Writing to Relieve Stress

 

Every once in awhile I hit a point in my life where I get stressed and need relief. In moments like this, no amount of junk food, binge watching, or spa treatments can help me feel better. In order for me to pull myself out of the hole that I sometimes walk into, I must write.  I know you may be thinking, “Well you are already a good writer so, that should be easy.” My response to you would be; that is not entirely true. Writing about things you love to talk about are easy, but finding the words to express your innermost feelings is often a difficult task. Personally, I have found solace in discussing my emotions through creative writing such as poetry, so that I can vent while also creating and producing meaningful writing that I can be proud of in the long run.

For some reason, poetry is an art that I am able to vent through, and afterwards I tend to not only feel better, but I also improve my writing skills in the process. I want to share with you all a piece that I wrote at a time when my emotions had become overbearing. This piece of writing was a game changer for me because it helped me express myself without revealing too much about myself at the same time. I feel as though sometimes we fear being vulnerable, so instead we create this facade of strength so we can appear okay to people on the outside.I found that various forms of structured writing, such as poems, melodies, raps, and short stories, can be a perfect place to document your feelings. So here is my first poetry piece that I uniquely used as a way to relieve stress. Please read, indulge in my thoughts and leave your opinions below.    

Seeds of Emotions

One of the worst feelings in the world is finding out that the world you love does not feel the same

The excruciating, stomach-churning emotions that follow this revelation are enough to make you swallow yourself

Within the tears you cry, you will eventually find a sense of internal, and external self.

Your despair will offer a purpose, and a meaning to the issues that you must soon accept. Depression will occur while your mind wonders towards the possibilities of the future that will never exist.

In the midst of the lingering disappointment, there will be a deep enlightenment

The words that were said will continue to rip you to shreds, and often leave lasting impressions that become etched into your skull

Actions can never be returned to the sender once the deed is done

However, they leave an everlasting memory which will replay, and alter all life choices that will come

The same person that once enraptured your mind, has the power to alter your entire outlook on the world

In doing so their feelings for you will cause you to develop feelings for them, and if those same feelings are not reciprocated a seed will sprout

A gut wrenching seed with deep envious filled roots, and leaves that grimace at the sky while growing to its full potential

Afterwards this seed will become a sprout, and this sprout that became a plant, will develop new seeds that will create new plants,

and these feelings will continue to grow.

Once these feelings mature, and reach maturation we can no longer hold them in and they flow out through our words, and our tears, and our actions and our decisions,

and we make a mockery of ourselves and the situation based on feelings.

We do this because one of the worst feelings is finding out that the world that loves us is not the one that we love

Sometimes love, and the world of love are just too psychologically disturbing to live with but too devastating to live without.

Now that you have read my poem , can I ask you a question? Yes? Okay. How does this poem make you feel? Do you notice any of your own deep seated emotions in the words of this poem? If you answer is “Yes” then this poem could have been written by you. What I mean when I say this is that the feelings in this poem that resonated deeply with you could be in a poem that you write to relieve stress. Just like how some choose to go to the gym to burn off some steam, you could sit back, think about your grievances and then write about them. While writing you can let yourself go, you can cry, scream, shout, even rip holes in the paper with your pen if it will make you feel better! Don’t just think of writing as a tool that you have to use to write a college essay. No, you can use writing to benefit you, to help you say things that are too difficult for you to articulate, and to help you relax. No one has to read your words, but I guarantee you that after you write, specifically with a pen and paper, you will feel so much better.

When I’m stressed I write poetry, but when you are stressed you can write anything. Just try it for yourself and make sure that you are being completely honest in your words. I encourage all of my readers to get a piece of paper and a pen, and just write about your problems or any feelings in general. Speak your truth in your mind and let it reign free through your pen. Don’t stop until you start to feel those clouds in your mind disappear and your heart beat starts to slow down. Then after you finish leave me a comment and let me know if writing helped you like it helps me.

Life Is Long

The other day I had one of my “ceiling-inspired life-changing epiphanies.”

(Neffi’s Ceiling Inspired Ephiphany. (n) When I’m laying in my bed, staring at the ceiling and I get some idea, or figure out the answer to a mind busting question and immediately feel like Gandhi, or Frederick Douglass, or some other great wise philosopher.)

