Let’s get this out of the way, Valentine’s Day is a made-up holiday that we give so much power to, yet we’re all ok on February 15 whether we got a box of chocolates or a dozen roses or nothing at all. The sun still rises and our lives go on. Believe me, BELIEVE me, there have been times in my life where I was sad not to have a Valentine. Let’s say for about 36 years I never had one, but I was ok. I had the love of friends and when I became an adult I had the love of red wine. Now I’m a married man and EVERYTHING has changed…..or not much at all. I’m at home, alone, writing this blog. My husband and I live in two different cities so being together is not possible. And honestly, we don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day much anyway because, remember, the sun is still going to rise tomorrow whether you have that dozen roses or not. Just go get a glass of wine and sit back to read my blog.
Like I said, for about 36 years I never had a Valentine and I dealt with it and I was fine. Of course I wanted the chocolates and the roses and all of that. I did. Society has told me over the years that I need that to make myself whole, but in reality, I do not. Then at age 37 I got them. It was great. I was excited. I was fulfilled and everything was just perfect. Then three months later my heart was broken and I was devastated as evidenced in my blog post “For Now”. Then for the next year I did some really hard personal work. I survived my next Valentine’s Day while dating a new guy, then a few weeks later that ended. Was it wonderful to have these Valentines flowers and candies and candles? Of course it was but what I learned was that someone can give you all that stuff and not truly love you and so then, what does it matter?
“Didn’t see it coming. No kind of warning. I can’t work out what I’ve done wrong. His clothes are missing. But his keys still here. Please somebody tell me whats going on.”
I recently heard the song “Suitcase” by Emeli Sandé which was in heavy rotation the summer of 2013. I had such a broken heart and I did everything possible not to be alone, ever. After work I would go to yoga practice two classes in a row and come home and go straight to bed. But what saved me from myself were friends. Friends are really incredible people. No matter what, they love you. Friends are there to go to dinner and talk and hate on the ex and just be there with you. I have so many friends who helped pull me through. I also did so much for myself like yoga and meditation and blogging and finding the little things in each day that made me happy with #100happydays. I found the joy in a fresh, ripe avocado. I found the joy in friendship. I found the joy, as hard as it was, in being on my own. Although I had lived so many years single, the year I spent in between my heartache and finding the love of my life was really hard. I had a taste of what I longed for for so long, not being alone. But in reality, what I know for sure, is that whether I’m alone or with someone, I’m going to be ok.
The reality is that we all want to be loved by that special person. We learn about it and see it growing up and we long for it as adults. BUT, “somebody” can be family, friends, or YOURSELF, too! How wonderful it is to find the love of yourself? Let me tell you after a year of really hard personal work, it is wonderful. Had I not done the hard, personal work after being dumped and having a broken heart, I would not have been ready to find the love I have with my husband now.
“Even when the dark comes crashing through. When you need a friend to carry you.
When you’re broken on the ground. You will be found.”
Dear Evan Hansen the Tony Award winning Broadway sensation has a song “You Will Be Found” with the lyrics above. What I can tell you about Valentine’s Days past and love and friendship is that you will be found because your friends will never let you crash down without picking you up and dusting you off and pushing you out there into life to live again. Check out my post called “Waving Through A Window” and you will read about the joy that love has brought me. However, had it not been for the love of friends and family, and a lot of personal work “Single Season” I would not have been ready for the love of my life.
So whether you are single or partnered on this Valentine’s Day, find the joy in your life. Look for the simple things that make you smile. Look for your family and friends. Look for the wine! Whether you are alone or with someone right now, I can tell you that loving your life and taking a deep breath and just embracing it all is what you can do today. And to all of you Valentine-less people out there, enjoy it. You get to do what you want, when you want, and how you want. There is something beautiful about that.