I get it. Really, I do. I have spent every Valentine’s Day of my life single.
Every. Single. One.
When your a kid, Valentine’s Day isn’t nearly as traumatic. Because it wasn’t about having a boyfriend- it was about candy. Your entire class was basically your Valentine. We were all in it together, making our way around the classroom, dutifully dropping our Valentine’s into each other’s handcrafted boxes, so ornately decorated that even Lisa Frank would have been proud. Even the weird kid in the back that ate his own hair felt the love (even if he did get the crappiest cards out of the bunch….). That shit was exhausting, writing out 30-something Valentines. Unless you were lucky, and had an adult on hand to help you out. The only real stress was determining who would be lucky enough to get an actual personalized paragraph written on the back along with some badass hearts drawn on it, or the simple “xoxo, Libby”.
( Cause I don’t care what the situation is, there will still always be a hierarchy….)
But then you get older. And just like everything else in life, Valentine’s Day turns into serious shit. Instead of a scale that was once used to innocently determine one’s popularity, it somehow becomes a scale to determine one’s entire self-worth.
Which is completely ridiculous.
Mainly, because the only thing that has changed to create this absurd standard is nothing more than our own way of thinking, and not the actual meaning of the day itself. Of course the day is about love. But why have we made it all about being loved by one person, a significant other, and not about being loved in general?
Or even better- why isn’t it about celebrating the fact that you have people in your life to love?
Like many others, I have spent the majority of my life with the belief that if I wasn’t in love, I just simply wasn’t allowed to participate in this holiday. I was permanently benched. I might as well be the kid in the back of the classroom eating my hair. Or even worse, if you did happen to be casually dating someone, it instantly places an awkward pressure on both of you by creating the sudden need to hastily define your situation. The dreaded D.T.R. Which, by the way, also explains why so many people break up just prior to the big day. If the day isn’t going to be all about roses, burning passion and undying love, then it’s going to be about chick flicks, ice cream, and defiant rage.
In other words, its one extreme or the other. Blissfully in love, or bitterly single. Long stemmed roses or double shots of tequila. Pink or black. There is no in between come February 14th.
Or is there?
Well, if you have anyone in your life to be even remotely thankful for, there is.
Lets go back to the grade school thing. You know, when a silly Valentine and some candy hearts was all it took to satisfy your innocent little heart. And it was fun simply to acknowledge having one another in our lives. No fancy dinner reservations required. No future plans to get married needed to give a girl some chocolate.
Sure, if you’ve found the love of your life (and you both need to be equal participants in this conclusion) then go ahead and go crazy. I hope you come home that night to a rose petal trail that leads to your man in a candle lit bubble bath. Cause for the record, that would be my idea of celebrating.
But what if you haven’t found that person yet?
Well, so fucking what? I can think of plenty of things in my life that make me feel all warm and fuzzy. Most of which are accessories, but still… My point is, think about all the amazing people you do have in your life. And then think of all the things you’ve been able to achieve because of them. Think of all the motivation their encouragement has inspired in your life. THOSE are your real MVP’s. And I honestly cant think of a better time to tell them how much you appreciate them, in the corniest way possible. Stop making the day about you, and what you don’t have in your life, and turn it into a celebration of who you are beyond blessed to already have in it- whether its a friend, a friend with benefits, or family. If they do anything to make you a better, happier person, then use today as an opportunity to count your blessings, and show them some love. Send them a Valentine. Take your BFF for a mani/pedi. Schedule a massage for your mom. And at the end of the day, you can still have the bubble bath.
So while I do look forward to the day that I get to share this ridiculously lame holiday with my future person (I refuse to use the word “soulmate”…), I’m also not going to sit on the sidelines while I wait. Instead, I’m going to wear pink. Lots of pink. And eat chocolate. Lots of fucking chocolate. That I will have bought for myself. And I’m going to take that bubble bath (…but to be fair, I probably wont be solo on that one). And for those that have made me a better person this year- my real MVP’s- you better check your mailbox. Because cheesy Valentine’s Day humor is on the way.
So take the pressure off yourself this Valentine’s Day. And anyone else who may be in your life currently. Stop using the day as a tool to define your relationships. And just enjoy the day for what it is- a day of love. For anyone, and everyone.
Except for our Ex’s, of course.
So Happy Valentine’s Day, dolls! Because above all, however you choose to spend it, or whomever you spend it with, I hope the day is just as beautiful as you are.