Home > Life > Valentine’s is for friends.

Valentine’s is for friends.

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As an adult, I never really understood Valentine’s Day. When I was in a long-term relationship, I always faced it like an awkward obligation. “Oh, It’s February 14th. I guess we should do something?” My ex-boyfriend and I were actually pretty nice to each other on the regular, so Valentine’s Day never felt necessary. It was more like another reason to get sushi.

When I was kid, though, Valentine’s Day was one of my favorites. I loved scheming about how I would show all my buddies my love for them. Homemade cards? Store bought? Should I bring in candy? But what candy? And of course, just as much as I relished passing out my little treats to my friends, I loved seeing my own pile of cards and candy slowly grow. The planning, the exchange, that’s what I loved.

I’ve been single for a while now, and that’s been cool with me. Since Valentine’s hasn’t been significant, it’s been pretty easy to overlook the last couple of years. However, I like celebrating. I especially like celebrating the people I care about. I’m very much looking forward to going to my cousins’ for breakfast tomorrow morning and then baking some one-day-late Valentine’s Day cookies with my little cousin.

I thought today, the real Valentine’s Day, wouldn’t be special at all. I’ve been  home sick these past two days, staring out the window while the snow accumulates and melts. Today, I’ve been feeling antsy and annoyed by my low energy and lack of face-to-face human interaction.  Earlier today, my friend and jiu jitsu training buddy told me about an online contest to win a free gi. You could enter your boyfriend/girlfriend, spouse, or training partner. In the entry, you had to write three things about the person explaining why they deserved a new gi. She told me her boyfriend entered her in the contest. Then she sent me a link to all the entries. I realized, flattered and stunned, that she entered me in the contest. As I read what my buddy wrote about me, my throat started to swell and I could feel the tears in my eyes. I know my friend and I are close–on and off the mat–but I felt overwhelmed to see myself through her eyes. Almost immediately, I wrote my own entry for her. There was no sense of obligation, just some giddy excitement to have the opportunity to gush about the things I admire about my friend and training buddy.

I was in relationship for seven years. That’s seven Valentine’s Days. This exchange with my friend was undoubtedly the most meaningful I’ve had on February 14th in my adult life. And what’s a life without friends?

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