Below is my annual Valentine’s Day post.

Valentine’s Day is the time of the year when the entire world looks just the way I want it to: covered in red, pink, hearts, glitter and candy, but that’s not the reason why I’m all about it. You’d think from the aisles of Kmart that Valentine’s Day is like setting up a shrine in your parking space: Yay, I found one! Put some pink cellophane on it so everyone knows it’s mine!

I’m of the third-grade school of Valentine’s Day, when you gave a carefully decorated piece of construction paper to each and every person in your class. No one was left out, and you couldn’t play favorites or everyone would know who your crush was and you’d die of embarrassment. Everyone celebrated together, everyone ate too much drugstore chocolate, and everyone was told “U R SWEET.”

Valentine’s Day is not about whether or not you have a significant other or at least someone who’ll text you “happy vday ;)” at 3 a.m. It’s not a competition against the haves (have lovers) and the have-nots (have not even a f**k buddy). Valentine’s Day is not stupid or depressing, because Valentine’s Day is not about you.

That’s right, I said it. IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU. It’s about them. It’s about reminding yourself to show the special people in your life how much you care. It’s about throwing open your arms so wide that the whole world can fit in there. It’s about letting your BFF have the first pick in the assorted pack of candy bars (which you trekked to three different stores to purchase). It’s about spontaneously holding your neighbor’s hand during a lying twist. It’s about calling your sister, drawing a heart on your co-worker’s Post-It notes, and ordering your friend a martini before she arrives at the bar because you could tell from her Facebook status that she was going to need it. Even if your dad is the only person who sends you flowers, hello, your dad sent you flowers!!! We all have someone out there who loves us, and Valentine’s Day is about remembering to say it back.

This Valentine’s Day, I challenge you to drop your overly commercial expectations of the holiday and spend it thinking about and talking to the people you love, whomever and wherever they are. Regardless of your romantic situation, I challenge you, as Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote, to love “to the depth and breadth and height [your] soul can reach.”

In case you don’t hear it enough today, I’ll say it: I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you.

(Updated and revised from original post on Social Workout.

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