Graphic by Nate Barton
I’ll begin with a quick disclaimer: this might be a little sappy. It is February after all. Yes, I’m here to talk about Valentine’s Day.
Don’t get me wrong – I do think that Valentine’s Day is a “Hallmark holiday.” It is definitely overly-commercialized and the way it is marketed and portrayed in entertainment can be pretty alienating to those who might not be in a romantic relationship come Feb. 14.
This being said, Valentine’s Day doesn’t bother me. In fact, I rather enjoy it.
For me, it serves as a convenient reminder of the love that we could be – and should be – expressing on a day-to-day basis.
I’ve always been a sentimentalist, and I’m a big believer in the idea that it’s the little things (comments, gestures, shared moments) that make life enjoyable. Love plays an important role in my life, and I strive to make that known to the people I love as often as I can.
If Feb. 14 makes me stop for a minute and consider all of the people I love, I’m OK with that. Even if Valentine’s Day originated from a pagan fertility festival and has somehow morphed into a commercial smorgasbord, the fact is, that’s not what I’m celebrating.
Love is a common experience. We all have someone or something that we love, and I don’t see anything wrong with taking another opportunity to celebrate this vital part of humanity.
It doesn’t have to be as complicated or complex as it is often made out to be. As far as I’m concerned, the heart-shaped chocolate boxes will just be half-price chocolate (the best kind of chocolate, in my opinion) Feb. 15. The important part is expressing love, whether that is to your significant other, your family, your friends, or yourself.
As hard as we try to embrace the bonds we share and be intentional about maintaining those relationships, it can be difficult to keep up. I certainly try. And fail. A lot. Sometimes, we might just need a reminder – even if that reminder is an arbitrary date on the calendar – to take a moment to say, “I love you.”
Follow Cassandra Stephenson on Twitter: @CassieKay27