Holidays really aren’t my thing. But out of all of them, I particularly hated Valentine’s Day. I just never could really understand why I hated it so much.
I don’t eat chocolate (don’t judge me).
Roses die and remind you how quickly the happy memories of the day fade.
Stuffed animals are only cute as long as you’re in a good place with the person that gave it to you. Otherwise, it’s just an ugly reminder of what was.
Let me say it again, I hated Valentine’s Day.
But I didn’t know why. That is, until I took a stroll down Valentine’s Memory Lane.
And there they were. All the painful memories.
Like the year I was so sure I was spending the day with my forever Valentine. I was in the midst of one of the toughest situations I had ever had to endure at that point in my life and I was sure that this night would help me forget all of the pain that I was feeling. He vowed to make the day unforgettable and surely he kept his promise. Candlelit dinner only to be outshined by the text messages that proved I wasn't the only Valentine he had spent his day with.
I rushed out of that memory and strolled a little further to the year where I thought Valentine’s Day would make up for all the hurt I had endured in the previous months with the guy I was in a relationship with at the time. Steaks cooked just right, double date to the movies, and drinks with friends. The night ended as “perfectly” as I thought it would, but the passion would only turn to pain when just a few days later I was hit with the reality that while I still being faithful to him after all the lying and the cheating, he was being faithful to his unfaithfulness he had already shown me in the months prior. I was just temporarily blinded by the bears, gifts, and balloons.
I gathered my composure and decided to stroll along a little farther hoping to bump into a good memory. Only to run smack into the memory of the cute bear I got sprayed with his Sean John cologne that I thought was the cutest gift in the world. We weren’t able to see each other for very long that Valentine’s Day (or any other day for that matter) due to our busy schedules. In our times away from each other, I could hug that bear and smell the scent of the cologne and feel close to him. But the scent would fade and so would the good memories when you realize that you weren’t the only one cherishing that scent.
So there I was stopped dead in my tracks telling myself this is why I hate Valentine’s Day. Until I realized that it wasn’t any of their faults about my hate for Valentine’s Day. One day on the calendar cannot erase the pain and lies that had occurred for months. This one day on the calendar although marketed as a day of love cannot magically change someone’s heart or mind and make them into a perfectly loving human being. This one day of gifts, flowers, cards, and balloons doesn’t balance out the loss endured from loving someone who wasn’t capable of loving you back.
I had settled for the thought that I shouldn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day because all I ever got from it was hurt and pain. I had convinced myself that this was a good as it gets.
It didn’t take for me to have a good Valentine’s Day (or even a day or two after) to begin celebrating the day again. It took for me to realize that I could not expect this one day to fix all of my relationship issues or my self-esteem issues. It was seeing the worth in myself to know that I was too good to be treated the way that I was and to let me self-esteem be dependent upon this one day on the calendar.
It gets better when you love yourself. Not only on February 14th. But every day of the year.