Named days, and why I need them

Call me a sucker for days that are assigned to celebrate something in particular. Maybe it”s because I like keeping a schedule. Maybe it’s because I’m too lazy or busy to do it on any random day. But I like celebrating love on Valentine’s Day and I like celebrating family on Family Day. And you better believe I’m going to have myself some pancakes on Shrove Tuesday and that I will refrain from meat on Ash Wednesday.

It’s not like I don’t celebrate my family any other day of the year – but I like the idea that there’s a day when it’s not cheesy or corny or overly emotional to do so. There”s a line in the new movie, “Valentine’s Day” that Reed (played by Ashton Kutcher) says something like, “I love Valentine”s Day. I can be as corny and be as crazy in love as I want and no one is going to think I”m crazy because everyone is in love on Valentine”s Day!”. That”s how I feel about Valentine’s Day. Because I love to love. I”m not going to deny it, I do. I”ve always loved being in love but that hasn’t helped me have a successful relationship… so I’m putting that on hold (sort of). But that”s not what this post is about.

My last post wasn’t a cry for help like my pre-Christmas post was; I was just… trying to let go of some of the emotions I was feeling about Valentine’s Day. I actually had a pretty good weekend thanks to great friends and family (and a certain someone else who made me smile on several occasions this weekend).

The thing is, I like the idea that there is one day that a large percentage of the population mentally and emotionally come together to celebrate something as wonderful as love. Yes, couples can celebrate their love any (and hopefully every) day of the year… but there is something magical that happens when seemingly everyone around you celebrates their love with you (but not literally of course) – imagine applying an exponent to love… and that exponent, when the love is celebrated with the right person is ?.

“…And love. Love above all. No… not the artful postures of love, not playful and poetical games of love for the amusement of an evening, but love that… over-throws life. Unbiddable, ungovernable – like a riot in the heart, and nothing to be done, come ruin or rapture. Love – like there has never been in a play.”
— Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love.

Happy Family Day!

Not quite anti-Valentine’s but close

For the last two years, I strongly disliked Valentine’s day because I couldn’t be with the one I wanted to be with. This year is no different. The reasons may be different, but the end result is the same – I will be spending it alone. I’m ok with this on my own, but every time I walk by a store or even open my email I get reminded of the fact that this silly, commercial holiday is approaching. One saving grace this year is that Chinese New Year is also being celebrated on February 14th. I’m not religious, or traditional (despite what the quizzes on OkCupid say) so I’ve never been one to focus celebrations on Chinese New Year… and I’m not about to start just to escape the pain that is Valentine’s Day but I sure am glad that it’s on that day.

I was supposed to go to the John Mayer concert on Valentine’s Day (the perfect distraction) but due to a misunderstanding, I am no longer going. Despite my disappointment, I have to accept that this is for the best. I also have to admit that I’m a little tired of that right now. It seems that everything that I do these days ‘is for the best’. But none of it seems to be the best for my spirit, at least in the now. I’m sure it has it’s long term benefits, and that maybe it’s about time that I start doing things that will only benefit me in the long run… but I sure do wish it would go easy on me for even just one day.

Oh, that sounds so melodramatic. I am not living an extraordinarily hard life. I still have a roof over my head, I have plenty of food, I am warm, and healthy. But the roof of my head doesn’t keep the rain clouds away, food has not excited me for over two months now, and the warmth only makes me feel lonelier because despite feeling warm, I also feel empty. Being healthy just means that I am free of disease and serious illness, but I still am unable to sleep or even eat normally – I have a weird, tingling numbness in almost all of my muscles that I can’t quite explain but ignore because nothing I do (yoga, stretching or dance) seems to make it go away.

And so here you have it. I have tried to stay positive. I have tried to stay the same girl that has always written with pure, heart-felt optimism and hopeless hope. But I am not that same girl these days… and I’m tired of hiding. I know I’m still lucky. I know this enough not to take any of my sadness out on any body. I am still kind. I am still the same caring girl, but I am not going to pretend that life is easy right now. I also know that perhaps my life is difficult because I am making it so, but that brings me back to the fact that I need to do things that are ‘for the best’, in the long run.

I don’t take what I have for granted. I am still thankful for all that I have; a great family, great friends, and that I have felt great love – even if only briefly, a heart so willing to love that it doesn’t care how much it’ll hurt, a talent for art in various forms and the promise of a great new career. I am still thankful, but it doesn’t ease my pain any.

The silver lining is that this pain has motivated me to do things like write my list of 30 things I want to accomplish before I turn 30. It has motivated me to find things to fill the hole. They have all worked to distract from the pain, but at the end of the day I still feel it. And my logical brain tells me that I need that, because if I only ignored the pain I wouldn’t be dealing with it and it would only ever come back worse than before. So I’m trying. I’ve been trying not to whine on here, but I think it’s time I let it out…

How do you deal with pain?