I have always loved Valentine’s Day – whether I was single or in a relationship, it didn’t really matter; how can you not enjoy all the cutesy heart-themed decorations and treats? If someone wasn’t treating me I could always treat myself; with Lush Unicorn Horns, Valentine’s-themed brooches or Sonny Angels. Today is always a good day to express love – to yourself, your significant other and even friends and family. But I knew this year would be a little harder to find the usual enthusiasm and love the holiday usually elicits in me.

The thing is, I’m quite a romantic person at heart. I love love. Other people’s social media declarations of love usually make me think ‘aww’ rather than ‘ew’ and I like it that way – live and let live I think. It’s nice to see that in a world filled with so many dark and horrible things people can still find a way to connect and care about each other.

This year is a little different as it has only been a month since my last relationship ended, and of course I am still healing and reflective of that. So although I still definitely treated myself, still allowed myself to feel happy for others – scrolling through my Instagram feed this morning had a slightly sad tinge to it, which I suppose shouldn’t be completely unexpected, but surprised me nonetheless.

For a lot of people Valentine’s Day is just a holiday designed to make the big corporations money. And it is. Of course it is. If you love someone – really love someone – then you celebrate that love every day with your actions. But for me, I guess it was just one extra day to do that. One extra day to be reflective and thankful. Much like Christmas time when family gathers around to eat, drink and be merry and appreciate each other that tiny bit more, that was what Valentine’s Day was to me. I have always been an insecure person, always struggling with the concept that others could truly love me – so yeah, I guess I just needed that extra day and extra reminder. It helped.

This year my friends and family have rallied around to give me that reminder and I do feel loved. I also feel as if I love myself a lot more than I have done in a long time – because I need to. Over the past few weeks I have completely broken down, built myself back up, broken down again and repeated the process. I’ve spoken a lot about my journey with healing through the things I have been through, and I can honestly say it has been one of the most difficult times of my life.

But we’re here now. Valentine’s Day. A day that can either mean absolutely nothing or absolutely everything to a person – there is no in between.

Acknowledging bad feelings isn’t so hard anymore. Sometimes it used to feel unbearable. But I accept that I was never going to feel 100% happy on this day and I am okay with that. I don’t feel bitter, and I refuse to dislike a day I’ve always loved because of how I feel right now.

I still believe in love, and no matter how many times I get burned by it I will continue to believe in it and I will continue to celebrate it.

Happy Valentine’s Day – I hope today is kind to you. x

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