This past week, I was having a conversation with a good
friend of mine about this upcoming Valentine’s Day. Having recently trudged
through a very precarious break-up, his outlook was bleak, to say the least.
He claimed that the actual meaning of the holiday had
been lost in a blizzard of heart-shaped candies and cheesy Hallmark
catchphrases. Instead of celebrating the one you love most, this day had become
an obligation—a day that card companies across the country could hang their
hats on. But most notably, this day now served as a cruel reminder to all those
flying solo that they will inevitably die cold and alone (that was satire,
before you all go throwing yourself from cliffs).
I won’t lie. In many ways, I agreed with him. True
enough, it does seem silly that we dedicate a single day out of the year to our
“special someone”—if they’re really that special, shouldn’t we be showering
them with affection 365 days a year? And yes, I, too, will be spending
Valentine’s Day alone this year. I will admit, it’s a bummer knowing that my
romantic evening will likely be spent with the cast of “How I Met Your Mother”
and pounds of string cheese.
Still, as disheartening as these realizations were,
this conversation with my buddy really stuck with me, as it brought with it a
sense of enlightenment.
I have a secret for you, my friend—a secret that will
change your life for the better as soon as you are willing to accept it as
fact. What is it? Life’s a bitch, and then you die. It sounds harsh, but as we
all will eventually realize, it is undeniably true. Life comes with no
guarantees, no time-outs and no second chances.
Taking this into account, one realizes that
Valentine’s Day, like any other day, is going to be an irrefutable piece of
crap unless you consciously choose to make it otherwise. That is to say, you
are responsible for your own happiness. Not your mom, not your ex, not that
Ryan Gosling look-alike that sits in the back of your English class—only you.
Honestly, how do you expect to feel when you’re ears-deep in a cocktail of
melted ice cream and your own tears (again, satire)?
My point is, who cares if you’re alone on Valentine’s
Day? After all, you were alone yesterday, and likely the day before that, and
look, you’re still here! Ultimately, happiness is all about perspective, and no
one ever bettered their situation by focusing on the negatives.
So this Valentine’s Day, whether you are spending it
with the love of your life, a group of friends, or all by your lonesome, find
some solace that you are on your feet, breathing and able to experience this
holiday to some capacity. I know too many good people who no longer have that