9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. (Romans 12:9-10)
Ever since I can remember, I have been a cheesy hopeless romantic. My earliest memories go back to elementary school dreaming of my favorite New Kid, Jonathan Knight (yeah, I’m pretty sure he was the one no one really noticed). But I’ll admit it, I’m the one that watches movies like the Notebook (and pretty much any other “chick flick”) and LOVES it. For a long time, I was the “secret admirer” to someone–I made sure of it, every Valentine’s Day. I always hoped that one day I, too, would have a secret admirer or that someone would ask me to be their Valentine.
It never happened that way for me-and lest you think that I would sit at home crushed, I would continue to live in doe-eyed hope for the next year.
Now, I’m not saying that I’ve NEVER had a Valentine for Valentine’s day… but it is a rare occurrence for me. My hopeless romantic views have shifted a bit over the years, but I can honestly tell you that I still love Valentine’s Day. I love that we have a day to celebrate love in all of its forms. As the years go by, I have even more reasons to celebrate the love I have in my life–because with every passing year, I swear, my life continues to be enhanced with more love.
Yes, I’m still single. Nope, I’m not even “seeing” anyone right now. Yes, I put myself out there and “try”–but you know, one of the ways I’ve personally shifted is that finding that significant other is no longer the “next step” for me. I used to feel like having a Valentine or having an admirer or significant other meant that somehow my life was moving forward the way it was “supposed” to go. The older I get, the more I feel like that’s not the case. My life is going the way it is “supposed” to go–and whether I am single or whether I am taken will come with its own challenges, ups and downs.
I guess what I’m saying is that I feel less “desperate” for love in its stereotypical Valentine form-because honestly, life is REALLY good right now. I’m the healthiest I’ve been in my adult life. I have a job that I love doing what I feel called to do. (People like me! They really like me!) I live in California, I have a car that runs, and I get to eat really good food all the time! Now if I can find someone to enhance this really good life, then GREAT! If not, life is really good right now. And the truth is, I am surrounded, literally, surrounded by love.
Every day, I get hugs from a 4-year-old and 3-year-old. The 3-year-old tells me every day that she loves me THIIIIIISSSS MUUUUCHHH and stretches out her arms as far as she can. LOVE.
I have a mom and a dad who will boast online and to your face that they have the best children in the whole world. My mom always tells me, “Irene, you are the best!” and although I’m pretty certain she says this to all of us, it still makes me feel super special. LOVE.
I have friends who know ALL my crap–friends that I have been in shouting matches with–who I know have my back and support me no matter what. LOVE.
And oddly, ever since high school, on or around Valentine’s Day, someone random or a dear friend calls me to just say that they miss me and love me and are thankful for my friendship in their life. I got a voice message like that tonight. LOVE.
I am surrounded by love.
And I love Valentine’s Day because it’s my opportunity to remind folks and TELL people I love and care about that I love and care about them. I still send Valentine cards to people. Snail mail. Because I’m old school like that. LOVE.
Maybe this whole post still proves that I’m a cheesy hopeless romantic…and maybe some of you will see it as an underlying desperate cry for romantic love to come my way… But this is also my way of sharing with those that I care about and love that I am so thankful for the ways in which you are community for me. Thank you for showing me love and supporting me in your way.
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, everyone!! xoxoxoxo!