I had just finished overhearing a conversation outside my window…ok, yes: I was eavesdropping..leave me alone, lol. It’s not my fault they talk loud enough and my window happens to be conveniently cracked for clear listening! Anyway lol, one of the guys was ranting about not having time for the drama because “life is too short.” I thought to myself, “Good job loud neighbor, that’s right, leave drama to those who ‘have time for it!’ but umm who told you that life is short?”  

man with confused expression on his face

Retrieved From KnowYourMeme

I hear that quote all the time and I used to say it too (before my epiphany), and I just had to think to myself who started this phrase? Who says life is short? My friend the internet, phrases.org, says the quote “life is short” dates all the way back to the 1800’s. I’m not surprised that they would be the ones to start a phrase like life is short, average life expectancy was a lot shorter back then lol.

Now it is true that we are only here on Earth temporarily, but do we have to feel like we’re on a time crunch? I don’t want to feel like that. I have only scratched the surface of where I want to be in life. Does this mean that I don’t have much time? I don’t like it.

My problem with the the phrase “life is short” is that not only does it do a terrible job at motivating us to have the lives we want, it’s also pretty limiting. What’s the proof that life is short?

older woman smiling and being interviewed

Retrieved from Catholic.org

110 year old man being presented with a birthday cake

Retrieved from Pinterest

older couple sitting holding hands

Retrieved from PsychologyToday

If life actually was short, it should be fine if it sucked and didn’t work out how we wanted it to right? It would be like ripping off a bandaid, getting it over with. You’d be born, spend your short amount of time living in the mediocrity, and then die. Sounds a little harsh right? Sorry not sorry. If it was in fact like that you’d never experience discomfort and unhappiness long enough to really get properly sick of it and make change in your life. You’d never learn the lessons that come with time and in turn make you a better person, because the truth is you can put up with just about anything if it’s for a short amount of time.

But life is NOT short and that is what frees us up to do what we really want, and create the lives we really want. While we can put up with suffering, unhappiness, or dissatisfaction for short periods of time, we are much less willing to be dissatisfied or in unhappy or uncomfortable phases of life for decades or longer. The real motivator is knowing that life is long and you don’t have to over-rush yourself. You have time to live, love, make mistakes, make even worse mistakes, learn and learn some more, achieve your goals and dreams, and really live this thing to the fullest.

Life is the longest thing we will ever experience and its length is probably one of the only things we can’t be certain of, so we shouldn’t just declare it short. Some of us will live to our late 80’s and 90’s, some more, and some less. I personally pray to live a healthy fruitful life till at least 90! Things might be looking up for me too because I took a life expectancy quiz the other day and it gave me an estimate of 97 lol! Woop Woop!

man dancing in celebration

Retrieved from Giphy

Life is only short if you believe it to be that way. Make every moment count, and it will seem epic, fulfilling, and a never-ending adventure.

When people use the phrase “life is short” they tend to mean anything from: Don’t waste your energy on things that are meaningless, or, stop spending so much time just existing that you miss milestones and important opportunities. It could also mean we could be “here today and gone tomorrow” or that we won’t have enough time to see or experience everything we want to accomplish so plan accordingly. Or simply literally, we don’t know how long we will live and it can be a short time. It can even be used positively like when people say “life is too short to be unhappy.” Though in my experience, when it is said it is usually used as an excuse for something irresponsible you’ve done, or when you are dismissing a problem or situation you should be dealing with; it seems to always be connected to negative emotion. The bottom line is none of those interpretations of “life is short” have to apply to you if you change your perspective and see life as a long journey of opportunity.

Think of life as your party, which of these spaces in the two pictures below do you think you could throw a better party in?

Man standing in small empty room

Retrieved from Express.co

man standing in middle of large empty room

Retrieved from MemeGenerator

I’m going with Will Smith on the bottom. The room is way bigger and much more opportunity to make the party as poppin’ as I can. It’s your life, plan your party!

Life is long and it’s not only about age, it’s about what you make of your life in the time you are here! Don’t focus on length, but instead focus on quality. Are your days filled with what you want them to be filled with? Are you rushing yourself to beat some sort of clock or are you taking your time? Don’t fall into the “life-is-short” mentality. The finished product is beautiful but so is the journey; believe me. Be present in your lives everyday. Take your time, make mistakes, learn lessons, and sow into your growth as a person.

