I’m always at odds about Valentine’s Day. On the one hand, who doesn’t love a day about love? On the other, the forced commercialism and constant pressure to have the perfect Valentine’s Day experience just cheapens the whole thing.
One of my favorite Valentine’s Days actually took place on one of my loneliest. It was my freshman year at the University of San Diego, which is a million miles away from anywhere if you don’t have a car. I missed home and was constantly struggling with my self esteem and my studies.
Around February 14th, I received a package from my mom. Inside was a Valentine’s Day card and a DVD of the movie Ray. For those who haven’t seen Ray, it’s a beautiful film starring Jamie Foxx as the musician Ray Charles. The movie explores Charles’ life and his personal struggle with things like blindness and drug use. No matter how bad things became in his life, Ray Charles persevered and ultimately became a music legend.
I was grateful for the thoughtful gift and also very welcome for the distraction. Later, my mom said that she specifically sent me that movie because of the struggles I was going through both internally and at school. She wanted to remind me that I wasn’t alone, that I would get through it, and that I was loved.
Now whenever I watch Ray or simply see the DVD on my living room shelf, I’m reminded of that love.
This Valentine’s Day, don’t give in to the pressure of “perfect”. Instead, treasure the kind gestures and the sweet moments. They don’t even need to be from a romantic partner. They can be from a close friend, an old acquaintance, or even an amazing mother.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!
What do you think about Valentine’s Day? Leave a comment below – I’d love to hear your thoughts!