February is a month known for several things. It is Black History Month and a time to celebrate the heroes of the past as we look to the future. It is also National Bird-Feeding Month for those who have a love of small winged creatures.
Perhaps it is best known for being the month contaning Valentine’s Day. An ooey goeey, corporate holiday marked by candy, flowers, hearts and a lot of pressure. As a 20 something, I think my generation is burnt out on this holiday. Back in elementary school, it was fun to buy themed paper valentines and hand them out to classmates. The holiday meant a class party with cake. Who doesn’t want a class party with cake?
Somewhere around high school or college the holiday turned into “Single Awareness Day.” Valentines Day lost its celebration of platonic friendship and family love that we were taught in our early years and turned into a very stressful musical chairs situation. If you were caught on the day without a boyfriend, you had to muscle it through feeling lonely and pathetic and consumed an entire box of truffles by early evening. If you found yourself in a relationship, you stressed over what to get your significant other and what they were going to get you.
I recently decided to reinvent what Valentine’s Day stands for. Romantic comedies have partnered with Hallmark to impose this unspoken role that Valentine’s Day is all about mushy gushy, fairytale romance and singling out others as lonely and bitter. But Valentine’s Day should just be about spreading love in general. Whether that’s calling your parents to say thanks for doing that whole raising me thing, messaging an old friend to let them know you are thinking about them, or even just putting a smile on your face and appreciating all the good people in your life.
Don’t let Valentine’s Day or the month of February stress you out. Let it help you appreciate your life and the people in it. Go out there and spread the love, my friends. You owe it to the world.