Love Ya, Neffi

 

Peering into the Perfect Melancholy Mind

By Robine Jean-Pierre

a man blurred in the background looking at a chessboard in focus in the foreground

provided by Pixnio


In
my previous post, I talked about the concept of the Four Temperaments, which is discussed in depth in Florence Littauer’s book, Personality Plus. After taking the personality profile included in the book, I discovered that I am primarily a Perfect Melancholy. I would love to share some of my exciting and challenging realizations with you. Maybe this will help you if you have the same temperament, or if you know someone who does.

My Strengths
For one thing, my intellectual, analytical nature has contributed to my success at school. I won’t say it’s been easy or effortless to get high grades; what I will say is that I’ve had more of a desire and an aptitude to excel in academic pursuits. It helps that I love to learn for the sake of learning.

Creativity and artistic ability are also strengths of mine. I sing, compose, write, play piano and guitar, and draw pretty well (at least in my opinion!). It’s easy for me to catch the melody of a song I’ve only heard once, draw realistic cartoons, or write haikus on the spot, for example.

My Weaknesses
Being the analytical, planning type can also be a setback. Sometimes I get so stuck in my mind that it’s hard to turn thoughts into actions. I gave my fiancé Angel a hard time when he taught me how to play chess, because I felt as if every move I made had to be the “right” one. You can imagine how long our games went on for.

The need to do things the “right” way leads into the bigger issue of perfectionism. I’ve often set unrealistically high expectations for those closest to me. With my sister, I’ve been too critical, practically looming over her shoulder and correcting her every move. As you can imagine, this has often annoyed her. (It doesn’t help that both my mom and aunt are also Perfect Melancholies.) With my fiancé Angel, my reserved, introverted tendencies make me self-conscious and easily embarrassed. As a Popular Sanguine, he can be very over the top in expressing himself–loud declarations of his love for me, singing on the train, dancing in the streets–and I can be harsh in the way I express my disdain, with jabs or death stares.

My Outlook
The way I see it, knowing my strengths and weaknesses can set the tone for all areas of my life, from my relationships to my career path. Understanding my temperament means avoiding situations that I am not well-suited to handle (unless there is room for growth or other gain). For example, being a planned and orderly person, I would not take on a job that seems to be too chaotic and spontaneous; teaching a kindergarten class could potentially lead to an emotional breakdown.

Conversely, understanding my temperament means making choices that will highlight and reinforce my strengths. To give one example, I often take the initiative in planning dates with Angel because we both agree that I do this well.

I hope this helped you get a better understanding of what Perfect Melancholy people are like. Chances are you or someone you know has a personality that aligns with this temperament. What are some takeaways that might change how to interact with them, or how you view yourself? Please feel free to share your thoughts with me below.

Life After Undergrad: What now?

Have you ever finished a book or a TV series and then looked up and thought “what do I do now?”. That was the exact thought I had the first day I was able to go right home after work. What do I do with all this free time? Should I start knitting? What is life without college like? I’d been in school for 80% of my 20’s and I got so accustomed to being in that student state of mind that this whole commute and “call it a day” lifestyle was new to me. I decided (like I mentioned in my first post) to start taking better care of me. Cooking at home, getting back into the gym and trying to focus on the plus and not the minus.

Meal prepping for me was a whole new world. I’d never been super into cooking or baking so I decided to start simple; chicken, veggies and some brown rice or quinoa. Well, I ended up eating this for about 3 weeks straight for lunch until a co-worker said “Sam, are you on some special diet?” Well, I kind of was the “I have no idea how to cook” diet, but that was a wake up call for me; it was time to try new dishes. So with the help of my best friend, Mariah, I ventured into simple step meal making.

My first creation was chicken tortellini, Alfredo, which, if I do say so myself was delish. Now If you don’t believe me, I also fed this to my mom and co-workers and nobody died–so there’s that. I’m sort of lazy when it comes to cleaning pots and pans but making that was shockingly easy, so the next adventure is going to be pasta salad or penne-vodka– we will see. But this endeavor into cooking is just a sign of the change in times because a year ago instead of wrangling tortellini I’d have been in lecture, or running from work to class. Now I have some time to explore skills and other things that I just never had the time for– and it’s exciting. I look forward to seeing what else comes with this new phase of life and I can’t wait to share it with my readers too!

