Years ago, when in my early 20s and newly introduced to the concept of Valentine’s Day, I remember getting all dreamy eyed and mushy, longing to fall in love as soon as possible.
Those were the days of the heart fluttering at the mere thought of a “someone special” giving me goosebumps with a glance thrown my way, or perhaps a wink. Of dreaming about that someone special sweeping me off my feet, and taking me on a long, romantic drive atop his snazzy motorbike. Of roses and melodious music, of hushed conversations and sweet nothings whispered into each other’s ears. Of promising to love each other till the end of time.
Ah, those were the days, when Richard Gere was rescued by Julia Roberts in the final scene of “Pretty Woman” and my heartbeat came to a stop. Those were the days when I wished someone like Richard Gere would step into my life, too, unannounced—just like in the movie—and fill my life with love, the kind that I yearned for.
In a few years’ time, I did meet my own Prince Charming, who did whisk me off on his motorbike to his home and made me his wife! Sigh. Then, time seemed to fly when we were together; when we shared our joys and laughter, and we felt that this was what love was all about. When doing things together, and going through life and its ups and downs, hand-in-hand meant we were soul mates, we would unite in every birth, and have a glorious love story for the world to admire.
Sadly, though, we grew up and grew old. Decades flew by and today, when I look back, I wonder if it was all just a dream. Or, perhaps, some chapters from a romance novel that now finds a change in its plot to accommodate the aged hero and heroine who wonder what brought them together in the first place!
Today, Valentine’s Day doesn’t hold any charm the way it did back then. Spending time with my Prince Charming doesn’t feel charming anymore. We have different things on our mind now, which don’t include romance and love talks. Today, love also has a different meaning, altogether. Heck, when I think about it, I don’t even know what love really means!
Today, spending time with myself and doing things to keep me happy tops my own wish list. I will be at liberty to go where I wish, indulge what I fancy, or even laze around all day without the bother of pleasing anyone.
At an age when I can proudly scratch off “you complete me” and replace it with “I complete me,” I find it therapeutic indulging in self-care and self-love. It was trending in 2019; why not follow it up in 2020, too. Loving the self makes sense, doesn’t it, considering I will spend most of my life with myself? It’s I who needs to be kept happy and feeling loved. So, spending Valentine’s Day with myself definitely makes sense, doesn’t it?
It’s really just another day when Hallmark makes megabucks selling greeting cards and teddy bears and whatnot, and when young couples go crazy professing their undying love for one another. And how long does the love survive, anyway?
It’s the reason I wonder how life could be if I practiced loving myself more than the world. I would definitely be in a happier space.
It’s also the reason I wish “Pretty Woman” had a completely different ending—one where Julia Roberts goes off to finish her education, find a job, and travel the world along with her pet dog, instead of rescuing Richard Gere. That would surely have been a better life she would have lived, no?