Valentine’s Day

Being single on Valentine’s feels good.

I can only think of a handful of Valentine’s Days when I wasn’t single, to be honest. But I’ve still spent so many of them pretty sad.

It doesn’t feel good because I feel acutely aware of how wonderful it is to be single. In fact, the opposite. I believe we were made to desire partners, and that’s been on my mind lately. My life often looks different than I imagined it would, in the most wonderful ways, but this is the area where I notice the difference between daydreams and reality most.

This wasn’t what I planned.

I’ve spent a lot of years, a lot of Valentine’s Days, many Christmases and often birthdays wondering what exactly I’ve done to ensure I’ve spent so many holidays alone. There have been, proportionately, many of them. Thanks to several bottles of wine I’ve come up with virtually every personality flaw that’s contributed.

But this year I’ve been working pretty hard on myself. Trying to be someone I enjoy – and I don’t really mean that to have the self-deprecating air that it likely does while reading – I just mean I want to be better. I want to have a pretty heart with good desires. I want to love so much that it overcomes the bad things that seep in sometimes. I want to make a mark on the world with the love I put into it.

So I’ve been trying. Trying has felt pretty selfish. Trying has turned into learning, which has manifested itself in strange ways. Because loving the world in an adequate way starts with really loving myself first, and I’ve had to learn a few things and really get to know myself to do that. Which means I flew across the country once to see a guy who didn’t really feel the same, but I learned I’m capable of sticking up for my heart. One time it looked like kissing a boy in a bar then never seeing him again because he asked why he had to initiate plans (because I’m worth it is the answer). Other times it’s looked like yoga classes I can’t afford and spontaneous vacations with best friends. Sometimes it’s looked like saying things I regret just to figure out what exactly triggers certain reactions. It’s looked like standing in an ocean that radiates love just to realize what a powerful force it can be. Once last week it was a sunset, when I realized how much i value that kind of beauty. Learning has been an experience.

So, no, single on Valentine’s is never what I planned. But it doesn’t feel bad. It feels like love for myself and things I value, and eventually someone will get that, too.

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