Valentine’s Day has always been one of my favorite holidays. Whether single or taken, I can really appreciate the day for all of the boxes of (dark) chocolate and (long stem) roses it’s worth. And, I credit this love of the holiday to my Mother.
For my whole life, without fail, my mother has always been THE one to make my Valentine’s Day special. Like, really special. Case and point: my Senior year of high school I got called to the front office to pick up a package. What could it be? Did my boyfriend deliver me a dozen red roses? Do I have a secret admirer?
Low and behold, it was chocolate and a single red rose from the best Valentine of all, my burning hot teenage crush of the moment, Tim Tebow.
Haha. Not kidding…
My mom (with my Dad’s help) dropped off a package she lovingly took upon herself to address from the field-kneeling apple of my eye, to have me pick up during 6th period. Most would probably be embarrassed, and maybe I was at the time, but now I only remember this as my fondest February 14th memory.
My mother’s dedication to the holiday has not gone unnoticed, and has played a huge role in the “Wearing My Heart on my Sleeve For Better or Worse” woman that I’ve become. She has taught me that love is something to be celebrated. Whether it’s romantic love, platonic love, playful love, family love, self-love (my fave)- LOVE is what this whole human experience is about.
There have been many times I’ve poured my heart out coming from a place of love, hoping to receive love back, only to have it go in the complete opposite direction of which I had intended. Talk about getting caught off guard. But, that’s just the way it goes. And, albeit somewhat painful, these moments have only helped strengthen me into the strong, yet passionate, woman I’m becoming. That is the beauty in vulnerability. If you can pour your heart out, without fear of the future, you will receive a life full of passion. Maybe not grace, but definitely passion. However, you must also be able to bounce back, learn, and flourish if the response isn’t what you wanted. It can hurt, it will hurt. But the growth that comes from being honest and upfront with your love is so beautiful.
The compassion and selflessness my mother has shown me proves that even the person who sees you in your most vulnerable state, can still appreciate you and love you with their whole being. If someone can’t appreciate your vulnerability, and the courage that it took you to spill your heart, then you know what? That is OK. Dust yourself off, pour yourself a glass of wine, and keep on keepin’ on. Know that not everyone is meant for you, and you are not meant for everyone.
If you feel jaded from love or are still totally Single AF (same, sister), and feel as though maybe you should close your heart up…please, please, please don’t. This is the time to water all of your friendships, continue working to become your best self, and take yourself out to the best damn restaurants in your city. Continue to shower your friends and family with the same unconditional acceptance you want to be shown, and it will be returned to you.
One day we will find lovers who fully appreciate all of our messy vulnerable moments. Until then, may our Mothers, Fathers, and Soul Sisters provide us with the open hearts and acceptance that we all need to get by.
Happy Valentine’s Day,