I, like, never have a Valentine. But, for some reason, I can’t ever hate the day. I love it in the most unrequited of fashions, because it isn’t ever that I actually have a special, romantic day planned for it.
But I am in LOVE with the holiday, still. (Tied with Halloween!) No matter how many disappointments I encounter year after year, full of sub-par experiences and rarely any lovely surprises, I hold on.
In spite of all of this, I anticipate this holiday every time and decided to try to figure out why I was so dedicated.
It’s because of love.
But not the type of love we often attribute to Valentine’s Day. For Valentine’s Day, we usually think of romance and being swept off of our feet by that special someone. We think that the shitty or unfulfilling relationships we get ourselves in to will all be righted by this one day. This is, also, the make or break if you’re just dating someone. It’s their chance to show you how much you matter to them – or not.
This is not the love I’m talking about.
The love I mean is, every year, your mom surprising you with candy and helping you put together Valentines for your classmates. Showing up to school happy to be participating in something that makes others smile. It’s actually something that really was a tradition although you’ve never spoke of it as such. But, every year, you’re excited for it. Then, it’s taking that love and carrying out that tradition with your friends, your coworkers and your own children. Holding on.
It’s a symbol of love and caring that we don’t always see as enough or as fulfilling as romantic love. But it is, because it’s always there. It never leaves. It buries itself in you because it’s constant and indelible. It builds up your reserve to share with others and to give, without expectation and even completely unrequited.
And this is why I never give up on it. Yes, it’s cheesy and commercial and we should all show our love every day – because we are all perfect.
Thing is, we’re not.
We are conditioned to this individualism when we should probably do better about leaning on others. Others who want to be there and who want you to be OK. Others who know they can reach out to you when they don’t feel OK. And you’ll be there.
So, when my head is buried and lost in a sea of responsibility or struggle, it serves as a reminder that some things are, indeed, unconditional.
And no, my son doing the booty dance after I give him candy isn’t romantic. But it’s valid…and enough.
Happy Valentine’s Day.