Boy Crazy

Boy-Crazy_01

FANGIRL  \ ˈfan-ˌgər(-ə)l \  noun 1. A female fan who is an overly enthusiastic fan of someone or something. verb 1. To behave in an obsessive or overly excited way towards someone or something.

I.e. Me.

I am a fangirl of webcomics, sitcoms, podcasts, and as of late, international Kpop sensation BTS. No, not “behind the scenes,” but Bangtan Sonyeondan.

Of course, I could spend this whole post fangirling these majestic creatures, but this Buzzfeed Community post sums the members up in a way that is quite succinct and slightly informative, as per the fangirl way. Even without hearing their music (which is really good and many of their songs are jam packed with meaningful lyrics), how could you not fall for such gifts of nature?  

BTS_03

BTS_06

BTS_08

BTS_10

BTS_13

BTS_17

BTS_21

BTS_24

Boy-Crazy_02

Boy-Crazy_03

There was a point to this.

Boy-Crazy_04

Ah, yes! Here it is!

Boy-Crazy_05

You see, every time I get into an actor, singer, dancer, artist, and/or the likes and they happen to be a genetically blessed man with superior visual appeal, the nagging in my brain begins.  Pebbles, it says, why you be like this? Whatever do you mean, Brain? Can I not be a fan of talented and beautiful men?

Boy-Crazy_06

I very much believe that the answer is, in fact, yes. Hell yes, I can.

But for some reason, there’s this creeping anxiety that keeps telling me that “feminists can’t love men,” which is weird and frankly, quite dumb. Why do others assume that just because I’m a feminist, I can’t be a fangirl of male artists or boy bands and such? Is it because the very mention of “boy band” invokes heteronormativity and gender binary? Well, sure, it does. But as this Dame Magazine article points out, there is an oddly feminist twist to the boy band.

In a world where slut-shaming is a prevalent weapon against women and even young girls, the boy band becomes an outlet to openly express a young woman’s sexuality. As a woman, we are always put down and told to put our shoulders away, the boys might get distracted! We are told that a good woman is not a lewd woman. But we are all human, and part of our humanity is our sexuality.

Boy bands and fangirling are avenues of exploration and self-discovery. They may not be the most feminist in their own right, but the space they create allow young women to be openly expressive of what they want and that’s the important part! We as women are told that what we want or enjoy is of a lesser thing simply because we are women, but your pleasures and interests aren’t!

Boy-Crazy_07

As a fan of BTS, I am reassured that I have a place to express myself– an outlet. But, I also know for a fact that I am not living my life FOR these seven talented Korean men. As Rebel Wilson’s character in How to be Single says, “I know who the —- I am.” I don’t lose my fundamental beliefs at the sight of a handsome man.

So, be a fangirl! Weep and scream and write your strange fanfictions. But just know that you are an individual outside your fandom. You are so much more.  

P.S.
If you’ve reached this point, bless you soul! Despite the fangirl that I am, I never like forcing my fandoms on people who could clearly care less. However, if you are, in fact, interested in this phenomenal septet from south of the 38th parallel, please look them up and HUNT ME DOWN IMMEDIATELY SO WE CAN SCREAM IN TANDEM.

I am contractually obligated to do so.

P.P.S.
If you’d also like, meet some unconventional American BTS fangirls and feel the massive hold of ARMY.

P.P.P.S.
I am absolutely not done, but I’ll leave you all off here. I’ll see you all next week!

 

 

Love is a Sweet Surrender

What is love? Is it an emotion or an action? Why is it both amazing and yet painful? Love is the most natural thing in life…before we even realize it or have the knowledge of what love is, we have already loved. We have already experienced the greatest part of life itself. When we are born, we don’t choose to love…we aren’t mentally capable of being taught how to love either, it simply occurs naturally. We don’t pick who loves us or have any choice in it, it just is. I believe that love is both an emotion and an action as you feel the strong feelings that you have towards that person but you also continue to show your love by saying, “I love you” or by other displays of affection.

