From the first of the year, I knew Valentine’s Day wasn’t going to be on my Things-To-Look-Forward-To list. M had a rugby tournament in Las Vegas the whole week (I swear, can’t make this stuff up) and I also knew I had to work the whole weekend. Granted, I said was fine with this and took pride in not being caught up in the commercialized, cultural craze. Valentine’s Day isn’t a big deal, you feel me guys?
Come Valentine’s Day: For starters, M is nearing the end of his week still in Las Vegas. Rugby has gotten dirty through the tourni, and the partying even moreso. Second, I work with 90% women. Everyone was either getting nauseously sweet deliveries all day, or were being grumpy about their lack-thereof. All day I smiled about the national day of Love, and refused to be a wet blanket (note: people asking about my plans for the day and then feeling badly for me when I have none is a sad sack of a conversation). No plans, no problem, baby. You ain’t got nothing on me and mine.
As the evening darkens, my “no problem” attitude becomes forced, to say the least. Poor M is as supportive as he can be from far away, yet still receives some passive aggressive text messages as I climb into bed early. Oops. Literally laying in the hole I dug for myself (I have a lot of blankets… it was a cold day even in Texas), I pouted around, “what how why why why Valentine’s Day? Why now, WHY ME?”
And this is why: Valentine’s Day creates a fear of missing out. A fear of not being wanted, or of facing rejection by someone you want for yourself. With countless entertainment and media references to getting a date, exchanging gifts, getting the perfect dinner reservations, or baking the perfect dessert at home, there’s a lot of pressure there. There’s a lot of pressure to get it perfect for Valentine’s Day.
Photo from my fav blogger Tuula Vintage
Maybe it’s just my experience, but love isn’t perfect. I can’t make many concrete statements about the subject, but I do know how difficult loving someone can be as well as how effortless. You’ll never love the same way. In any relationship, loving is a daily decision, and requires a daily exertion. Think about your parents, your siblings, your best friends, your significant other. What do they need from you, and what do you need from them? Ideally, giving up these parts of yourself: your thought, time, energy, emotional capacity – valuable resources needed get you through the day, to the people you love will also fill you back up as your people love you back. Every day. Do you believe me?
In my experience – every day, if you can bring yourself to open up your levee and pour out your kindness, your thoughts, your energy and your selflessness (in fewer words, your love), you will have room to be filled back up in bigger and better ways. And if not, then not. As you pour love into your people, they will naturally pour it back to you. It might take some time to build that recipriocal relationship, and there might be some bad days in the mix, yet there will always be this ebb and flow as in all natural things. Trust that your people will take care of you as you take care of them.
In conclusion, the day of love is nothing without a lifetime of loving the people you have made a commitment to in your life. Valentine’s Day isn’t for going out to dinner on the day with the worst service and highest prices of the year (as M so romantically puts it), it’s just to let your people know that they are wanted and worthy. And if you have those people, don’t you dare wait for Valentine’s Day to remind them.
The way I see it, pouring my time, energy, and thoughts into the people that I have decided to love in my life is worth it even if I don’t get it back. Because if you have made it onto that shortlist, then babe you must be worth it. You can’t earn or lose that spot, being loved is not your choice. But to give love is.
Who is on your daily shortlist? What about a weekly list? A monthly?
Let me know @sheaesnider #vdaywonder
P.S. Just to end the Valentine’s Day story between M and I, he called me around 11:30pm on Valentine’s Day and asked me to check under my front doormat. When I crawled out of bed to check, stepping out in my bathrobe to look for a hidden letter, he scared me to death with his hulking, shadowed physical presence, and promptly burst into rolling laughter as he jumped to sweep my now-tearful self back into my cozy apartment. As it turned out, he was able to catch a flight home right after their last game, and just in time to catch the last 30 minutes of Valentine’s Day… and he brought me a box of disposable spoons as I seems to have lost my real ones in the move. Maybe sometimes it can be perfect.
Here’s to Love! *pop fizz clink!*
How To Celebrate Valentine’s Day Every Day
My favorites for the holiday – aka – Every Day:
Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara, Revlon lip stain (I love Smitten), Zents spa line scent Ore (soooo naturally seductive), and the perfect OPI gel nail color Mod About You!
Add on Chiara Ferragni’s shoe collection (I also follow her amazing blog, The Blonde Salad!), and a dreamy tulle skirt (featuring another of my favorite fashion bloggers, Atlantic-Pacific) that’s so perfectly Sex in the City, don’t you think?
- Read this tear-worthy love letters from famous romantics (via BrainPicker)
- Still wondering who your soulmate is? Cockamamy… wonder no more, and read this modern miracle (via TheChalkboardMag)
- You can eat dessert every day (I have, no shame) with this delicious 37-calorie brownie recipe!