Happy Valentine’s Day 2017
In years passed, I frowned at the very thought of this holiday. Although there’s candy, flowers, balloons, gifts, while love is encouraged to be shown in all sorts of creative ways, these things are promoted to couples. In a sea of red and pink, roses and chocolates, with the occasional diamond sparkle, a person walking by themselves at this point in their life can feel out of place. I have.
For some reason, this year has been different. In the past, I have felt the warm, gushy feeling a man is supposed to feel. I look at everything I would like to buy her if she were in my life. In the past, I’ve also felt enraged that an entire holiday as popular as this one feels the need to remind me of my marital status.
This year has been different because as the flowers and chocolates began to emerge on store shelves, I didn’t shutter. While I was okay with acknowledging their presence, I didn’t travel into delusions of grandeur about what I would like to buy her. A quick thought raced by of how nice it would be for couples to get to together to celebrate…well, being a couple. And…I kept going because I needed to pick up more bagels and tea while at the grocery store. The weeks went by and my attitude didn’t change.
How about today? Delusions of grandeur? No. Bitterness? Self-pity? Loathing? No. I do think I should have purchased more than one pack of bagels. And I realized this morning that I have four different types of tea to choose from. What does all of this mean? I don’t feel anything?
I weighed the possibilities for a few days and the answer came to mind yesterday:
I love you. I’ve always loved you. But I knew that one day the silence would tear us apart.
Finally, I considered that maybe the hope for her is gone. It’s just me. It’s always been just me. And I was never okay with that before. I was never content let alone satisfied. Perhaps, I’ve exhausted all of my energy into hoping and searching and complaining and being bitter until now… I am just really tired.
I have nothing left. Life moves on. Time doesn’t stand still. The Earth keeps spinning whether you want it to or not and there’s nothing you can do about it. Which means that some day, I needed to arrive at a point where I accepted the fact that I’d be okay without her. Actually, I am okay. I’ve always been okay. I’m healthy. I’m loved. I’m blessed, but I didn’t want to be okay on my own. Yet, I am.
I guess the season has finally arrived when I’m done trying to figure all of this out. I want to be happy. I can be happy on my own. The world is not going to plunge into the Zombie Apocalypse because you don’t have a date. I can still impact the world in a meaningful way through my work. I’ll end as I began…
Happy Valentine’s Day.
Eric Christopher Jackson