After reading Deb’s post yesterday, I realized a couple of things that made me smile.
First, I never celebrated Valentine’s before, but I know too well the loneliness of not having someone to celebrate a romantic holiday, especially when there is someone you’d want to spend it with. Even if misplaced in time, I’ve felt that. But then I realized that, for the first time in my life, I’m alone (but certainly not lonely) and happy.
I feel free, just completely and utterly free. I go out when I want, I go out with whomever I wish, or by myself if I feel like it, and I don’t care much what anyone thinks about it, or if I’m fulfilling some sort of social expectation.
For a long time (well, pretty much my whole adult life to this point), I always had this anxiety related to doing my part in what people consider to be a regular life: study, find a job, find love, get married, have kids, get old, die. All these things are nice if you want them – except the dying part. But if you don’t, they can be toxic. And sometimes you’re not aware of not really wanting them, because you’ve been bombarded your whole life with needing to do exact the same thing that everyone does. And then you’re unhappy because you’re doing things you don’t care about.
It’s like having a job you only keep because you need to. You don’t like it, but you were told that you need to work to earn a living and that work isn’t play, so it will probably suck. Not completely true. You can actually have fun working. And you can be happy without being in love, marrying and having kids.
I don’t want to be cynical and say that this is something I’ll never want: marriage, kids, etc. Right now, it’s not, but never say never, right? To anything. But Valentine’s day is a glorification of exactly this: love that’ll lead to these things. It doesn’t celebrate having fun with a handsome stranger you’ve met in a bar/online (thought that happens quite often in Valentine’s day 🙂 ).
Love can take many formats, and can have different lengths. I fall in love for a short while with someone and maybe next week I don’t want them anymore. Is it not “love” love? That really just depends on how you look at it. There are too many kinds of love and none is more important than the other. The most important one is the one that matters to you.
Right now, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, and I’m not romantically involved or platonically in love with anyone, and that’s a first. I said that to a friend of mine and complained “how come no one told me I’d be happy like this?”, and she replied “we probably knew that, but the message was drowned among all the happy-lovy ones”.
Now I can hear the message loud and clear: being happy doesn’t require a second person. If you need someone else to make you happy, you probably will fail in the long run, because you need to be able to live with yourself happily. You’re not attached to anyone 24h a day. There will be times when you’ll be on your own, and you have to have fun in those times too, not just suffer through it until someone new comes along.
Valentine’s day is a cute thing, but not my cup of tea. I’d rather celebrate that I’m finally content with the life I have.