DISCLAIMER: I’m going to write this as if we all went to grade school together in my little hometown. If you didn’t go to school with me, hooray for you! You get to pretend for a whole five minutes that you did!
Valentine’s Day in schools kind of eased us into reality, didn’t it?
Do you remember it? In elementary school, we’d all come to school toting boxes of little cardboard Valentines, one for each of our classmates. No more, no less. Every one of us kids received the same amount of little I Choo-Choo-Choose You! cards stuffed in our paper sack “mailboxes” and, at the end of the day, couldn’t see straight from all the Valentine’s Day candy we’d consume together as a class.
Everyone got the same amount of love. Everyone was special.
But come high school, things changed. We all graduated from the communist love-fest that was boxed Valentine sets to “Candy-grams,” tokens of love that were purchased from student government. In case you forget, Candy-grams were carnation flowers with some candy and a sweet Valentine’s Day message attached to them. Adorable, right?
If one was bought for you, a member of the student government would barge into one of your classes and publicly deliver the Candy-gram to you in front of all your classmates to show just how adored you were. It was the ultimate Valentine’s Day popularity contest because, at the end of the day, the most popular (and, therefore, the most loved) people would be carting around the most carnations.
Most years, I’d be lucky to get even one. It’s true. I rarely got these Candy-grams.
(Here’s the saddest thing you’ll ever read: my undying defense of my high school popularity.) You know, I bet you it’s not because I didn’t have friends. Au contraire! I was one of those people who was friends with everyone. (Seriously. EVERYONE. How else would I have been voted onto Prom Court my senior year? SHOUT OUT!) It must have been that I didn’t get Candy-grams because I had so many friends that they all assumed that I was already getting my very own bouquet of Candy-grams and that they didn’t need to send me one more droopy flower to carry. (Sure, self, whatever you say.)
Sad, isn’t it? Anyway…
The truth of the matter, though, is that no matter the reasoning behind my empty-handed state on Valentine’s Day (I had too many friends, you see!) I always felt incredibly lame when I didn’t have at least one Candy-gram to show off. As cheap and fragile as those little flowers were, they carried on them the entire weight of my self-worth. If I had no flowers, I had no worth.
Sad. But true.
But, you know, that’s the reality of life. Life isn’t governed by the elementary school Everyone is special, everyone gets a Valentine! doctrine. High school Candy-grams really hit the nail on the head — some people love you, and some people don’t. Some people think you deserve a Candy-gram on Valentine’s Day. Some people don’t.
And that’s okay!
TODAY’S SELF-LOVE TIP: BE YOUR OWN VALENTINE.
A couple years ago, I found a quote on my cousin’s girlfriend’s Facebook profile. I don’t know who said it, but after reading it, all my Candy-gram-less Valentine’s Days melted away into the background.
Remember to plant your own garden instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
Sheesh. Amen, Whoeversaidthat. (FYI, according to Google, it could have been a hundred people.)
On this Valentine’s Day, whether you have a traditional “Valentine” or not, make a commitment to be your own Valentine first.
Here are some ways you can do that:
- Write a love-note (ahem, or Candy-gram, whichever you prefer) to yourself.
- Style your hair in a new way.
- Pamper yourself — give yourself a facial, manicure, pedicure, the works!
- Take yourself and your favorite book out to dinner one time this week. (This sounds bizarre, but it’s so fun! I love doing this!)
- Sleep in at least one day this week.
- Hang a picture of yourself in your favorite outfit in your cubicle, office, or bedroom.
- Go. For. A. JOG.
- Make an I’m More Awesome Than Anyone playlist and BLAST IT. (Artists on mine? Avril Lavigne, Paramore, and all kinds of other cheesy girl-rock. I am not ashamed.)
- Buy a sexy, maybe even non-practical pair of underwear. Even if you’re the only one who sees it, dang girl! Work. (If you’re a dude, a shiny new pair of boxer briefs can probably help, too! Though I can’t be totally sure…)
- Make cupcakes and share them with your favorite friends.
- Buy fresh flowers and put them in your kitchen.
- Fill in the blank with whatever you love to do.
The old adage is so true; if you can’t love yourself first, you’ll never truly (healthily, fully, wholly) love another. Start today by being your own Valentine.
How can you love yourself first today? Comment and let me know!