It should be noted before you read this article that I wrote this for me. I sat down at my computer to write my column and this happened instead. Convinced I could never send this in, I tried to write a more conventional article but found myself lost in a tangle of words. Finally, at the persuasion of my roommate, I decided to be bold, and fall back on my honest thoughts. That is what you are about to read.
I was involved in a bad relationship once. That being said it wasn’t a relationship. We never dated. But we, as any two people do, had a relationship of how we interacted. And it was bad. I stayed with somebody who was exceptionally unkind to me for entirely too long. And I thought it was love.
I allowed one person to strip me of my dignity. I allowed one person to destroy my self-worth and make me question if my life had any value at all. I was completely and utterly brain washed. I backed away from everything I knew and loved. I became scared and alone and confused. This one single person had convinced me that I was unlovable.
Then, one day, I woke up. And I saw what love actually was. Love was all the little things that I had seemed to have forgotten. Love is brushing the hair back out of a girl’s face. Love is making your significant other breakfast in bed while they’re still asleep. Love is dancing around to your favorite song and not getting judged when you look like a complete fool. Love is a caring, nurturing, healthy relationship with the people around you.
But what I realized that day was that love was more than the romance. Love was more than a boyfriend or a girlfriend or a fiancée or a spouse. Love was everywhere. I see it every day on this campus. It is the way people hold the door for each other and the way professors from years past stop to say hello on their way to class. I see it when friends reunite after a long winter break or when students support each other in their struggles.
Real, pure, genuine, true love. The kind that builds you up and makes you strong. I guess what I’m trying to say is that; yes today is Valentine’s Day. Yes, you might be planning the perfect date with your significant other or you might be ready to order Chinese food and watch Netflix with your best friends. And both of those are totally acceptable. But no matter how you spend February 14th, please don’t ever think, even for a moment, that you are unloved.
Because you attend Westminster College. And everybody on this campus is loved. Infinitely more than they could possibly realize. So before you start getting cynical about this holiday, look around you and realize that you will always be loved and you deserved to be treated as such. This is my Valentine’s Day card to the entirety of the Westminster College community. Thank you for reminding me what love is.