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this is not a valentine’s day post

February 14, 2009


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.



18 Comments leave one →
  1. kathryn Guerriero permalink
    February 14, 2009 9:33 am

    once a year i secretly think ‘f’ valentines day too – who is this Saint Valentine to put us all on the spot for some fabulous declaration of romantic love? what about the love cultivated over the year, the love that sits with you in your weeds and helps you pull them when you are ready? then again i’s always ready for a party 😉
    thank you for once again giving voice to such an uplifting and inspiring philosophy, “the tao of j”
    my heart is celebrating love day with you, so so thankful to have such a goddess in my life.

  2. February 14, 2009 11:21 am

    I first “met” you right as you were leaving and I can’t believe it has been a full year. Each time I’ve visited, I leave feeling a little stronger and wiser. Today’s post is no different.
    I love what Kathryn said above, “the tao of j”. Amen. XO

  3. kristen permalink
    February 14, 2009 12:49 pm

    “sadness and anger and bitterness are like weeds. They will grow anywhere unless you keep them in check. ”

    never truer words, sister. amen.

    i’m glad that you have your friends to celebrate YOU tonight – a dinner party in your own home with people you love is so sweet. enjoy! xo

  4. February 14, 2009 3:54 pm

    Pulling all those weeds has made room for some really lovely blooms, I bet 🙂 *love*

  5. February 15, 2009 2:07 am

    I hope that you had a beautiful dinner and celebrated love…the love of friends, the love of yourself and the love that helps you continue to plant all of those good seeds…the ones that help you bloom and grow and continue to love.

  6. carol mayer permalink
    February 15, 2009 2:47 pm

    good girl! i also have a sad, sad anniversary…and let me say that i believe we have choices to make. we can be miserable or we can choose to let the sadness, anger and bitterness go. i’m glad you chose the latter.

  7. February 15, 2009 6:39 pm

    oh so powerful and rooted deeply in the now

    which is love with a capital L i feel

    love is all around and you are making space for
    the highest realization of love

    i know

    i know exactly:)

    beautiful post

  8. February 15, 2009 9:07 pm

    you’re a rock*star!
    and, i totally get the “…and, you’re all, anniversary. what anniversary? And then BAM!” bit. aye.
    so wise are you for makin’ a plan & creating what you need. i hope you had a lovely time with your beloveds.
    i had a sweet time with soul*sisters 🙂

  9. February 16, 2009 9:40 am

    I love this picture.

    After five years, despite a full life and a happy, loving relationship with a significant other, I still have inklings of sadness when the anniversary of my marriage breakup comes up. Thank you for reminding me to celebrate the reconstruction of Self that couldn’t have happened without it.

    I hope you had a wonderful dinner. 🙂

  10. February 16, 2009 11:03 am

    I can relate. I got married on a Friday the 13th (it lasted 13 years), and I once declared my independence and quit a high paying job on a 4th of July. Best to you in your new life.

  11. Alison permalink
    February 16, 2009 12:26 pm

    How fast a year goes by and how wonderful to look back and realize how incredibly far you’ve come. Just as I always knew you would because I always had faith in you.

  12. February 16, 2009 4:29 pm

    such a beautiful post – you are an inspiration! truly.

  13. February 17, 2009 2:22 am

    i’m proud of you for finding you,
    for making choices for you,
    for making space for you.
    like Wilbur says…
    you have to live with yourself
    every single day…you better
    love yourself!

    proud of you J, so
    very very proud xx

  14. chris permalink
    February 18, 2009 7:30 am

    I’ve been in my relationship for 5 years now. We did the restaurant thing, the chocolate thing, the lingerie thing and it was always like “blah blah..” because it felt forced upon us to do so. This year I spent Valentines day apart from him to be with you and friends and I’ve got to say it kicked ass on every single other V-Day I’ve had in my life. So, Thank YOU!

  15. February 23, 2009 10:38 pm

    sorry i missed this. a statement you made. no denying that. but i say this year has found you well and blooming into yourself. blessings jeanine!

  16. February 24, 2009 12:07 pm

    hmmm, makes me think of a line from Trespassers William:

    “And if you can’t steer, then it would be safer to drop the anchor”

  17. March 7, 2009 6:07 pm

    ‘It’s just that I’ve made more room for me to grow’.
    I hear you.


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