Monday, February 13, 2012

For Me, Valentine's is...

14 February 2012
Single Awareness Day, Tuesday, Valentine's Day
City of Smiles, Philippines

I wonder why people keep talking about Valentine’s Day. I was walking last week in the corridor, heading for my marketing exam and overheard a lot of students; most are girls who keep on talking about February 14. It seems that this day is so significant for a lot of people (excluding me). I kept on wondering why they try to discuss about it more than focusing their exams, to think that it’s midterms. Some keep on talking about their plans, how they will celebrate it. Valentine’s seems to be a cliché but how did it all started?

I was reading currently the book of Camilla Morton, A Year in High Heels. I kept on promising myself to finish reading the entire book but still because of too much tasks to be done when I had my internship in Singapore, I wasn’t able to do so. I bought that book in Popular, a bookstore wherein you can find cheap and books on sale. According to Camilla, Valentine’s originated from St. Valentine who was martyred in AD 269. Roman emperor Claudius was actively recruiting men to join the army but none of them wanted to go to war and prefer staying at home with their wives and family.  Claudius banned wedding in his logic that since there will be no marriage, men will join and fight for him. But there was opposition, including Valentine, the priest who was secretly marrying couples. When Claudius found out, he condemned Valentine to be beaten to death. There was a legend that he left a note with signed, “From Your Valentine.” Pope Gelasius in AD 496 honoured Valentine and set February 14 for romance where the tradition of giving chocolates and flowers, where declarations been flying faster than Cupid’s arrow.

Today, celebrating Valentine’s Day is more distinct. There are presence of fireworks and concerts, parties and a lot more. Indeed it is much more commercialized. Well, it depends as well as to how people would celebrate it. It seems that there is really great attention given to February 14, major news headlines are on price increase of roses, flowers and all relevant stuffs. Valentine’s as well is good for economy, since businesses are flourishing, from restaurants, movie houses, malls and all.

Valentine’s is not only for lovers. And I mean it. Although romance, as they say will only be felt if you have a partner, that doesn’t necessarily imply that those who attained “single blessedness” status are deprived from adhering it too. It’s not only an event for lovers, but also for those who want to be loved and those who want to love. Well, I know it’s quite difficult to see a couple, holding hands, sweet and very affectionate with each other. I tried to feel that way too before. When the guy who happens to be your type/crush, brings a bouquet of flowers and chocolates, you would always wish that he will hand it to you, or if not, you will find someone who could do those gestures much better than he did. Okay, daydreaming is always for free and once in our lives, we have tried to daydream or imagine our prince charming or our princess just to make ourselves that fairytales do come true. Those who are happy with their relationships, fine, let us be happy for them. And for those who are single (I don’t know if I should include myself) must try to divert our thoughts into something fun, rather than try to bound ourselves with despair and frustrations.

Definitely, at first, we will feel the despair because we are single, we don’t have any date or we are lonely. Oh yeah, we always try to think of those, deprecating and conditioning our minds. At the end of the day, Valentine’s is over and there you go, still bitter and unhappy just to found out that there are a lot of reasons to be grateful. I belong to those single, I have been single (flirting and flings are not included) for almost two decades and yes, I was one of those who were lonely and empty, an emo and senti. Until such time last year that I have dated someone in Singapore last Valentines Day. Of course, I was happy by then, dinner and all but at the end, we were not able to have a great fairytale ending. Thank God for Singapore since I am allowed to date, freely. I hope you know what I mean. I don’t want to talk more about it but I have had a great time last February 14, 2011. Although I was working that day, my dream that one of my mannequins will become human.

So now, a few hours before twelve midnight, you’re holding your phone, expecting someone to send an sms asking you out for a dinner, blah blah blah. You keep reading books, watching romantic movies and eating a lot. Funny but it’s real. So how a single individual does should celebrate a valentine’s day? Well actually, there is no standard rule as to how but because I can relate to your feelings, I can suggest some options.

1. Reflect- First thing to do is Reflect. You don’t need a mirror, but it will help as well if you like. Try to ask yourself, why are you single until this very moment? Then try to realize that there are only to possible answers: it is because of YOUR personal choice or you are not the personal choice of the person you choose. Let’s face it, sometimes we are hindered by a lot of factors, our family, studies, peer pressure and ourselves. And because it was your personal choice to be single, grasp the fact that you will not have those fairytale stuffs, seriously. If that was your choice, stand by it, you may have a better reason why you opt to be single. Second, you are not the personal choice. I don’t want to be harsh but admit it, at times the person that we want the most will never be our lover. We have varied feelings and if the person doesn’t want you, it is indeed time for you to find someone. Don’t wait and just try to think that love will search for you, in some instances it may but not at all. If you wait for someone without making any effort, it’s like applying for a job without your resume. Try to weigh options, is it better to be single or are you open for a commitment.

