In fifth grade I sent Ryan Schwartz an anonymous letter telling him I had a crush on him…. he figured out who I was….and then he asked out Jamie Greene.
February is around the corner. Valentine’s Day is in 2 weeks. The loveless and the bitter and the frugal will tell you Valentine’ Day is a “Hallmark Holiday”, one manufactured by corporate America in order to rake in the big bucks.
In recognition of this holy but not entirely secular day of romance, I am going to draft a new love letter. To myself.
That’s right folks, thanks to an irresistible Black Friday deal, I downloaded this great app called Sanity and Self, and I’ve been practicing some “Self Love”. And some woman name Jemae told me I need to write a love letter to myself. So here goes.
Hey girl, how you doing?
Whassup hot stuff?
No, that’s not right.
I see you. Sitting there on your dirty bumpy commuter train, trying not to drop your tote into the spilled Coors Light on the cramped floor beneath you, trying to read your trashy novel while the lights flicker on and off. I see you, trying to blend in with the other commuters, even though you’re one of very few women in your mid (ok late) 30’s in a sea of old overweight white haired grumpy men and millennial tadpole-like boys with their Beats-and-fleece-vested uniforms.
I see you, and I respect you, for the ups and downs you go through every day to make a living for your family. I respect you for the way you only hit sleep on the 5am wake up call twice each morning, and I respect you for the way you cover up your stress-borne zits and twist up your hasn’t-been-washed-all-week hair in a glamorous yet intellectual way in order to get some cred in the workplace.
I respect you, and I love you for your dedication to being good at what you do, for being good to other humans (whether or not they’re nice to you like the guy you apologized to after he whacked your umbrella when he passed you on the street today). I love you you for the way you work tirelessly to make sure your children have cool clothes to wear by picking out their full week’s wardrobe on Sunday nights, and I love you for recognizing when you just need a timeout for a hug from Gull or a snuggle with your snaggletoothed dog to keep going.
I love you, and I cherish you for your commitment to being the best version of yourself at all times, and I cherish you for your empathetic tendencies even when the world seems to be turned against you. I cherish you for being willing to admit that you haven’t always been perfect, and I cherish you for being unwilling to give up some of your worst vices like Diet Coke and sour gummies.
I cherish you, and I want to give you the gift of time. Time for yourself, whether you’re reading, writing, getting a mani-pedi, or a blowout- you deserve it. I want to give you the gift of forgiveness, whether it’s forgiving others for their irrepressible annoyingness or forgiving yourself for being slightly judgmental and not entirely perfect after all. I want to give you the gift of openness. Openness and readiness for whatever the next challenge may be. Openness to change and openness to the lack thereof, because really, everything is so great just the way it is. And so are you.
I know you have a hard time with the act of being loved sometimes. But on this day, embrace it.
I love you B. From this moment, and forever.