It was Joe Fox – also known as, NY152 – from You’ve Got Mail that said over e-mail that he’d send Shopgirl a bouquet of sharpened pencils if he knew her name and address. So tonight I’m bundling up my brand new Rifle Paper Co. pencils for myself, because whether it should be or not – Valentine’s Day is hard.
The first time I watched You’ve Got Mail, I was completely captivated into this idea. I’ve made a lot of fruitless attempts at hinting that I want daisies when I’m sick and someone to be my own personalized version of Joe Fox. Call me a sap. I really don’t care. Don’t even get me started on Joe talking about having coffee or dinner or a movie with Shopgirl for as long as they both shall live.
But here I am, the night before Valentine’s Day, tying a bow around my own present.
I don’t have much valuable advice for you today, fellow single people. Although I do dare you to ask a barista today for a shot or espresso and cynicism.
But I do know that you can make this day a little bit easier on yourself, whether you’re with someone and you don’t feel understood or you’re straight-up alone. You can deny this until you. are. blue. in. the. face — but you are in the relationship status you find yourself in for a specific — you guessed it and you’re probably cringing — reason.
If you feel like wallowing, I won’t judge you for staying under covers somewhere warm while you watch a sappy movie. (Not going to lie, this is what I’m hoping to do.)
Take this day and make it awful on yourself or make it good. Remember the best memories of Valentine’s Day in your past and dream up traditions that you’ll uphold someday that will make the single people shake their heads. Definitely try to make it better for someone else. Don’t let the unwritten lie of the day — you know, that if you don’t have a date you’re going to die alone — seep into your Monday morning when you don’t have wilting flowers on your desk.
Wallow. Cry. Scream. Write strongly-worded letters that you’ll never send to all those whom have formerly rejected you. Sing a new song. Whatever it is you need to do to grieve to heal or to find hope in the kind of media-focused world where we’re going to see almost everyone’s presents from their valentine.
But I’m challenging you and myself to believe this instead of the lies that tend to overrun this day —
you’re appreciated and golden and drop-dead-gorgeous. you’re hilarious and your taste is unique and you bring something to the table that no one else can. someday, if God deems that you’ll be better together than apart, someone will want to hold your hand as you continue slaying your daily dragons and making this world a better place. they’re on their way, from far or near. they’ll make you laugh a little harder and you’ll trudge through the mess together and learn how to stay. it beats me why they haven’t found you already. but, in the meantime, enjoy a few TSwift jam sessions for either happiness or wallowing, enjoy the relief of not feeling guilty for neglecting to shave your legs, and have a heck of a lot of fun. make your own dang bouquet of sharpened pencils and listen to the music you like. you’re cheating yourself and the world if you do otherwise.
As I bid you goodnight, I’m going to leave you in very good hands, with some words on singleness from the one and only Hannah Brencher:
This is my first Valentine’s Day in a while where I’m not single and so it has me thinking a lot on how hard this time of year can be. And how hard singleness can be in general. I regret not writing about it more while I was feeling it. Here’s the thing: no single person wants to hear that the second they stop looking is the moment someone will show up. Just the same, no one really knows how to swallow the idea of “dating Jesus” fully. Being single, when you want to meet someone, is lonely and hard. It’s isolating. It makes you hyper sensitive to other people’s love stories. I’m not an expert but I do know that I didn’t meet someone when I finally surrendered my hopes to meet someone, I met someone on the same day I was blubbering like a baby at my brother’s wedding and praying to God that he had not forgotten about me. I wasn’t completely content with Jesus but I know I was doing my best. God is not an orchestrator of accidents. He has a plan but the plan exists for his glory more than anything. He uses the singleness of some people and the unity of others. Each case is different but necessary to make his glory known. One of the most valuable things I learned to do in my own singleness: date myself. Go on adventures. Don’t wait for someone else to show up to start living. Just do it now. Travel on your own. Get strangers to take your picture. And every adventure will be just another part of you becoming the person you’re meant to be. The person someone else is going to fall so dang in love with. Be your own Valentine. Buy the damn roses for anyone in your life who deserves them. Eat the chocolate. And just know it’s going to turn out good in the end. You’re becoming gold. Absolute gold.