February is a month known for several things. It is Black History Month and a time to celebrate the heroes of the past as we look to the future. It is also National Bird-Feeding Month. So everyone get on that!
Perhaps it is best known for being the month contaning Valentine’s Day. An ooey goeey,: corporate holiday marked by candy, flowers, hearts, and a hell of a lot of pressure. As a 20 something, I think my generation is pretty burnt out on this holiday. Back in elementary school, it was fun to buy themed paper valentines and hand them out to classmates. The holiday meant a class party with cake. Who doesn’t want a class party with CAKE?
Somewhere around high school or college the holiday turned into “Singles Awareness Day.” Vday lost its celebration of platonic friendship and family love that we were taught in our early years and turned into a very stressful real life musical chairs situation. If you were caught on the day without a boyfriend, you had to muscle it through feeling lonely and pathetic about yourself and ended up inevitably crying and eating an entire box of chocolate truffles by early evening. A depressing, bitter facebook status was also in order.
If you found yourself in a relationship, you stressed over what to get your significant other and what they were going to get you. And what if you haven’t been dating that long, did you still need to celebrate? And what if the whole day was a let down and your relationship crumbled to the ground, Walls of Jericho style? AWKWARD.
I recently decided to reinvent what Valentine’s Day stands for. Romantic comedies have partnered with Hallmark to impose this unspoken role that Valentine’s Day is all about mushy gushy, fairytale romance and singling out the rest of the world to die alone. But Valentine’s Day should just be about spreading love in general. Whether that’s calling your parents to say thanks for doing that whole raising me thing, messaging an old friend to let them know you are thinking about them, or even just putting a smile on your face and appreciating all the good people in your life.
Don’t let Valentine’s Day make you depressed or stress you out. Let it help you appreciate your life and the people in it.
Go out there and spread the love, my friends. You owe it yourself and others.