Valentine

Valentine

A Story by Sincerely Yours
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The emotional and sometimes comical account of a not-so-lucky in love young woman battling with her very mixed feelings toward the most romantic holiday.

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I can’t exactly remember the day I gave up on valentines; when I stopped believing in the power of love. Commercialized love, that is. Perhaps, it was when I divorced my husband, but I think it was more of a slow fade. The kind you don’t see coming.  I’d had my heart broken a few times, of course, but I could never see how it was shaping me and my thoughts of future relationships.  But here I am, in the middle of a store walking down aisle after aisle of horrid pink and red; it took all I could do to keep myself from having a little panic attack right there in the middle of the promotional section of Wal-Mart! Had I come to hate love that much? I thought about all those years I spent as a florist, pouring all of my efforts into ensuring that everyone I came in contact with those few weeks had the best Valentine’s Day E-V-E-R! I didn’t even know these people, but their passion was so inspiring when they talked about their significant other, that oftentimes I shed some tears of joy simply because I was going to play some small part in a true love story, if only to make the arrangement that would bring HER to tears. It was a terribly confused way of looking at my profession, but it got me through the fourteen hour days.

Then it dawned on me. I didn’t hate love. I didn’t hate the beauty of the expression of love; I loved it! It brought me so much joy to make so many people happy. So, I didn’t hate love; I was SCARED of it. I was scared of the pain that thinking of love brought to me. Because, let’s face it; you cannot have a good memory of a true love without also thinking of the pain said love brought you. (Unless you only loved one person in your entire life and you are now married to that lucky guy or gal, then congrats; you are rare case, indeed) That is typically the case, though. Fear of something ultimately ends up manifesting itself as hatred. If you hate something, you don’t give it power over you; or is it the other way around? Either way, I was not going to admit that all I really wanted in that moment was to have someone in my life that I could pick out a life-size teddy bear to give to. All I wanted was to have a guy who wouldn’t mind heart-shaped confetti leading from the door to the bedroom where I’d be seductively dressed, waiting on him to arrive home so I could pour hot wax on him, or whatever people do to each other when they are in love; Don’t judge my ignorance. In that moment, I wanted a valentine.

The first few months after my divorce were that of painful transition. I was invited to dinner more times than I had expected, but I just wanted to be left alone. Relationships, in my opinion, were for people who wanted to live for someone else, didn’t mind being “owned” by their significant other, or just gave up on making their own lives worth living. Relationships, it is safe to say, were the reason for my distorted perspective of love. I had to later realize (after much counseling) that love and relationships are only healthy when both people are benefiting from it. When one begins to feel used or unappreciated, the relationship is toxic. Finally, after six months of single life I was asked to dinner on Valentine’s Day by the most unexpected of people. Up until that point, whenever I was asked out, my first thought was ‘Why me?’ or ‘Can’t they tell I’m damaged?’ I was so shocked that I had any curb appeal left after my insides had been gutted. (That may be a really bad analogy, but you get the idea) I felt hollow, like I had nothing worth giving to anyone. I kept thinking ‘They will figure it out soon enough’. I didn’t even want to give myself a chance to be hurt. I was actually excited about this date, though. For the first time, I felt that it would be fun to go on a date. It could have been the fact that I already knew the guy. Unfortunately, however, work kept us from keeping our plans to one another.

I guess I wondered how things would have gone if I had actually gone with him that night. But instead, I met a different man who offered me the emotional equivalent of the world. He made me feel and actually believe that I was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. I believed him. He said all the right things, was perfectly rehearsed in every way imaginable. The only thing that was missing from his life was a very young, very vulnerable, very naïve me. I took the bait hook, line and sinker. (lots of analogies) I still held to my convictions, and when he realized he wasn’t getting anywhere physically with me, he became jerk enough to force me to let him go. That man was my last Valentine. All I could think was that I had been robbed somehow of the happiness that I deserve, then immediately asked the question “well, who says I actually deserve it?” My confidence in myself plummeted. I guess I just wasn’t what he was looking for. I guess he realized I wasn’t the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. I guess he realized he didn’t really love me like he swore he did only after the second week we were together. (Those magic words don’t open up this gal’s cookie jar) Every warning alert was going off inside my head, but my heart, so lonely and hopeful just hurled through all common sense to make its way to him. “Maybe he’s just crazy enough to be the real deal.” My heart thought.

Self-doubt is an all-consuming beast. It takes all good thoughts that you may have had leftover and squeezes the life out of them until all you are left with are a list of reasons why someone should not be interested in you. After all, you are only doing them a favor. If they are attracted to any part of you, they will eventually find out how wrong and terrible you are. You are just looking out for them, right? I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time with me. I turned my love life into a martyr, sacrificing it for the greater good of humanity. Who wants a damaged, emotional woman? I was grateful for the lesson learned. I would never be loved, I’d never be enough or I’d be too much for a man to handle.

So, can you guess what I did after that horrible, damaging relationship? (I bet you thought I was gonna take some spiritual journey to find myself and be at peace with my beauty and flaws alike, right?)No!! That would be healthy! I moved back in with my ex-husband. I know; groundbreaking isn’t it. The twist of every movie, or perhaps the one you saw coming a mile away. I needed in that moment to be needed. I tried to work things out with the man who had been my Valentine for the last seven years. I gave it all my effort with my newly found perspective on relationships. I thought I could make a difference. When things didn’t change, I realized it hadn’t been me the whole time like my ex said it was. It wasn’t him either. We just weren’t meant to be. We weren’t the ‘One’ for each other. (yes, I believe the prize for following His Will is the perfect mate to share this life with; the ultimate Valentine. In the end, everything turned out how I knew it would all along"the exact same way as it did before.

The same mind that believed all of that self-deprecating crap about the heart it belonged to (yes, my mind belongs to my heart) still yearns for that intimacy, that unbreakable bond that only true love can create. I still want something to last forever. I still want to live for someone and I want them to live for me. I still believe in fairy tales, and I know most women do though they will never admit it. Most women want to be everything a woman is meant to be to a man who is everything a man should be; Which brings me back to this year now that I’m looking Valentine’s Day dead in the face again. Valentines’ Day forces us to think about the future. It forces us to look at our significant other through a different lens; the lens of ‘what’s next?’ This scares most people (men). The future scares most people. Valentine’s Day just makes everyone uncomfortable to a certain degree.

As I finally make my way out of the plush jungle, I realize that I do have a Valentine. I may not have what I ultimately want in a partner, but why couldn’t it happen one day? Every love story starts out the same way"a look, a laugh, or a lasting impression. This year I have a date for Valentine’s Day (or a few days before since I’ll be doing flowers this year again) and it is the missed opportunity from the year before. Am I feeling hopeful? Absolutely! Am I nervous as all crap? You bet I am! Am I going into this with expectations or limitations? Definitely not this time! I am my own Valentine, because no one can love me the way I need to love myself. I will, however, make room in my life for someone who wants me in theirs. It may not be life-sized teddy bear love yet, but it’s a chance at happiness and for once, I’m not afraid of what may or may not happen. Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone who feels a little lonely on the day of love… Remember, true love begins in the mirror.

 

© 2014 Sincerely Yours


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Added on February 6, 2014
Last Updated on February 6, 2014
Tags: love, heartache, longing

Author

Sincerely Yours
Sincerely Yours

On the coast of somewhere beautiful, MS



About
I have been writing since I was about age eight. I began with nursery rhymes and short stories. I even won a writing contest when I was in third grade out of all young writers my age in the state of M.. more..

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