This weekend, I was forced into a family outing which I usually am not the biggest fan of, as some of the members of my family do not readily understand me. So there we were, driving around Long Island, looking for something to do or somewhere to eat. I was in a daze, my earbuds were shoved deep into my ears before the music imploded into them, drowning out a world that I desperately needed a short vacation from, if only for the duration of a single song. Then, we drove past a bakery. This was a bakery that I had wanted to visit for some time. I asked if we could pull over so we could go and check it out. It had this big draping awning that read, “Home of the Crannoli”. That was literally the entire reason that I wanted to step into this bakery at all… to try this confectionery masterpiece…to be transported into a sugar-filled trance…to be overwhelmed with the goodness of another food hybrid. The crannoli was the perfect cross between a cannoli, donut, and a croissant.

As I savored this majestic dessert, it was everything that I expected it to be and more. It had a crisp and flaky shell of a croissant that was delicately shaped like a doughnut but had the richness of the cream to make it the most balanced dessert. It was perfection. But I suppose I am missing my point. I was reminiscing about love and its meaningful qualities. I could easily say that I experienced love when I took my very first bite into my crannoli but that is not quite the point that I am trying to make. You see, we have all loved someone…someone who has impacted our lives greatly…someone who has loved us back unconditionally. I remember what that was like to love someone so much that it became my whole world. It made me a better person. When you lose someone that you love so completely, it is the most painful thing ever. So when I saw this particular bakery, it appealed to me beyond my amusement of its famous crannoli but the actual name of the bakery. The bakery was named Sweet Surrender Bake House. And that was it. That is what love is…a sweet surrender. Love can be painful, beautiful, fulfilling, and tumultuous but it is all worth it. Love is simply surrendering to your feelings in order to be a part of someone else’s world, their life, or their future. Love is the greatest sacrifice because there is no limit to it and that is an experience that I will never regret…that I could never fathom forgetting. Love, in its truest form, endures forever regardless of the circumstances. Love is a sweet surrender.

A Valentine’s For Everyone

miniature eye-view of the lost man creek exhibit

Have you ever taken a hike before? You feel like you’re the only one on the planet. As if you, somehow, left behind all civilization to find something that wasn’t really that hidden; you find yourself. What if, instead of being alone with mother nature, you were accompanied by someone? Perhaps, a significant other, a friend, or family member. Would you still feel alone? Or would you relish in the overtaking feeling of secluded bliss? In which, the world is endlessly you’re personal playground and you’re not only self-aware, but you are also conscious of the other person (or people) you are with. Our innate sense of busyness tends to divide our entire thought process. Thus, making it difficult to connect with one topic at a time. But given ample time and conducive environment, everyone has the ability to shake loose of all our daily demands and focus on the things that normally get forgotten.

a view over-looking the lost man creek exhibit

There is something to help you drift away from the busy New York City culture and indulge in something more natural. Sometimes, it’s the little (pun intended) things that can relax us. Inside Metrotech lies an art piece called “Lost Man Creek” created by, Connecticut born artist, Spencer Finch. It is a miniature version of the Redwood National Park located in California. According to The Public Art Fund, Finch scaled down the 790 acre patch of land into a tiny topographical version. The scale of the mini-forest is about 1:100, making 100-400 foot Redwood trees to only be comparable in mere inches; ranging from 12” to 48”.

a sign for the lost man creek exhibita side view of the lost man creek exhibit
It’s reign of display is reaching its imminent conclusion soon. By next month the future of this public art piece is undetermined. So if you haven’t seen it yet or have seen it and thoroughly enjoy it, get your last visits in now; before it’s too late. The next time you visit the Metrotech Center to satisfy your desperate cravings for Chipotle or that Five Guys burger you’ve been thinking about all day, try taking a little time for yourself to be alone with your thoughts. On a day like today – regardless if you are single, in a relationship, or in something quite complicated – self admiration is key. a tiny house inside the lost man creek exhibit

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines’ City Tech! On this joyous day we celebrate all on the topic of love and romance. Today I’d like to bring about my gratitude and love for my boyfriend Lokendra Singh. As you all have seen in my previous posts, he’s also been my lovely and patient model for photoshoots in the purpose of my blogs. We’ve been together for quite a while, we have had our ups and downs, but what relationship doesn’t? There is no such thing as a perfect relationship but I can say that ours is fairly close. This post will be dedicated to you, my love. On this day, I thank you; here, in public for all to see and read. I’m thankful to have you in my life as a friend, as a lover, and now as family. Loki, you taught me so much in these months from having faith to having trust, and to learn how to love without being afraid for the worst. Every day that I’ve been with you, I’ve always felt safe and loved. Even when we had our bickering moments you still showed me how much you loved me; texting me moments later to see if I was okay and trying to solve the issue as soon as possible. You enabled me to see a new world full of colors when I’ve been so blind. Before you, all I saw was grey. Now that I have you, it feels like I’ve won the lottery, or perhaps even better, I feel like I found a whole new world, a place I can call home. Your heart, that is where I am home.

