Celebrating All Kinds of Love
Valentine’s Day is coming; a day supposedly reserved for couples. Couples that exchange cards, heart-shaped boxes, special dinner reservations, and special moments together. Up until my early twenties, I believed it was a holiday reserved for couples and a holiday made specifically for marketing purposes. Historically, we are celebrating the day when St. Valentine was able to marry soldiers during the Roman Empire. So legend says. It was a time when soldiers weren’t permitted to marry as they were to be focused on the glory of expanding the Roman Empire. While St. Valentine had a noble idea, I feel we can switch up Valentine’s Day for a more modern setting.
While love for your significant other is a beautiful thing, there are other kinds of love we show for others while not celebrated as much as couples love. You don’t have to be in love to have love for another person. We love our friends, family, world, and so much more. We can celebrate our friends and family. Make plans with friends to have a night in and reminiscence while eating that pricey chocolate. Better yet, take advantage of the post Valentine’s Day chocolate sales the day after. The discounts are amazing.
On a day of love, there’s nothing wrong spending it alone. All that time I spent alone gave me time to learn to like myself. While I still have a long way to go before loving myself, I don’t think I could ever share myself with someone when I’m not comfortable with who I am as a person. I know myself in all that time I spend alone. I’ve had my high and lows, same as you do with those you love. Love is there for you during your good and bad days. Love doesn’t pick and choose when it is most convenient for it to stick around, if at all. Love is continuous and everlasting, and if it can’t handle that, then it’s not a love worth fighting for.
When you do find love, I hope you all embrace it. Be it romantic, platonic, or self. Love is wonderful. It’s a wonderful feeling. Love is something to be earned, and never something to compromise for. You can find relationships to be beautiful and finding the idea of falling in love with someone beautiful and possibly enviable, but when you fall in love, you are going to fall in love with one’s perfections and imperfections. This applies to self-love and platonic as well.
One of the first loves you have is that for your friends. In some instances, they also serve as a de facto family. They are there to talk to, have special memories with, and are there when other relationships may fail. This is a love I find as important as romantic love. It’s important to hold your friends close and remember to not treat friend love for granted. While friend love can take a backseat if and when romantic love comes into play, it’s important to put in as much effort to friend love as one is told to put into romantic love. Before friend, please try to put that effort into self-love.
Love yourself first and be comfortable with aspects of yourself before deciding to share yourself and let others in. Take time to know yourself and become comfortable with yourself. This doesn’t mean making excuses about yourself or behaviors you may have. This means acknowledging that we are all works in progress. There is still time before we become the person we envision ourselves to be. Go to lunch or dinner alone, have a day to yourself, rest with a good book and snacks if you want. The older you get, the harder it becomes to have time just for yourself. Take advantage of it when you can.
There is still time to find love. Be it self, romantic, or platonic. Do not be in a rush to find love. Rushed love is a love that compromises yourself and the one(s) you want to love. Rushed love is a love not made to last through the lows a relationship will experience. It’s what makes love such a beautiful thing, but what Valentine’s Day marketing often forgets. While every kiss is supposed to begin with Kay and a rose is the standard holiday flower, if we look closer, we can find the beauty in love in our own way.
Written by an Empowerteen Creative Writer Student Intern:
Idalis Nieves (2018 Linfield College Graduate, Creative Writing Major)
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