Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. Yesterday was the first time I understood Valentine’s Day. I think it helped that I was in a place where you would not be ostracized by the fact that you don’t have a date. Valentine’s Day was just another date on the calendar. Coming from where I came from though, I still felt that this day was special. I’m just glad that I was away from the girls carrying bouquets of flowers from their boyfriends or boys carrying bouquets of flowers for their girlfriends. It is like scrolling through Facebook. You see a little piece of other people’s lives and you spend the rest of the day questioning what you have done with your life to not deserve a bouquet in your arms. Being away from all that is like logging out of Facebook. It’s freedom. It allows you to make your own meaning of life.
And love. That is the only meaning of Valentine’s Day for me. Technically, I do not understand that word. But as ambiguous as it is, it still makes more sense than chocolates and flowers and diamond rings. I watched Girls yesterday and one of the characters said that love is the easiest thing in the world. I want to protest. I really do. But somehow, I can’t get myself to. Every moment that I was breathing in Valentine’s Day air, I was being reminded to be grateful for my continued existence. And every time that I was greeting someone with a heart-felt “Happy Valentine’s Day!” I was shouting it in the face of someone that I cared about. If love then had to be explained, I’d probably use its middle name, appreciation, or its nickname, caring, somewhere in the definition. Two words that are beautiful enough for me to understand love.
I used to despise Valentine’s Day. It was a reminder that another year had passed with me buying Ferrero Rocher for myself, not having allergies from pollen-ridden flowers in my arms, not braving the traffic with someone holding my hand. It turns out, all it takes is getting on a plane and landing not too far away. I can buy my Ferrero Rocher. I can have allergies from other things besides flowers. And I can sway my arms while walking alone. I am all right. I am amazing. Valentine’s Day is about love. And it is what I have within and all around me. Happy Valentine’s Day everyday, everybody.