Simply put, I want to say that I love you with all that I am and all that I ever will be. I look forward to the many years to come within this relationship and where it’ll take us. But more importantly I can’t wait to see you succeed in life; your dreams and all. I’ll always be by your side to support you no matter the storm.

…la vie est belle, now that I see in colors.

 

Growing and Getting Through

During the semester it may be difficult for students to balance their personal lives and their academic conquests. At some points it may even feel as though you are going “crazy” between dealing with the stress at home, at work, and at school. As a  student I can attest to how difficult it is to find time to make everyone happy, but the truth is it’s impossible to satisfy everyone’s needs and your own! You may be thinking to yourself, “That’s not true, it is possible to make everyone in my life happy.” My response to that would be “If you are making everyone happy, are you yourself truly happy? After you’ve done everything for everyone else, how do you feel mentally, physically and emotionally? Are you strong enough to do all you need to do for yourself as well or do you find yourself feeling exhausted and drained?” I think once you reflect on those questions, you will realize  that living only to please others has in fact been taking away from you pleasing yourself.

I decided to discuss this topic this week because at the tender age of 24, I have finally realized that I am not capable of making everyone happy. I thought that I was strong enough to balance my personal and academic life, while also being there for everyone else. In all actuality, I was absorbing everyone else’s issues and adding them on to my own personal problems. Days would go by and I would feel consumed with anger and stress, but I couldn’t put my finger on the issue. One day I decided to find a way to occupy my wandering mind, and I found a book that changed my outlook on life. The name of the book that I found solace in is called “All About Love: New Visions” by bell hooks . This book opened up my mind to the possibility that I was the root of my problems. I was causing myself a lot of stress and frustration because I was dwelling on issues that were out of my control rather than moving on and accepting things for what they were.

After reading this book I looked at my life through a different lens, and I began to adapt the ideas in this book to my personal life. I noticed that the more that I accepted the things bell hooks provides in her book, the more relationships in my life began to change. Not only were the dynamics in my relationships beginning to change, I was also growing and I could see my growth. I was accepting that there are things that I cannot change, allowing myself to work through issues in a positive light, and expressing my inner most thoughts that I historically tried to harbor inside of me. This change in the way I was navigating through my life helped me mentally, and physically. Not only was I feeling better about the things I could and couldn’t do, but I was also able to feel more confident in completing the academic work I had to do for myself. This book “All About Love: New Visions” has taught me about  more than the dynamics of love;  it also taught me so much about myself. It showed me that in order for me to find a way to say no to others so that I could say yes to myself, I had to grow. I had to grow out of the current position I had placed myself in, and go through a metamorphosis into a new me.

I want each of you that are reading this blog to know that in life sometimes you must unapologetically take your feelings into consideration before others. I am not saying to be selfish because there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking care of others. Rather what I’m saying is you must first work on your own personal happiness, and then you have to pick and choose what you can do for other people. Don’t over exert and extend yourself to help others when you need to take care of yourself. Instead, do what you can for others, while also making sure you are okay in the process. I know that making such a drastic change as taking care of yourself as much as you take care of others won’t be easy. However, in order for you to be happy, healthy, and mentally stable you must take the appropriate steps to comfort and console yourself.

I urge everyone who is reading this blog to take a moment and ask yourself:

  1. Have you cried randomly in the last few weeks?
  2. Are you doing too much for others and feeling unappreciated?
  3. Do you often feel like you are overwhelmed with your life?

If the answer to any of these questions are yes, then you need to take a break and take care of yourself. The only way for you to feel better about any situation you are in is for you to practice self-care and make sure you are okay.

Feel free to use the comment box below to vent about what’s on your mind.
And, has anyone read this book that helped me so much ? If so, leave a note about your experiences with it!

