…because of 20 years

well five to twenty years that is.  give or take.

today is february 17th.  valentine’s day.  maybe it wasn’t your valentines day, but it is when i celebrated mine. well, my 3rd one actually.   and today was perfect.

i’ve always loved valentine’s day…even on the years when i wore all-black to school to protest the holiday.  and i still loved valentine’s day when my valentine turned out to be less than i expected.  and yes, i loved the day even on all of those years when i did not have a valentine.  because valentine’s day is not about a hallmark card, a pink bear, or a box of chocolates.  its not about a fancy dinner out or one created at home.  valentine’s day is about love. 

some people hate valentine’s day because they consider it to be a commercial holiday, another way to make wal-mart, hallmark, and chocolate/flower companies even more rich.  and i’m right there with you.  but it doesn’t have to be that way, you can choose to make it mean something else.  and some people dislike it because they say you shouldn’t be in love for just one day.  i agree.  but the fact is, (or at least for me personally) sometimes i fall short.  i don’t always do everything i can for the ones i love.  so i especially love that valentine’s day helps me to make sure i do.

this year, i am having three valentine’s days.  three days dedicated to all of the people i love.  my boyfriend. family. friends. and strangers.

on february 14th i had my internship and class all day, meaning i did not get home until 10 pm.  i didn’t have much of an opportunity to spend the day with the ones i love, but i figured out a way to do it anyway.  showing someone you love them can’t always be convenient.  i woke up and wrote love letters on a bunch of little sticky notes to place randomly in my boyfriend’s car, books, clothes, and computer screen.  i committed to showing love to a stranger.  i wished each and every one of my clients a happy valentine’s day and offered them a smile.  what i’m trying to say, is that you don’t have to buy something to show  your love.   make something.  write a letter.  or, if you are going to buy a gift,  do more than just buy something for the sake of buying something. 

today was meaningful because it was my second valentine’s day.  and it overflowed with love.  from coffee, dinner, and a movie, to opening gifts, this day was about each other.  i gave him my time by making a “bucket full of love” and “a book of love.” and we gave each other our undivided attention by turning off our phones.  yes, we did spend money on one another.  but we gave each other more than a present.

and here is where the five to twenty years come in.

my valentine picked out and bought me a pearl ring.  and there is no denying that i love it.   but what i love most about the present is not that it is a beautiful piece of jewelry.  what i love most is that he listened.

did you know that pearls  typically grow .1mm to .2 mm a year?  that means (depending on the size) they can take anywhere from 5 to 20 years to make.  and what i love most is the fact that these wonderful, pure, and precious pearls are created from being dredged in the mud, inside of  a shell.  for me, life is a pearl.  life is a flawless and precious gift that couldn’t be beautiful without the struggles, “mud,” and challenges.  what starts off a small, ragged,  particle turns into a wonderful gem over time.  i think that human beings do the same.  : ) 



i’ll be celebrating my third valentine’s day in a couple of days. and trust me,  i’ll make sure that it is about love.


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