I admit I was dreading it, the first Valentine’s day since you left. Try as I might to ignore it, I couldn’t. Because even a simple trip to Rite Aide to pick up a tube of toothpaste reminded me with rows of heart shaped candies, teddy bears saying I love you and an army of hallmark cards leaping out at me, that Valentine’s day was coming. Now, I know the real reason for this “official” day of love is the economy, because without it how else could they justify the ridiculous mark up for roses, but I have to admit I’m a sucker for it and there’s nothing that gave me more joy than seeing the smile on your face when you saw your Valentine’s day roses.
But this year there would be no you to send flowers to, plan a dinner date for, hold hands with and cuddle with at the end of the day. As February draws near there is so much love being thrown in my face I have no choice but to face the hard truth, being single sucks. But I’m also determined not to let anyone know how I truly fell, so I soldier on smiling and laughing while crying on the inside. And I’m good at it, as far as anyone looking at me knows I’m alright. But I’m not and even the strongest of men wouldn’t mind a shoulder to lean on every now and then, but my façade says I don’t need one. So, it up to me to right the ship by myself and let me tell you that’s not easy.
Nevertheless, I went to work. First, I took a step back and looked at the multitude of family and friends who love me, are always there for me and would never leave me alone. I realized that romantic relationship come and go but family and friends…well they’re not going anywhere. Second, I resolved not too give up hope. Because once hope is gone any chance of finding happiness goes with it. My life is a journey and each day represents a new step and each new step represents new possibilities. One day that next step will lead me to the happiness I’m seeking. But I’ll only get there if I have the strength to take that next step. Third I said to myself you can’t hide from love. Bob Marley once said “The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for. So, while you may have hurt me, there is someone out there worth suffering for.
So, I guess being single doesn’t suck after-all and you know what? Valentine’s Day is going to be a happy occasion for me, even without you. Because I have family, friends and the hope that the right one is out there and one day I will find her.
I traveled the long road through the tunnel of despair, depression and self-doubts, and emerged a better person. The journey while difficult was worth it because you must look despair squarely in the eye to find yourself and at the of my journey I had rediscovered myself. I realized that receiving the accolades of others, being recognized for my achievements may have made me happy but was not the key to my happiness. I realized that while I was looking for validation from society the only validation I needed is from with-in. Gone was the fear of failure because I may fail again and its place was the resolve to move forward and seize the possibilities the future holds. I no longer put on a face for the world to believe I was happy but show my real face because I am happy. For in traveling the road back I found the keys to being truly happy, belief in myself and what I can accomplish. The journey may have been arduous but it helped me to find the strength to discover myself and to believe in my potential.
I am flawed
I am weird
I am moody
I am quirky
I can be stubborn
I have been down before
I am me Imperfections and all. But my imperfections alone do not define who I am because I am also smart, kind, compassionate, giving and loving among other things. And it is all of me that makes me who I am and I am special. No one can tell me any different because no one knows me like I know myself.
True love means never having to ask someone if they love you. Because if you can’t tell by their actions and you have to ask they don’t. I don’t ask myself if I love myself because every action I take confirms it. From my unwavering belief in myself to my ability to define my own destiny. It wasn’t always this way, self doubt once consumed me in much the same way it consumes so many others until one day I mustered up the courage to try something I had never tried to do. Not surprisingly I failed but I also survived the challenge of trying so I got back up and tried again and then again and now I am a master at it. It was this experience that cast away all my self doubt, drove away the fear of failure. Each day my self esteem grew and my love for myself multiplied exponentially. Today that love translates into a belief that there are no limits to my potential. That no one can define who and what I am. After all I love myself I already know who I am and what I can do.
To paraphrase one of my favorite movie characters Morpheus from the Matrix what we have to understand is that most people in the world we exist in are not ready to be unplugged. Many of them so afraid of their own potential that they will fight the urge to believe in themselves, to believe that their possibilities are endless. They fight it in order to so call fit in. Your can be freed of this mindset but you can only be shown how, it is up to you to take the first step by believing in yourself. You have to let it all go. Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Until you believe in yourself your mind like most around you remains a slave to society. Trapped in a prison you cannot taste, see or touch. A prison for your mind. But once you believe in yourself you enter a world without society’s rules or controls a world where you open yourself up to the limitless possibilities. Now the question is simply are you ready to be unplugged.
I saw a commercial recently where someone says to a young athlete they think they know you now show them what they don’t know. Well if you’re asking.
You don’t know that I have been down but I have never been out.
You don’t know that while others march to the beat of the same drummer I salsa to the rhythms of Tito Puente.
You don’t know what others see as my failures I see as building blocks to my limitless possibilities.
You don’t know that I’m able to avoid the rain because my belief in myself let’s me soar above the clouds.
You don’t know that I understand there is no such thing as forever so I waste not one and embrace each and every day.
You don’t know that I refuse to conform to the box society says I belong but rather define my own destiny.
You don’t know that while others may fear the unknown I embrace it as a means to open my mind to new possibilities and growth.
You don’t know that while I am the best I can be today tomorrow I know I will be better.
You thought you knew me now I’ve shown you what you didn’t know.