this is not a valentine’s day post
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the day I boarded a plane and flew away from a life of “us”. 12 years of “us” actually. Leave it to me to make such a bold statement. Hey, here’s an idea, how about we break up on the international day of love? That way, instead of feeling kinda lukewarm about Valentine’s Day, I can be reminded annually of one of the worst pains of my life and really, really, really hate it. Some people send love notes, mothers buy cinnamon hearts for their children, couples go out for romantic dinners, women wear lingerie, men buy flowers and chocolate. Me? I leave on a jet plane. I only packed a couple bags and carried the emotional stuff on my shoulders (which I rummaged through over and over again throughout the year, as if searching for clues and pieces of myself). I remember feeling empty as the pilot wished us all a Happy Valentine’s Day over the intercom. And all I really wanted to say was Fuck Valentine’s Day.
The funny (not ha ha) thing about anniversaries is that you are going about your business – la la la – and all the while, this date is planning a sneak attack on you, and you’re all, anniversary, what anniversary? And then BAM! The day jumps out right in front of you and shakes you up and tries to steal the smile from your face and pick the joy from your pocket.
So I was smart, you see. I got ammunition a month ago, love bombs in case of an attack on my emotions. I outsmarted Saint Valentine by inviting friends over for dinner tonight. I practically begged them to put all romantic plans on hold for this one day and join me instead in celebrating a different kind of love. The love you find for yourself as you push through road blocks and plow through all the messy stuff that comes up when you drive down your emotional highway. A celebration of the undoing, unraveling, falling apart, reconstruction of your Self to find that in the end, you are enough. You are okay. You are stronger than you ever thought possible and you are loved, no matter what. We are all loved, no matter what. Someone, somewhere, loves YOU.
A year ago, I wrote:
I knew it would find me here,
this seed of sadness and
plant itself deep inside me and grow,
and grow from this fertile ground.
Today I would have to say that sadness and anger and bitterness are like weeds. They will grow anywhere unless you keep them in check. I’ve pulled many weeds from my heart over the past year and in their place planted happiness and confidence and strength and love. I even found that wonder was still there, tucked somewhere between pain and anguish. It never left. Nor has my love for K. He will always hold a special place in my heart’s garden. It’s just that I’ve made more room for me to grow. And it’s starting to look pretty darn colorful.