As we head into the last few days of preparation before Valentine's Day, I find myself busy with the hustle and bustle of getting my readers ready for the big day. I imagine this is what Santa would feel like—making his toys, getting the old suit dry cleaned and polishing up that sleigh.
I have been talking about Valentine's Day for the last few months now. My house looks like I won a grand prize of Valentine's Day decorations and cards. I am in deep, folks.
It is usually about this time I begin to separate from the aesthetics a bit and focus in on what’s important. Is it a perfect card, an expensive bouquet of flowers or a fancy dinner? What about the shallow gay stuff: Is it about how “hot” my guy is, the car he drives or the lavish spending sprees I hope he takes me on?What is love all about? What is and (isn’t) important?
I often reflect back to the 20-year-old version of me. The one who thought he knew what love was about. The one who was so sure that he had his head on straight and that he knew what mattered most. Back then, I was so sure that my significant other had to be rich, hot and be able to take care of what I affectionately refer to as my “Twinkie Self." I was young, cute and men would always buy me drinks no matter where I went. I had the power—as we all do at that age.
Twinkie Self dated men with big houses, nice cars and was always taken to dinner at expensive restaurants. They bought me drinks and took me to parties. I was the perfect arm candy.
But, time after time, date after date and failed lover after lover, I always ended up in the same place ... broken-hearted.
In a city where men who had everything and offered you everything, why was the only thing that they couldn’t afford to give you … love?
After many years of trial and error, I flash forward to my Adult Self. The same guy who is sitting here writing about love, in a loving, healthy relationship and head deep in Valentine's Day propaganda. I ask Adult Self that very important question.
What is love about—and what is important?
Love is about many things—personal growth, experience, humility and selflessness. It is just as much a journey in discovering who you are and what you do not want, as it is about a partner who can complement your truest self.
When you are with someone you love, they allow you to be you
in all your glory. They never hold you back or make you feel like the things that matter to you are not important. They support you, encourage you and never try to change you.
They appreciate your past and your future.
Love is a humble journey. It magnifies all that is right and all that was wrong at the same time. You are able to learn why you did things before and how to use that experience to better yourself as a person.
Love is more important than any car, house or black American Express card ever issued. Love is just you, him and the moments that you experience together making dinner on a Friday night while watching television.
I believe that love isn’t about the perfect Valentine's Day card, but about what you say in it. I believe that Valentine's Day is not
the most important day for a couple, but a celebration of their journey together—a night to remind you of your first kiss.
Valentine's Day is simply a day for love. All love, a chance to pay forward love to human kind. A reminder that coupled or not, we can do something special for someone who needs a bit of love.
So as we all head into the next week, some with armor on and others with grand plans of romance. Take a moment to put things into perspective and not be so hard on one’s self, especially if you are single. Love will happe