Opinion: Choosing myself during the season of love

Shravani Page | Staff Writer

 I don’t hate Valentine’s Day. 

The hopeless romantic in myself loves it. A day where you have the opportunity to express love toward someone. A day full of chocolates, candlelight dinners, and heart-shaped everything. 

My romanticization of this day has stuck with me for a while. 

I was somewhat of a “social butterfly” my sophomore year of high school. Now, that label didn’t prevent me from being the quietest person in school, but I was pretty social by my standards. Everything seemed to be going great that year. The boy I liked and I were close, my friends and I hung out all the time, and most of all, I never felt lonely. 

Being in a relationship rocked at the beginning. He was sweet, kind, and my best friend. But soon I began to realize that I began to rely on him more and more to be happy. I couldn’t find my bliss. It always had to be derived from some source.

As we began to drift, I wanted to hold onto this relationship. Onto this person who made it seem like nothing else mattered. I was on a slippery slope as I struggled and faltered, until I finally fell. 

And I fell hard. 

I thought I could make someone else happy, even if I wasn’t happy with myself. I learned the hard way that this statement is false. 

Happiness comes from within. And although that may be a cliche, it is true. I’ve been on a path to create my happiness, to be my source of happiness, and I gotta say…this feels kinda fire. 

I thought there was some “secret recipe” to creating my own happiness. Like maybe a mix of letting go of people and cutting out toxic activity with a hint of self-hype. But I soon learned that there is no secret recipe to self-happiness(another lesson I learned the hard way). 

Learning to love me and rebuild myself is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. But it was one of the first major things I did for myself. I quit trying to justify my faults and I stopped guilting myself for the negativity I caused. 

And throughout that process, I lost the relationship. I lost all my hopes of all the things he and I could’ve done after quarantine ended. From making those cute couple TikToks to driving around to celebrating the holidays together. Heck, my inner hopeless romantic couldn’t wait till Valentine’s Day. 

But this year, I’m spending Valentine’s Day baking a cake with a few friends and probably watching Crazy Rich Asians because lord knows how much I love that movie. 

It hit me this year that Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about choosing someone else. It doesn’t have to include someone surprising me with a bouquet or a candlelight dinner. It doesn’t have to be about someone else. 

This year, for the first time, I chose myself.