Be Happy… It’s Valentine’s Day!

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Okay, I agree that Valentine’s Day is a completely commercialized holiday that encourages people to spend money on chocolate, flowers, stuffed animals, and flowers, while managing to make single people feel lonelier than before and getting taken men into trouble for planning the wrong surprise (or not planning anything at all).  It’s horrible.  I get it.  But, on the same tip, isn’t every other holiday filled with cold commercialism, too?  Halloween, Thanksgiving, and even Christmas are far from pure holidays unexploited by big companies, so why hate on Valentine’s Day?  Just because you’re single or you don’t feel like taking your girlfriend out on a date?  That doesn’t seem fair.

The fact is Valentine’s Day isn’t going anywhere.  Stores will continue to stock up on red and white heart shaped items and advertisements won’t slow down on the amount of in love couples they show using their products.  Women will still want to have a valentine and men will still be expected to be generous gentlemen every February 14th.  So, since Valentine’s Day is sticking around, you might as well enjoy it.

Remember that Valentine’s Day is all about love, not hating on those who feel love.  Instead, focus on the love you have in your life, whether it’s the love you receive from those around you or the love you radiate to others.  Your parents, siblings, friends, and lovers are all in this web of love that you can appreciate on Valentine’s Day.  If you’re in a relationship, then you clearly have a significant other you can show your love to.  Even if you’re in the early stages of “dating” someone, use today as an excuse to talk to them.  You can’t tell me you don’t enjoy hearing their voice, so use Valentine’s Day as the perfect scapegoat.  If you’re single, then use today as a moment to appreciate the love your friends and family show you.

More importantly, love yourself on Valentine’s Day.  Isn’t that the first lesson of being confident, finding love, and all of that good stuff?  You have to love yourself before anyone else can.  I’m sick of all of the woe is me statuses, tweets, and Instagram posts about how you don’t have a hunny by your side this Valentine’s Day.  If that’s your attempt at getting a valentine next year, I can guarantee that projecting your bitterness isn’t going to attract as much honey to your beehive.

Personally, I used to loathe the dreaded Valentine’s Day holiday.  The red and pink aisle in Walmart used to annoy me to no end and I couldn’t wrap my head around the purpose of it all, but that was a while ago and I’ve evolved since then.  Now, I recognize that it’s just another reason to say “I love you” to the people I love.  It’s an excuse to show the love I have for the important people in my life and I see nothing wrong with that.  I’m happy to say that I have quite a few valentines this year that range anywhere from my loving madre to my best friend since middle school.  My valentines fill my heart in their own ways to the point where I feel complete.  I’m not missing any kind of love right now, so I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to be hating this Valentine’s Day.  It’s all about love.

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About Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the mainland United States, I graduated with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and am a 2016 VONA Voices Alumna. I currently perform spoken-word in the greater Washington D.C. area and have previously performed in Philadelphia, Miami, and the Dominican Republic. Most recently, I have been published in Public Pool, Spillwords, and The Acentos Review, and Here Comes Everyone: East & West Issue.

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