How I Spent My Valentines Day..

I’m sitting in front of the TV watching the new season of The Amazing Race right now, just following the pairs skating short program at the 2010 Vancouver  Olympic games, in which Canada placed 6th and 7th. And let’s not forget Alexandre Bilodeau’s well-deserved GOLD MEDAL WIN! The first one EVER on Canadian soil for Canada!  I’m proud of my country today and my country’s fantastic athletes.  I feel completely inspired today and absolutely excited for the athletes in the days to come. I’m drinking sleepy time tea and beaming because I get to see Wilco tomorrow! Yes: Jeff Tweedy and Nels Cline and Glenn Kotche will grace my city with their AMAZING, talented presence once again but it’s my first time seeing them and I couldn’t be happier.  Also, David Gray will be coming here once again too and I hope to get tickets. I’d love to be lost inside his world again for the third time…

It’s Valentines Day and despite my hatred of most fake holidays (namely Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day), I feel love and pride all around me today — for my country, for Team Canada, for simple things like tea in a novelty mug, for my friends, for napping on the couch obligation-free,  for dragging myself out of bed this morning being over-tired and drastically under-slept just to go to the gym for twenty minutes, and  most of all, for music, as usual.  It’s hard for me to be sad today.  I’m regaining my strength and feel atop my own world.

The other day, I was thinking about “healthy selfishness” — about doing what’s right for YOU and taking time to disregard the wants of others in order to do what’s right for yourself.  It’s really important to pay attention to what’s inside.  Days like today remind me of what it means to love yourself and to be grateful for the simple things that surround you… for a long time, I was clouded by wrongly thinking that someone could make me happy and without that person, I would always be half of what I was meant to be.  When you’re sure — totally, emphatically SURE — that someone is meant to complete you, and it turns out you’re wrong, it’s really hard to let go of that thought.  That feeling of completeness, especially if you got a small taste of it — consumes you.

But…

Not to be  cheesy, but to quote Whitney Houston, to love one’s self is the greatest love of all.  I hate to quote quite possibly the world’s  lamest song, but it’s a sentiment that’s important.  You can lose weight, get plastic surgery,buy all of the clothes and makeup and shoes in the entire universe, but you will only FEEL beautiful with inner confidence… you will only feel worthy of love and complete with yourself with that inner confidence.  For me, it took some time to let something go from my past that meant everything to me, but when I did, I regained what I had in a great year of my life, 2007…

This week, I learned that I was alone once again.  In Brian Morton’s Starting Out in the Evening, Ariel thinks her father might be dying and her mother is already dead.  She has this epiphany: that she would be an orphan without her father.  And that’s how I felt in the middle of last week: orphaned.  Marooned.  Suddenly something that has been a huge part of my life for a long long time was just gone forever.  I knew I had to learn to live without it and I wondered how I would do that.  You don’t know how empty you will feel without something until it’s truly gone.

But here I am, riding Canada’s high on Olympic gold and SO SO SO SO SO SO SO excited for Wilco tomorrow night.  So excited to face more groups of children, so excited to try once again for another kind of  job, so excited to write again, so excited to face the world I used to knowbefore 2008.

This is Valentine’s Day 2010 for me.  Celebrating with everyone in my country, spending time with my friends, getting the chance to see one of my all-time favouirte bands ever tomorrow night… it’s perfect.  That kind of love is perfect.  I’m reminded of what I now know love really is.  Love isn’t a myth, it’s not that fairytale, it’s not someone else completing you, it’s not hearts and flowers and the whole foreign concept of “happily ever after”.  It’s making yourself happy by whatever means you make yourself happy.

Happy Valentine’s Day… to everyone reading.  Everyone.

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