So maybe it's the impending holiday of love and other commercialized things or maybe my inner-sentimental is showing; either way, I've found myself thinking a lot about love, more specifically how people show love. Valentine's Day is a Hallmark holiday, yes, but I think that it can also serve an important purpose by reminding us to appreciate the people we love.

It seems showing love for the important people in our lives has become either an afterthought or something simply implied. In my family, we say "I love you" or some form of that phrase at the end of every conversation/when someone is leaving to go out/when someone is leaving the room/etc. and it may seem excessive, honestly it probably is, but it has become habit after years of always it. I recently asked my mom if "I love you" has become such a habit that it lost its meaning. She answered me with a question--in the annoying way that parents do--asking if I did loved the people I was saying it to every time I said it. I realized that, except for the few awkward times when I've told a receptionist at my doctor's office I loved her before hanging up out of habit, I do love the people that I say "I love you" to. This answer may have worked when it came to my family because we all know that we love each other (most of the time), but when it comes to other types of love it can be different.

When did love become a cliche? When did telling your best friend you love them become something people roll their eyes at? When did doing something nice for someone you care about become about what you want from that person? I feel a little bit like a child who has realized that Santa isn't real because love isn't what I thought it was. I'm not naive and I know love is complicated, but expressing it shouldn't be. If we love someone, I think we should show it or say it because implied love really isn't the same thing. I may be overly dramatic and too sentimental, but I'm not sure that being sentimental about love is a bad thing. What happened to the "all you need is love" mentality?

I admit that recently I have gotten so caught up in school and my own life that I haven't been as expressive of my love to the people who really matter to me as I could/should be and maybe that's why love is on my mind, the why isn't as important as what I or we are going to do about this disconnect, though. The world may seem like it is going to hell in a hand-basket (a favorite phrase of my grandma's) and it could be, so why aren't we trying to appreciate the good when it happens? I think (and I know I'm far from an expert on the topic) that all of the hate and distrust in the world is causing us to forget about love and its importance. For what it's worth, I really do believe that all we need is love in whatever forms we can find it.