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This year I got Valentine’s Day ALL wrong. “Valentine’s Day? I don’t believe in that. It’s not that I like it or dislike it – I am really quite indifferent” – this was the tune I’d been singing for the past week. Then The Day arrived.
I rolled out of bed and I was miserable. Through humor-oriented whines (rooted in true feelings) I complained about how horrible this wretched day was. How sickening all the couples were making me. And how I simply wanted to curl up into a ball and mourn my state of singleness.
I spent the day with my mom – knocking off things from our combined ‘To-Do’ lists – the bank, the cell phone store, etc… it didn’t help. We went to Starbucks and she bought me a new Dr. Seuss book to add to my collection – it didn’t help. We drove all over the city (literally) until we found a Valentine’s-themed Starbucks card – it didn’t help. We went home and I read my Dr. Seuss book – still single, still no better.
Then my cousin came over – she brought me flowers. We shared a pizza and enjoyed each other’s company. I felt empty inside.
All of these things were nice in the moment, yet I still went to bed sad, feeling defeated by Valentine’s Day.
I succumbed to the reality that sometimes life just sucks. But I was missing something very important…
See, Valentine’s Day isn’t about having a ‘Valentine’ (whatever that means, anyways). It is about love. And yes, I did realize this at the time, but the mistake I made was not letting it actually sink in.
All I could think about was the one area of love that my life does not have – a ‘significant other’ – and I allowed this ‘void’ (if you can call it that) to completely overshadow all of the types of love that I do have.
I was so distracted by the fact that I didn’t have someone that I missed all the love that I did get to enjoy on this day:
- Spending time with my mom – who I love and who loves me enough to drive all over the city in search of a heart-covered Starbucks card
- Visiting with my roommate – who always makes me smile
- Getting flowers from my cousin and spending time together
- And even picking my dad up from the airport
My entire day was spent doing things I love with the people I love and who love me. Is that not the perfect Valentine’s Day?
I don’t believe that one day should stand out above the rest in terms of how we treat the ones we love – if you want to show appreciation, then show it year-round – but if we do get the chance to spend a day (whether it be Valentine’s Day or just another Tuesday) with those we love, that is something special.
Typically, any other day of the year I feel surrounded by love and I don’t feel there is some ‘void’ that needs to be filled – In all honesty, I’m not even looking to be in a relationship right now anyways (but that’s a topic for another blog…).
These feelings should not all suddenly change just because I woke up and it was Valentine’s Day.
My cousin got it right – she called every member of her family yesterday just to tell them she loved them – That is what Valentine’s Day is all about. My other friend went out for dinner with his sister and parents – That is what Valentine’s Day is about. From the time I woke up to the time I went to bed I was with people I love. That is what Valentine’s Day is all about.
Today my friend handed me a bag of candy with a big smile on her face and said: “These are for you – Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s my favourite day!” (I hadn’t seen her the day before, hence the one-day delay). It’s not often you hear someone say with such sincerity that Valentine’s Day is their favourite day. But now I understand why she feels this way – because it is a celebration of love – ALL types of love. And that is something to get excited about!
Next year, I’m going to get it right…
Remember, you are loved in more ways than one.
Lauren is the Founder and Editor of Libero. She started Libero in April 2010, when she shared her story about her struggles with an eating disorder and depression. Now Lauren uses her writing and videos to advocate mental health and body positivity. In her spare time, she enjoys makeup artistry, playing Nintendo, and taking selfies with her furbaby, Zoey.
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