I remember fondly many different types of Valentine’s Day.
I remember that when I had my first boyfriend when I was fifteen I was so excited for Valentine’s Day to arrive for the first time in my life. Though there wasn’t much to look forward to since we had a long-distance relationship that was more platonic than anything. He used to live on a sailboat and I was stuck on land so my highlight of that Valentine’s day was talking to him on the phone for hours as he docked somewhere along the west coast of Mexico. It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, just a phone call but it had me smiling like an idiot for days afterward. I remember another memorable Valentine’s Day with my college boyfriend and when for the first time I got the huge teddy bear (bunny, actually), the flowers, the jewellery and the nice dinner date. It was lovely and I was finally satisfied that I got my “Hollywood Valentine’s Day”, like the typical Valentine’s Day you see in movies.
I also remember the Valentine’s Day I got upset because my boyfriend at the time was going to be out of town on the 14th for a work trip. I had been looking forward so much to that Valentine’s Day cause I was head over heels for that guy and at the time I was convinced that he was “the love of my life”. I remember I felt so disappointed and upset. I had this idea that Valentine’s Day was a day that should be, as a rule, a wonderful day especially when you had a boyfriend or girlfriend. Of course I got that idea from the movies and songs and all the media that tries to convince us of that. But that day Valentine’s Day was just a source of frustration for me and I hated it.
I remember how, when he called to apologise, I was so upset with him. And I remember how, to make up for it, he came to my house a few days earlier before he left on his trip while I was at work, and how he decorated all my room with flowers and bought me this amazing painting kit with everything I needed to start painting as I had told him I wanted to paint.
And I remember that when I entered my room and saw all the roses, chocolates, teddy bears, and the painting materials, it was impossible not to smile and my frustrations melted away. I regretted being upset and I felt bad instantly for having gotten upset at him in the first place. I remember I called him to apologise and to thank him. I felt like such a petty child.
I wish now that I had never had any expectations about Valentine’s Day. I wish I had been able to say to him when he told me about his work trip like “Hey, no worries, Valentine’s Day is just a capitalist trap to turn us into crazy consumers anyway, right? We have love every day and that’s all that matters.” I wish I had been that person then, and I hope I am that person now, at least.
After I got my heart broken, I stopped caring for Valentine’s Day altogether. And I also remember the last memorable Valentine’s Day with the man who helped me regain trust in people again. It was another Hollywood-worthy Valentine’s Day. A ferry ride on the Thames, a fancy dinner date in Canary Wharf, followed by a great weekend exploring London together.
All these Valentine’s Days with amazing guys have stayed in my heart and yet there is another kind of Valentine’s Day I remember with as much fondness and joy. It was actually one of my favorite Valentine’s Day ever and it happened to be at a time when I hadn’t a boyfriend nor even a crush. I was in high school and I had an amazing group of friends that were more like family. I remember most of us were single so we decided to celebrate together cause after all in Spanish Valentine’s Day is called “el día del amor y la amistad”, the day of love and friendship. Friendship is one of my favorite kinds of love, it is vital in my life as I am sure it is in the lives of most of us.
My friends (a group of about 10 people at the time, boys and girls) and I sent each other Valentine’s Day cards during class that day and after classes, we all took the bus to my house where we had an amazing meal my mom had prepared for all of us. She made lasagna, my favorite, and a cake that had red icing that spelled “Forever Alone”. That made us laugh a lot. After we finished eating we played games and I remember laughing so hard that my tummy hurt and tears streaked my cheeks. We went to buy candy and popcorn afterward and we spent the evening watching Disney movies all sprawled on the floor. It was definitely one of the best Valentine’s Day ever.
That Valentine’s Day has warmed my heart every time I remember it and it makes me smile and feel grateful for the friends in my life. It has also helped me at times to remember that love has many forms.
Many times in my life, I’ve heard my friends who are single at the time complaining about how they don’t have a date for Valentine’s day, and when they feel sad about it I wish I could share that one memory with them of that amazing, happy Valentine’s Day I spent with my friends. I am sure it would warm their hearts too. I feel so lucky to have had that.
It is a reminder that love is varied, love is diverse, it comes from different sources and it causes joy no matter where or who it comes from. I have also spent many Valentine’s Days alone with myself and I’ve learned they are also an opportunity to show myself the love I have for myself. I always buy myself flowers, sometimes chocolates or cookies. This year it was muffins. I also remind myself of how lovely it is to be in my company and how I am happy that I get to spend my whole life with myself.
Love, I’ve learned is truly everywhere. It’s an energy, a force, not anchored to any body or thing. It is an energetic force that moves the world. Love for me is like what religious people would God, that kind of energy. It makes everything, it permeates everything. I see it in so many places, in so many things, in so many people, in so many of the things I do.
Although I know that Valentine’s Day is indeed a day created by companies to sell more, it has become a day for me to remind myself that love truly actually is all around and that every day I can choose to do everything with love and we’ll all be better for it.
It is a reminder that love is not what I have or who I am with but who I am. It reminds me that Love is unbounded, unconditional and never-ending, it is in every fiber of my being and if I feel separated at times, or depressed or frustrated… all I really need to do is tune in to that energy of love and it will be there, always.
I am trying to remind myself of these things daily and not only on Valentine’s Day. I hope this post also helps to remind yourself and that no matter how you spent this day, with your partners, your friends or with your wonderful self, I hope you remember that Love is within you cause it is you and therefore you can never be without it and it can never forsake you or abandon you.
Yes, people can leave, they can hurt or betray us. They can die, and so they will. Yet, love is an energy and its presence in our lives is a choice and if you choose to tune in to that frequency, you will never be without.