This is always a tricky time of year. Cupid’s afoot with his trusty bow and arrow, and I, usually sour on the prospect of Valentine’s Day, am armed and ready with my pepper spray poised to knock the wind out of the little fucker.
I get especially antsy because I have made the choice to forgo an intimate relationship with a member of my sex until I feel I’m better equipped to align someone else’s baggage along side my own, which lets be honest, could take hundreds of years because you know I’ve got my baggage (designer it may be, but its still baggage, ya’ll). I’ve sat back and watched nearly all of my friends one by one become part of these cutesy twosomes complete with personality transplants that make me want to poke my eyes out with a sharp stick. The older I become the worse it gets, especially now that my demographic is onward and upward and everyone I know is now living together with his or her significant others in their quaint little love dens, whilst I am still living in solitude in my bachelor pad that looks like it was decorated by Liberace’s ghost. I am forced to go to these love dens and breathe in these toxic couple fumes if I ever want to see any of my friends again. While there, I find myself so preoccupied with the reality I’m a singleton sitting amongst all these couples, I sort of go into my own little world and though I’m smiling and nodding on the outside, on the inside I’m imagining all sorts of horrible and scandalous ways in which their relationships will fail and burnout. This helps the smile become just a wee bit wider I’m ashamed to confess.
All of this begs the question; why in the hell do I even like these people anymore? Wouldn’t it be easier and quicker to just stand in the middle of 490 if I really wanted to torture myself? Probably, but I digress. The more important question is how can someone come to feel so deranged and dejected when it comes to matters of the heart?
Through my travels in life (and more than few episodes of Joyce Meyer’s Enjoying Everyday Life) I have come to one conclusion that explains why someone who is an otherwise very loving, social and engaging individual could be such a Grinch when it comes to love and happiness for those around him or her: it is simply impossible to wish others well and celebrate their love when you don’t love yourself.
I am guilty as charged.
There are so many things about myself I have a less than stellar attitude about. Sometimes I can be downright negative. For all of my strengths (I think I’m witty, I know I’m loyal, and in the appropriate circumstances the needs of others take precedence over my own), I, like a lot of folks, have just as many flaws. I use humor to deflect what I’m really thinking and feeling. The funnier and more ostentatious I present myself, the more fragile I’m feeling on the inside, which is where the real troubles brew. When you feel out of sorts about the way you look or feel, when you sometimes feel like you have nothing to show for the things you have supposedly accomplished in life, when you’re constantly looking at others and thinking, “Why do they have it so freakin’ easy?”, it’s very easy to become bitter, jaded, jealous, and ill tempered. Of course when you start down that road of thinking, it’s only a matter of time before these feelings start wreaking havoc with your expectations in life. I hold myself and those around me to very high standards. Unfortunately, these standards usually leave me more often than not disenchanted, disappointed, and extremely judgmental when it becomes blatantly obvious my alleged superior way of thinking can sometimes be completely ridiculous and unrealistic for anyone to live up to. That said, with so much negativity and resentment, there is simply no room in your heart for genuine love for anyone.
After spending so much of my life with these unpleasant feelings, I’m so ready to move on from these time wasting energies.
The truth is, sometimes you just have to get over yourself and your way of thinking. It’s not about what’s right or wrong, or about what he or she has you don’t, or even about the idea that love somehow makes everything better. It’s about treating yourself better. It’s about recognizing and pointing out more regularly what you are and what you have, not what you’re not or what you don’t. If you learn to embrace you and everything else that is distinctly you (good, bad, and indifferent) you’ll have a helluva lot easier time wishing those around you well and share in the love that’s in the air. If you start to believe one truly does reap what they sow, by accepting and loving yourself, your heart will be more open to accept and love others, even when some of them make you want to roll your eyes and fall over.
This year I’m going to send a Valentine to myself, if only to remind myself that big personality, big hair, and big ass me is loved and filled with love. I may even call a truce with Cupid.
I wonder if he’s single, too?
Essential Download: "Where Does the Good Go?"
Artisit: Tegan & Sara
Available On: So Jealous
Originally published in the February 2008 issue of The Empty Closet, New York State’s Oldest Continuously-Published LGTB newspaper since 1973, through the Gay Alliance of Genesee Valley.