Walking into Whole Foods a few nights ago, I was mesmerized by the abundance of flowers in the entrance. The store felt like an outdoor market, alive with varied colors and textures.  It was breathtakingly beautiful.  I happily thought that they’d changed the front display with an expanded floral display.  I already couldn’t wait until the next time I went, before I’d even shopped, just so I could have that experience of walking in again.

And then I realized it was all for Valentine’s Day.

I pride myself on being contentedly single – I can do what I want, when I want and without having to consult anybody. But, for some reason this year I felt very aware of Valentine’s Day. Not distraught, not sad, but aware.

Suddenly, it mattered.

As I heard people in my office talk about the plans they weren’t making with their significant others, I had a bit of an epiphany: Valentine’s Day seems to matter the most to people who aren’t in relationships. Maybe that’s because it’s like a flashlight on what you don’t have.  All those commercials from the florists and match.com seem to mock the singles among us. It’s almost as if the unmarrieds and the un-romanced are set up to feel lonely.

One year a group of girlfriends and I decided we’d celebrate the holiday by going out to a nice dinner. We all were unattached, so we thought we’d just embrace our friendship for a festive, fun-filled evening. Instead, it was a night of three angry women and me, who wanted to flee, go home and get in my pajamas.

My truth is that though life isn’t always what I imagined it would be at this age, I do my best to meet myself where I am. It is easy to succumb to anger, which often is just a veil to hide the grief of a life that hasn’t measured up to our dreams. The truth is that I would rather entertain myself alone than to be with people who don’t appreciate the beauty of their own light.

The most important relationship you have in your life is the relationship you have with yourself. Because no matter what happens, you will always be with yourself.

— Diane von Furstenburg

I treat myself to vibrantly-colored flowers and succulent chocolates and delicious dinners in beautiful restaurants regularly, so I am my own valentine. Every day.

And that is grace.

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