Valentine's day is the most commercialized holiday behind Christmas. I have a strange relationship with this day for the past few years. Every year on February 14th, I become reflective, almost philosophical. This year is no different.
Today, I am thinking about love. To be perfectly honest, love and I have a difficult relationship. Somehow, I was born with plenty of analytical intelligence and a deficit in emotional intelligence. This is a recent realization and it exposed to me just how imperfect of a human being I really am.
For the past few years, I've tried to get better at love, loving, and being loved. The road wasn't always smooth. But just looking back 2 years, I realized how far I've come. Sometimes, I think the journey may end soon, but after climbing over one mountain, another taller mountain looms in the distance. And suddenly, I am reminded: Love is a battlefield.
Love means battling your demons everyday. To me, this means facing my own shortcomings every waking second. My insecurities sometimes get the better of me. Sometimes I slip and fall down the mountain. Unfortunately, as in a real battlefield, love can be cruel and unforgiving. One false step and I must start over. And so, like Sisyphus, I often find myself walking down that hill to that awaiting rock.
If the story of Sisyphus is a tragedy, I have hopes that mine is not. Unlike our Greek hero, every time I roll that rock, I learn something new. I am a different person every time. The hill is different every time. And so is the rock. I know in that paradise I'm headed, there will be no rocks and no hills.
How do I know? I've seen it from a distance. My parents have been married for close to 30 years now. They are more in love now than I have ever seen them to be before and their love is only growing stronger. If I have to be Sisyphus, so that one day I may know the love that they know now, then I will gladly bear my burden.
Valentine's day isn't made for companies like Visa or Hallmark. Valentine's day is made for couples like my parents. It is with their love that they inspire the rest of us.
Happy Valentine's Day, mom and dad!