Love in Surprising Places

It is that time of year again. Valentine’s Day. The fourteenth of February. The day when couples around the world commemorate their love for each other with flowers, heart shaped balloons and chocolates. With all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the fourteenth, it is easy to get caught up in the hype of the Hallmark holiday and to start to define love by the grand gestures shown in one day.

What is love though, really I mean? Is it roses and chocolate covered strawberries? Is it fancy dinners and Tiffany jewelry? As a single, twenty something, I may still be somewhat of a novice in the romantic department of love, but I’d like to attempt to define love.

Image(Photo via LaurenConrad.com)

When I think of love, I don’t see red.

I see white, a beautiful, white gown a friend gave me for a pageant I was competing in because I couldn’t afford a new one.

I see my father’s eyes and the way they lit up when I came home for a surprise visit after being away for a long time.

I smell sweet, chocolate brownies that my mom used to make my brother and I. Waiting a whole 30 minutes seemed forever to two kids, so my mom would give us the bowl and spoon to lick.

I hear laughter as my grandmother pushed me on the swings. It tired her arms, but she never said anything. She knew how much I loved it.

I feel tears, as I cried over the end of my first relationship while my oldest friend sat and listened to my hurts.

I see an old bicycle that my dad used to ride across town to see my mom back in the days when they were just friends.

I feel a hand holding mine as I stepped out onto the ice for the first time. It had always been my dream to ice skate and I felt safe having someone I knew cared about me hold my hand.

I hear loud singing as me and two of my high school friends belt out every lyric to Destiny Child’s Survivor at karaoke night.

I feel my father’s strong arms, as he let me fall apart on his shoulder at my grandmother’s funeral.

I smell the sweet scent that only a newborn can have as I met my newest cousin when I went home to Michigan for Christmas.

Twenty Something Advice (for Anybody)

“So many waste their time chasing love. The wise know that only by opening

one’s arms to give can true love ever be received.”

When I think of love, I think of all these things and more.  Love is so much bigger than one day of the year. Love is not about grand gestures. Love is not boiled down to simply the romantic kind, but so many people get lost in looking for “the one,” especially on this big commercial holiday that they forget that love is all around them. Love is an amazing, amazing thing. For so many ladies and men, the fourteenth of February is a dreaded day because it only serves as a reminder of their single status. I encourage you to not get caught up in all the pomp and circumstance of Valentine’s Day. If you do not have a significant other, I hope you take this day to ponder the love you do have in your life. Remember that love is more than cards, chocolates and fancy things.

I may be a young twenty something, but I have come to understand that love is selfless. Love is giving of the things one holds most dear. Love is putting someone else before yourself. Love is patient in the most trying times. Love listens. Love seeks to understand before asking to be understood. Love doesn’t quit. Love is you. Love is me. Love is in the way we treat people. Love is the memories made and the people we make them with. Love is everywhere. Open your eyes and let it in.

Don’t forget to tell someone you love them today and every day. Love is not only reserved for the fourteenth of February!

-Stephkt

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