As most of you know, I am not a big fan of Valentine’s Day, and that doesn’t change if I am in a relationship. On the one hand, I think it’s pretty gross how much corporations have turned something very pure (love) into profitable cards, chocolates, roses, etc. I also think that it’s a day that can make singles feel not so great about themselves, and it’s also a time where people in relationships often have big expectations. I’m about to make a really nerdy analogy to voting so get ready. Most people in the US vote for the presidential elections sometimes the state ones too, but after that they think that their civic duty is done and that they are excused from everything else aka petitions, protests, dialogue, etc. That kind of mentality is, I believe, why our democracy isn’t so much of a democracy anymore. Same goes for Valentine’s Day. I think some people that are stuck in bad relationships expect that flowers and chocolates and a nice dinner out will make up for all the other things that have gone wrong. And likewise, some people feel that if they express their love in a very material way on this day then they are excused from not doing it any other day of the year. So I guess that’s why I’ve never been a big fan of the holiday.
This is the first time in two years that I’ve been single on this day, and the second time in two years that I have been abroad. Again, as most of you know, I just got out of a pretty significant relationship, and so this day in particular is a bit hard for me. I would like to write about how great I am, and what a wonderful and challenging time I am having here in India. But that would be lying, and the whole point of coming here is to be honest with myself.
I feel like after you get out a serious relationship, there is a great emptiness that you carry. Some people try and fill that void with friends, chocolate, trips, work, exercise, etc. And I have probably tried all of those, but I think something that I’ve been learning is that that emptiness cannot be filled. It’s always going to be there until you fall in love again, and part of growing stronger and moving forward is learning how to make peace with that void. Accepting it and acknowledging it, but not letting it define you.
In a similar vein, I believe that it’s also very important to accept yourself and your feelings. We spend so much time trying to be big and tough and all “yeah whatever, I’m better off without him, and I’m just going to have a great time being single and hooking up with lots of different guys, and I never really cared about him anyways.” To a certain extent, I’ve also had this mentality. But again, I guess it’s better to just be honest with myself. Do I miss this guy? Yes. Do I still love him? Yes. Will I probably always love him? Yes, because I have this nasty habit of always loving people.
Growing up in a family full of factions and fights, I think that I have really learned how to love people even when they are annoying me 90% of the time. And I think this ability to love people despite their flaws and this stubborn hold that I end up having on others is both my greatest strength and my greatest weakness. My refusal to give up on people and stick by them has caused me to stay in horrible relationships and friendships, but I also think my ability to love through thick and thin has made me who I am and given me so much perspective.
So I guess the whole point of these Valentine’s Day ramblings is just to say that yes, I am having a hard time an ocean away, yes I feel a bit empty, and yes I will always love this guy, but that is just fine with me. Because love is a great great thing, and the fact that I had such a deep love at such a young age is also an incredible thing. But feeling this way does not mean that my life is at a standstill; I’m still moving forward even with the void. I mean, I am going to see the Taj Mahal at sunrise tomorrow with Kels!!