If you're single like me, you may find sometimes you imagine or assume, often unintentionally, that by the next holiday you will have finally met someone and your single status will take a turn for a magical ever after. But here you are, single, facing yet another romantic holiday week (because Valentines never feels like just one day.) Holidays are never just a day. They're always a week, or month-long reminder, thanks to corny commercials or Spotify Wink ads incessantly reminding you there's no one you even want to "wink" at - a reminder that you are, in fact, solo. For any single gal or guy ( turns out guys can be romantics too), no matter how much you work to make everyone think you're unaffected by a designated day for couples to shower each other with chocolate and sweet nothings, really you're just preparing to survive it.
Like every previous year, you could face this Valentine’s Day feeling despair, estranged and ever-so single, indulging in a little more chocolate than usual and watching "The Notebook" for the 38th time or you could shift your perspective. Because if your only concern is to survive these holidays you're looking at it all wrong.
I could give you all a list of "Reasons to Embrace Being Single" or "Fun Ideas for Singles on Valentines Day", but likely you are already bombarded with such cheesy advice and you all know how to party (and let's be honest, I'm probably not the person you want I'm-single-and-ready-to-party advice from, unless your idea of a party is Thai takeout and a Netflix marathon of The West Wing.) And now you're thinking, " Well, do you plan on staying single forever Kristin??" Lets just leave my odd ideas of a night well spent to the side.
In two days Instagram will be full of friends surprise engagements, your office will be flooded with flower deliveries for the girl in the cubicle next to you, you won't be able to walk through one grocery store without seeing dozens of wide-eyed men, arms full of roses, searching for the perfect Hallmark card, and will feel like a third wheel in any and every public place. After so many years you think," I can handle this. I've got this. I am, after all, a single adult and completely sufficient and capable of surviving another holiday single."
Well, no matter how mature and sufficient I can be, I think it's taken me all of 29 years (yes, these mark the final months for me as a twenty something - onto brighter and better things) to realize this unexpected season is a chance to pursue life with more clarity and intention than I could if I were just living to survive singleness. Love has an odd way of clouding the mind. Did you know that falling in love effects the neural system in your brain just like a cocaine addiction would, and can even make you dumber? I'm positive, when the time and person is right, it's all the wonderful things we anticipate it will be. But when it's not right, we're better off being single.
If all you're concerned with is surviving singleness, just waiting to fall in love like it's the air to your lungs, you are likely disengaged from life and from talents and abilities that could be thriving right now. You are likely missing the opportunity to learn and grow, to explore and further develop your personhood.
So instead of dreaming everything life could be, or everything you could be, if you had someone this Valentine's Day, pursue it now. You can waste a lot of time thinking everything would be easier if you were in love, because often we'd rather assume than to just do it. But if you're not going to start working out while you're single, if you're not going to start a business while your single, and if you're not motivated to start grad school while you're single, it's not going to all magically fall in place because you’re suddenly not single. That is just too much expectation to hold on any human being.
Rather than moving through this Valentine's week of life like a lost puppy, be excited you have another year to pursue your passion and develop your personhood. Sometimes survival is our only option, and other times we make it our only option.