Love is “the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth. …Love is as love does. Love is an act of will – namely, both an intention & an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love.” –Erich Fromm, taken from bell hooks’ book All About Love: New Visions.
I figured I should write an obligatory Valentine’s Day post. Why not.
I’m a solo expatriate. I’m sure that there are some around me who know that and probably feel sorry for me. I mean, how could I possibly be in another country (or anywhere, for that matter) by myself and not be lonely or miserable? How could I not be bitter, frustrated, angry even, about being solo on a day like this? And if I were back home, it’d be even worse; that I’m single in a community that has fairly low marriage rates and expects me to compete for what’s considered “the best” in that community, likely causes even more people to have pity for me.
Well, au contraire, sisters & brothers worldwide. I’m alright. This isn’t the 1st time that I’ve spent Valentine’s Day alone, and it likely isn’t the last. But that’s alright. Although there are things about myself that I’m working on or have already worked on, as life is a journey in & of itself….. overall, I’m alright with me. In addition, I’ve often treated myself nice on this particular day with a small ritual. I’ll wear at least one red item of clothing, treat myself to something involving lots of chocolate, order in some dinner, play nice music and just relax. And finally, I believe that we should celebrate love every day, not just this particular day; although celebrating with a partner today is nice, there are 364-365 other days of the year that all kinds of love (not just intimate/romantic love) abound.
I feel sorry for 2 groups of people today:
- those who are bitter (but are probably envious of those getting a gift and/or shagged today)
Bitterness doesn’t solve anything and hurts no one but oneself. Take it from someone who knows firsthand.
- those who can’t fathom the idea of being single today (or any other time of the year)
Having a woman or man around or, even better, having easy access to sex, doesn’t make one person better than another, nor does it make a person complete. In my humble opinion, it speaks volumes when a man or woman has to have someone around due to their own insecurities (or whatever other issues abound). Whoever said “I can do bad by myself” was telling the truth.
This is a day like any other. Spend it as you would any other day. Celebrate you. Love you. And in the end…..