2.Reinvent- You have been wearing spectacles, your style of clothing has been patterned to what your mom desires, your hairstyle’s like your grandfather’s signature look, you are still acting like a brat and immature. Ask yourself, when was the last time you bought your own clothes, when was the last time you have your haircut and when was the last time you’ve talked to yourself in front of the mirror. Yeah, now you will need a mirror and I will help you reinvent yourself .Try to check your closet, what are the dominant colors of your clothing? If you’re into black and white, believe me, your friends have been talking that you don’t change your clothes. Disgusting right? I guess it will be the perfect time to do a 911-thingy. First, let go of your old clothes. If you still have those blouses, shirts during your primary and high school days, please try to think that you’re a college student now. Clothes shrink, especially cotton materials. If you consider that item has sentimental value, keep it but don’t wear it. You’re at the right age now to reinvent yourself, make some changes with your style. You need to balance conservatism versus liberated-way of dressing. If you have great skin, flaunt it, wear something to show it. Try to invest in clothes, trends are always dynamic. If you’re saving, try to buy in thrift shops, “ukay-ukay, UK, whatever”. These flea markets have the best clothes and shoes, trust me. You can even get a new top for P20. The way you dress and style will always make an impression. For hygiene and looks, try to have a facial. I don’t have the porcelain-like façade; I as well rely on science to treat my abnormal acnes. The cheapest range would be from 250 onwards. It’s painful but it’s worth it! At times they say that when a person changes his/her hairstyle, he or she is welcoming change. Come on, you have a long, witch-like hair since you were a kid, you have the one-sided hair-do like your grandpa used to have. It’s indeed proper to make some changes and try having a new look. Once you will try to do it, people will definitely notice and even imitate it, you have just made yourself a trendsetter! Just try to think KC Concepcion, she had her hair cut like Madame Coco Chanel, that signature bob-cut look is the In-thing. Sometimes, you need to reinvent, and risk. Always remember, we don’t have planes today if no one ever think of the concept of flying. Spread your wings and Shine!

3.Release- Yes, the third tip is to release. Release stress, hatred, anguish and negative character. Haven’t you realized that no one dares to court or ask you on a date because you are afraid to be broken-hearted again? Sometimes, guys won’t date you because you’re one of those on the top spot of the most unfriendly persons on earth. And you deserve the award! (kidding). To be able to project a positive outlook, first it must start within you. If a lot of people love you, maybe one special person would love you too. A person with a lot of friends and acquaintances is definitely a person with a big heart. I guess it is fitting to forgive as well all your foes and all the people who hurt you, let go of those hatred and anger. You need to use a lot of muscles to frown and only a few muscles to smile so better Smile and look good. If there are a lot of people keep on hating you, offer and return it with kindness and they will realize that they are wrong. They will eventually learn to love you. Try to release stress too, have some good massage or unwind in a place that is serene and conducive. At times, we need to be away from those noises and negative vibes surrounding us, at times those negativities are contagious so better release yourself from those. We have a lot of reasons to be thankful. Release negativity and Absorb positivity. This is also the time to release yourself from things that consume most of your time, making you unproductive. Come to think you are spending hours to play internet games, getting hooked with social media and found out that you are a great stalker. I don’t say that social media isn’t good but social media at times may be addictive so try to limit and only allot ample time to socialize. Have you ever imagined that you are spending more hours in Facebook than reading your books. If that is the case, you’re giving an impression that you will never be a better housewife or husband since you dedicate most of your time into something unworthy. I am a fan of Facebook myself but allot only time, not the entire day. Would you still Facebook when your husband and children are hungry? Remember, we are getting older. We need to learn the basics and don’t just rely with the help of our helpers, parents and all. We need to learn on our own. That is why we are in school because we are being educated and those theories learned will be applied in reality. Absorb more knowledge and positivism, try to make yourself productive in a sense that you are doing something valuable, not only for yourself but for others.

I guess I have talked a lot. Aside from those, being single doesn’t deprive us to celebrate Valentine’s day. We can show and offer love to those in need, those who were victims of the recent calamities. Try to call local media on how to be a volunteer and how to offer assistance. They need food, clothing and a lot more and I guess that is a greater love that you are sharing to a lot of people who don’t only need material but also emotional benevolence. What im trying to imply is that no matter how small or huge you had given, it will always be a blessing worth thanking for. You can also spend Valentine ’s Day to orphans, to churches, help to spread the good words of God. You may help in advocacies in our environment. We have a lot of options and what we need is just to put some effort in it. We can do a lot of things actually but we need to make sure that we are open and ready, and voluntarily able to do it

 In general, being in a relationship or being single, widowed or whatever status you may have, the bottomline is that we know that love is the selfless giving of oneself to others. To love unconditionally, I guess that is the real essence of Love. Everyday is Valentine ’s Day. Everyday is a day to be cherished, a day to be a Navigator of Love :)

Happy Valentine's Day!

Smarky D