bird collector, the birds never stay with the bird collector. They rarely come back to say thank you and future birds will never know of the caring soul that sacrificed the time to build the strong bird that they now see before them. 

When it comes to humans, it can grow tiresome investing time, money, love, solution and resolve into someone and watching someone else cash in on your investment. After experiencing this feeling more than twice, you start to wonder if all people are like this and if you were just cursed with the non-evolutionary mutation of caring too much. As I see this recurring theme in my past and present relationships, I wonder if I should hold back, something that doesn't feel natural at all. I ache for the day that I can give to my heart's content to my partner without having to worry about giving too much or that my love will be forsaken.

Until then, I've opted to give more to myself so that I will know how I want to be loved. I've been patient with myself when it comes to discovering my purpose in life and I've given myself forgiveness for my mistakes and time to figure out the rest.  

Have you come into contact with a wounded bird collector? Are you one yourself?