Valentine’s Day already? I’m someone who isn’t a big fan of these commercial or pseudo holidays. I’m just not the type of person that subscribes to this idea that we constantly have to consume. I’ve never lived during an era where mindlessly consuming isn’t the norm. I have only read about such times in books. Valentine’s Day does nothing but fuel this urge to consume and consume and consume.
However, my stance on Valentine’s Day changed last year. Last year I went through my first major heartbreak. It was an immensely painful experience, but an experience I would never trade in. If anyone needs motivation in life, I suggest having your heart completely shattered. Sure, early on you’ll go through a phase where you can barely manage to make it out of bed, but once you start putting some of the pieces back together you will have a drive you have never had before.
When it comes to romance, I have this personality that is stuck in an awkward space between hopelessly romantic and stern realist. Last year I was very excited at the opportunity to pamper my ex-girlfriend with Valentine gifts. Cute cards with deeply meaningful messages inside (Of course! I’m a writer!) and chocolates. However, I couldn’t talk myself into getting roses. Roses don’t really provide anything other than an opportunity to watch them wither. Chocolates at a most intrinsic level are packages of energy. Yes, I understand that in the world we live in today, most of us could probably do without condensed energy or calories, but we are going to eat eventually. The messages in the cards are easy for me to justify. When all is said and done, I believe the only things we really have at the end are our experiences, memories, and the bonds we made with others.
After my heartbreak, expressions like, “’Tis better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all” started to make sense. So although my realist half screams and curses at days like Valentine’s Day, my other more delicate half completely understands the allure of this day. “Love” is a difficult topic. There are so many different forms of love. Love for your dog is different from the love you receive from your parents. The love people share on a day like Valentine’s Day is also completely different and often so baffling to many of us. Physicists Stephen Hawking has the ability to unravel the mysteries of the cosmos, but he personally claims one mystery that he continues to fail to uncover is the mystery of love.
So I guess my point is not to take the day too seriously. Use it to your advantage and hopefully this completely arbitrary day can provide a platform for you to create memories to cherish. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!