What is Love? Baby Don’t Hurt Me

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow!!!
I love Valentine’s Day!
I love the spirit, I love the colors, I just love all the love that is in the air.

cartoon character sitting with dreamy face with hearts around her

Image By: We Heart It

We show love all year but it’s so different around Valentine’s day, because it’s basically love on steroids lol. It’s the extra that feels good: the frosting on the cake, the whipped cream on top of the frappucino, the sprinkles on the ice cream. It just feels better than all the other days and it looks prettier. Hey, maybe it’s just me, but I love it.

Valentine’s day isn’t just about a romantic relationship. It’s about showing love to someone in your life, whether it’s a romantic partner, a best friend, your parents, other family members, or even your pet. It’s about putting that love out there to make their world shine even brighter for the day.

In ode to Valentine’s day I asked friends and family to answer one of two questions:

  1. How did you know you were in love?
    or
  2. What does love mean to you?

Their responses reminded me why the essence of Valentine’s day is so important.
Their answers were:

“I knew I was in love when I started crying because she hung up on me” LOL
– Adonijah

“Love is more than just a feeling. You can feel strongly in like but love requires commitment. You can like someone and not be committed to them but love is a bond that yearns commitment.”
– Justin B

“Your smile melted my heart and I just knew 27 years ago”
– My Corny Older Sister Afiya

“I knew I was in love when I cared about his feelings and thought of how he would react to certain situations before I thought of anyone else”
– Lexxii

“The minute you find out you’re pregnant and then you hear the heartbeat, that is a love no one can match. I loved my daughter from that moment. I knew my purpose in life now was to love her, protect her, and make sure she knows I love her so she can accept nothing less from anyone else”
– Mareena

“I have no idea what love is. Sometimes I think I’m in love after one hour but should it be that fast? I don’t have a real solid definition but I know it feels damn good”
-Sabreen

“Love is so splendid. It’s selfless, kind, gentle, understanding, considerate. Love is putting yourself in situations to see how it feels to someone else before you do it. Love is wanting to be near the person or thing that gives you butterflies all the time. Love just might be the most powerful feeling.”
– My Mom whom I love every day by the way 🙂 lol

“Love means that you care for somebody and that somebody loves you and you love them.”
My six-year-old niece (She’s onto something here)

Valentine’s day doesn’t have to be just about showering someone with gifts, or spending a lot of money, orlike some Valentine’s day haters would say“taking this ONE day to show people you love them.” I can understand though how the commercialism of Valentine’s day can leave a bad taste in people’s mouthsit seems like just another day to put ridiculous amounts of money into businesses’ and restaurants’ pockets. Not to mention how triggering it can be for single people or people whose relationship isn’t in the best place. That’s why any time I come across someone that has this opinion about Valentine’s day, I like to emphasize that personally, my best version of Valentine’s Day usually requires no money to be spent at all, and it’s not just about a boyfriend or girlfriend. I enjoy quality time with family and people I love, letters, handmade thoughtful gifts and memorabilia. You can celebrate and have your special day that way as well, full of sentiment and without the need of material things.

Valentine’s day is a day of reflection, really remembering why you love who you love, why you appreciate them, and dedicating the day as the anniversary, the holiday, the celebration for that love. How can you not love it?!

boy with glasses with dreamy eyes looking up

Retrieved from QuanJing

For those of you who have a love-hate relationship with Valentine’s day, be your own Valentine this year. Shower yourself with love and attention.

man pointing to you as viewer with words "treat yourself"

Gif Retrieved from Pajiba.com

Whatever your reasoning may be for not necessarily enjoying or desiring to celebrate Valentine’s day, recreate the day and dedicate it to yourself. I’m always here for the self love, honey. Self love is the best love. The more you love yourself is the more you love others and accept love and disregard hate. But make sure you get a slice of all this love that is flying around right now; it’s beautiful, and on Feb 15th you won’t see it this loud anymore lol 🙂

happy valentines day

Image from Pixabay

two young girls hugging and smiling

Image by Masterfile

man and woman sitting on couch smiling at each other

Retrieved from Essence.com

two women in intimate hug embrace

Retrieved from CinemaJam

two male hands interlocked

Retrieved from StarObserver

toddler girl kissing her reflection in the mirror

Retrieved from PathwaysOfWisdom