“Without Valentine’s Day, February would be…well, January.” -Jim Gaffigan
February is the month of romance and love. When I think of February, the first thing I think of is Valentine’s Day, a day in which long winded love letters are sent between admirers, Cupid is floating in the sky shooting arrows of love, and paper mache hearts are hung across the room. Somehow, the frozen, white snow does not seem so cold anymore, and is instead filled with red warmth and amor. With the exchanging of chocolates and candies, there is also a trade of affection, as we look deep down in our hearts and finally express our feelings to those who we really care about. Those who are not in a relationship call this day the “Singles Awareness Day (S.A.D.)” and celebrate by gathering with other single people and commiserating.
Valentine’s Day, however, shouldn't be the the only day in which we can witness love. Love is ubiquitous; it can be seen everywhere. Whether it be from mothers to their children, or a friend to a friend, there can be no denying that love is universal. Love is also an indomitable force; it comes crashing in like a thousand tidal waves.
As mere human beings, we are constantly affected by our emotions. No matter how impartial we try to become, there is always that hint of bias left in the decisions that we make. But it is these emotions that make up our being. It is our nature to be swayed by the constantly flowing array of emotions that are formed in our hearts. The emotion of love influences us especially so. When we love someone, no matter what our rational mind says, we still continue to trust and support that individual. It is quite a strange phenomenon that really cannot be explained by logic alone. Somehow, that bond forces us to remain connected with the person, making us somewhat like slaves to him or her.
In a way, it is understandable that some believe this emotion only drags us down. Preventing us from any rational thought, we are left victim to whatever the heart desires. However, love can also do the antithesis. Through bonding with another, a small sprout of trust is grown. As this sprout is fed with more bonds and friendships, it eventually blooms into a flower of hope, which will constantly shine and be a guiding torch in the dark perplexing tunnel that is the future.
Because love has such a paramount impact on our lives, there have been a copious amount of great poems, books, and songs written about this phenomenon. Each of these magnificent pieces all come up with different interpretations of what affection is, because in the end, love strikes a person uniquely. To some, it’s like a leopard; it hides within the thick plains, out of our sight and approaches them without their knowledge. It leaps out when they are most vulnerable, with a vicious lash, and before they know it, they are left victims to the beast. Even if they manage to escape its grasp, they cannot do so unscathed. They will always have a deep scar to remember the painful event. To others, love is more like a loyal dog, always by their side when needed the most, always supportive.
Personally, my experience was the former. The phenomenon occurred when I was least expecting it and I remember how every moment slipped by so quickly. From her warm hazel eyes when she looked at me, to her lips as she smiled even when I cracked a mundane joke, I still remember it all clearly. I remember the first time I met her- a new student in our class, sitting awkwardly by herself not sure what to do. Initially, I had no interest in her. However, as we talked, I realized that we had much in common. Our interests were similar, and we both had lived in similar environments. Even our tastes in music, food, and movies were similar. Before I knew it, I had fallen for her. Every aspect about her seemed so perfect. I was never happier than that moment when she said yes when I expressed my feelings towards her. Of course, good moments like these don't always last. After a few months passed, she suddenly seemed distant. Maybe I was the one at fault, though I will never know. Ending the relationship with me, she left and that was the last time we talked. Later on, I discovered that she had picked another person over me. Maybe I had it all wrong from the start. Maybe we weren’t as similar as I thought. But it didn’t matter. Our relationship was over and I couldn’t do anything to prevent it from happening, but that didn't mean that my experience was invalid.
In the end, we cannot define what love exactly means. Love is going to come differently to each person, and through that experience, we search for what the significance of love is. Love is a practice; one cannot simply hope to manipulate it. But while we remain under the domination of it, we can still come to a conclusion and decide what this emotion means to us. The answers may come early to some and late to others, but the delay is also a part of the journey.