Valentine's day used to be my favorite holiday. Weeks before February 14th, my dad and I would actively draw up plans for my Valentine's box. Hours of our lives were dedicated to this one-time-use masterpiece. My dad was a Valentine's day box genius. He would come up with the idea, and pretty much make the box, well I sat at the same table, writing valentine's to all of my classmates. But Valentine's day has evolved from that innocent day of fun (two days before my birthday!) to a dreaded, lonely, odious day.
Recently I've come to believe that Valentine's day solely exists to emphasize the fact that I'll be nineteen in a week, and I've never had a real boyfriend or kissed anyone. It's something that's hard to escape at a school where most people can't walk to class unless they have a hand to hold on to or where 90% of the people in my cooking class are married. Marriage and family and love are emphasized everyday. Professors joke about dating and marriage to try and relate to the students. I feel like every joke is a painful reminder that I participate in neither at this time.
Yesterday I read A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens. It made me cry, and I vowed that I would live life to fullest. I saw that in order for the characters to live life to the fullest, they just wanted to be with those they love. Coincidentally on an episode of The Simpsons I watched that night while doing crunches with Natalie, Homer eats a poisonous sushi dish, that may or may not kill him in the next 24 hours. He makes a list of everything he wants to do before he dies, and ends up spending the day with people he loves. He ends up not dying and pronouncing to the world that he will live his life to the fullest. Ironically the next scene shows him sitting on the couch, watching tv, and eating popcorn.
So last night I was lying in bed, thinking about what living life to the fullest really means. From both of these stories, I found that you should spend time with people you love. I thought of my family and friends back in SLC and I thought, well how can I spend all my time with them and still go to school. Then it hit me. In order to live life to the fullest I need to spend all my time with people I love, so why not make the people that I'm with the people that I love?
So today begins a new journey for me. I'm going to try, to the best of my ability, to love the random kid who is sitting next to me in the library, and the girl who sits behind me in Book of Mormon, and the bagger at the grocery store.
It's not about being with your loved ones, it's about loving the ones you're with.
So Happy Valentine's Day! Don't forget to love!