I’m a 26-year-old single woman and I guess I’m supposed to either feel lonely or hate Valentine’s Day. It’s a choice between weeping and feeling sorry for myself because I don’t have a boyfriend or spewing vitriol and attacking February 14 as a cheesy, commercialized holiday.
Believe it or not, I am having a blast with single life. I love the quiet comfort of solitude. Some of my most blissful moments happened when I was on my own: an early morning walk in a beautiful beach, having a beer while watching a thunderstorm from afar, exploring a new city where nobody knows me. I love solo travel and the freedom that comes with it. I love being alone in my room writing, reading a good book, or adoring Benedict Cumberbatch on Sherlock Holmes. I love setting my own schedule and doing whatever I want without having to negotiate with someone else.
But do I ever feel lonely? Yes, absolutely. There really are instances when I curl up on my bed, weep and feel sorry for myself; sometimes for romantic reasons, at other times for disappointments, failures and the unsettling sensation that life is a mess. But here’s what I suspect. Everyone feels lonely at some point, regardless of one’s relationship status. It’s part of the human condition and something we’d be hard-pressed to get away from. If you’ve never felt the pang of loneliness in your life, then please donate your DNA so the rest of us could harvest the boatload of happiness genes you’ve hoarded.
I figured I can never escape the possibility of loneliness, and I don’t have to. I’ll just have to learn to deal with it when it comes. Dealing with it may still entail curling up on my bed, weeping and feeling sorry for myself from time to time. That’s okay. But after indulging in my wormhole of emotive existential crisis, I’ll have to get up, blow my nose, get out of my pajamas and get on with life. It’s a big world out there full of infinite possibilities. It’d be a shame to waste all that just because I’m too caught up in my personal drama.
On Hating Valentine’s
For as many couples are out there making goo-goo eyes at each other on Valentine’s Day, there may also be an equal number of cynics who brand it as a Hallmark holiday, a fake celebration designed to fuel our romantic delusions while promoting crass materialism. It’s true, Valentine’s in the metro means heavy traffic, atrocious price increase for flowers, and overcrowded malls and restaurants. But if it takes this day to remind a thoughtless husband to buy his wife a gift or it’s a milestone for a young couple who are still figuring out their relationship, then where’s the harm in that? Why rain on their parade?
We all need rituals. We all need special days to break the drudgery of everyday life. We celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, Christmas and New Year’s, Easter and Halloween, because we want to believe that some things have meaning and some things are sacred. It may all be delusional or it may just be our way of living our lives as best as we can. So enough of the bitterness. Give Valentine’s Day a break. If humanity needs one day to get all romantic and make goo-goo eyes at each other, then so be it.
I guess I could end up feeling lonely or hating Valentine’s. But I don’t have to. Because I’m a 26-year-old single woman, it’s a big world out there and I’ve decided to have a blast.