Thursday, February 14, 2013

Slush-filled Valentines

I've found myself skidding into February, angry at snow that turns into slush with just enough time to notice that today is Valentine's Day. And I hate Valentine's Day.

Cupcakes make everything better.
I know this is a strong stance to take. I have formed a truce in past years, attempted to overcome an embittered lonely day by having a fancy feast with friends and sharing Valentines with loved ones. And this year, I plan to host a fancy weekend brunch, bring cupcakes into work, have a solo pork chop feast the following day, and give Valentines to my friends. But I still hate this day. The thing is, if you're single you're just reminded that you are still unlovable and lonely, missing out on what all the 'normal people' seem to have accomplished, stuck to bitterly drink your sorrows away. And if you're in a relationship, you're pressured to prove your undying love and devotion, surprise with romance, and make a big deal out of your love. Even if you and your partner decide to not celebrate Valentine's Day, the pressure still exists, and really you're just shoving it into the face of your single friends that you have the option to not celebrate a day of couplely love. As you can see, no one wins.

Now, this could be the embittered viewpoint from one who has spent the last five Valentine's Days alone, stewing in the fact that every ex is now married, and I still can't figure that out. But maybe it's not - and in the end, who cares? I have a plan for my Valentines day. I'm not going to press my hatred or love on other people, I'm going to be eating cupcakes and cupcakes are pretty damn delicious. 

Svalbard seed vault themed cupcakes. See nerdy reason here.
Valentine's Day has a greater impression on me this year than last because I'm now actively dating. Seeing as I live in a really small town, a friend convinced me that online dating couldn't hurt - it would expand my circle outwards, allowing me to meet people I wouldn't normally get the chance to. And so within a few days of uploading an updated profile, I had messages waiting and boys to talk to. And this has led to a handful of first dates, and now I've come to realize that dating is not as easy as I thought it would be.

It should be easy, right? You find a person you think is pretty cool and message them. Then you message back and forth, and if that goes well, you meet in person, chemistry clicks, and the rest just flows forward like a classic romantic comedy. But there's the problem - dating, and life, is NOTHING like a romantic comedy. Because it's not that easy. Sure you can message back and forth, but you still don't know a whole lot about that person. A first date is fun, but the universe may not speak to you in a definitive way as it seems to in the movies. And then there's the physical aspect to maneuver because a kiss should be fine, but for me it's not on a first date. Or maybe even the second.

But we live and learn, right? And I'm definitely learning. I've been surprised by the underlying guilt and pressures that have bubbled up. I felt like I owed these guys something for them liking me, felt guilty for wanting to slow things down, and felt pressured to just go along with what social norms expect me to do. So now I'm slowly building upon the idea that I don't owe anyone anything. And I need to move forward at the speed most comfortable for me, and that there is no normal. There are no romantic comedies, there is no soundtrack for this life of mine. And that's okay - not easy, but definitely okay.

I have no great expectations - and this is what pleases me the most. I have, somewhere in the past year or so, lost my burning desire to find someone to be with forever. I've started to work on being better at being alone and begun the battle against my lonely feelings. And to see myself not grasping for any sort of boy to like me back makes me the happiest of all because it indicates that somewhere inside of me, I'm starting to believe that I'm worth something more than what the proverbial 'everyone' thinks. So if something happens in the future, if I find true love and it lasts forever, that'd be awesome. But if it doesn't happen, at least I can say I stopped waiting to make my life worth living.

... for all my angry words, a guy did give me this today. Way better than real flowers!