When I woke up this morning and signed on to Facebook and Twitter like I normally do, I was immediately faced with posts about Valentines Day. And most, to my dismay, were pretty negative. Yes, Valentines Day is only a holiday—and by no means, does it suggest that we only care about someone else one day out of 365. It’s a holiday. We take the time to celebrate every other holiday out of the year, so why should a day like today be any different?
Valentines Day is a nice gesture, damnit. It’s a day to go just a little bit above and beyond for the people that we love. It’s not a day limited to couples. We shouldn't be drowning in our own misery because we don't have a significant other. There are too many other people in our lives that we're forgetting about. And our love shouldn’t be limited to just one other person. Because today is one day out of 365 that we should really stop to think about all of the people that have been put into our lives. Our mothers, our fathers, our brothers and sisters, our friends, our significant other, our teachers, the staff that cleans the buildings, the security guards that keep us safe, those that make food in the cafeterias. Our love should have no boundaries.
And really, love is what we make of it; love is how we choose to view it. It’s not just a word, or a feeling—it’s something that can’t necessarily be grasped. And today, on Valentines Day, I experienced love all around me. I saw it in the man selling roses on the corner in the rain, in the heart-shaped lollipop that my advisor gave me at 10 o’clock this morning, and on the faces of dozens of boys and girls carrying bouquets of flowers around campus. I saw it in the red, white, and pink clothing, the old man running across the street to his wife, the homemade cards sitting around the lobby, and the box of chocolates that teachers handed out to their students. I saw it in the little white package I received, in the a cappella group that asked a girl to be their valentine, and in the free heart-shaped cookies offered every where that I went.
Love is about not only experiencing things, but about taking the time to let them sink in. And even though Valentines Day is just a holiday, I absolutely love its message—to spread the love and joy to those who spread it to you every day that you live.
Today, even though I couldn’t be with you all, I’d like to wish everyone in my life a Happy Valentines Day. You all mean more to me than I could ever express in words. Thank you for making me feel like the luckiest person in the world.