An Open Letter To The Man Who Has Been My Valentine For The Past 5 Years

An Open Letter To The Man Who Has Been My Valentine For The Past 5 Years

Thank you for being my Valentine each and every day.

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I remember being young and always looking forward to Valentine's Day. I don't know what it is about it, because really it's just any other day. But there's something special about it because it always gives me butterflies. Or maybe it's the person I get to spend Valentine's Day with who gives me butterflies. Yeah, that must be it.

To the man who allows me to be myself, thank you for putting up with my crazy. On this special day, I need you to prepare yourself, but I know you already know. Instead of taking an hour to get ready, I'll probably take two. So just be ready. Also, we can't forget the camera for obvious reasons.

Thinking back to Valentine's Day in elementary school, I was the girl who dressed in pink, with a heart sticker on my cheek and a handful of Valentine's in hand. Side note, but whoever stopped that tradition in middle school probably had a bad breakup at some point.

Anyways, back to my Valentine: I met you in middle school and both know what happened. I was a bully, and I took your chair one day but thank goodness you didn't mind too much, because who knew just a few years later, I'd be drawing hearts next to your name in my notebook, rather than taking Biology notes.

I never thought I'd have a high school sweetheart, let alone a Valentine at all in high school. Everyone knows high school is the worst when it comes to love. Or maybe that's college, who knows. All I know is I am one lucky girl. I am lucky because I get to spend Valentine's Day and every other day with my best friend. I don't care if we go out to the fanciest restaurant there is or spend the evening watching movies and eating chocolate. If I'm with my Valentine, I'm happy.

When you've been with someone long enough, you kinda just know. Things flow, and there's little pressure. I don't have to say anything. You know me to my core and I couldn't feel more secure. You are my best friend, my boyfriend, my Valentine, and my rock.

After five years, I still love celebrating Valentine's Day with you. You let me be me. To this day, I will wake up on Valentine's Day feeling especially lovey and girly, wanting to spread love and appreciation. Some people may hate Valentine's Day, but I will forever feel butterflies when thinking of my first Valentine.

To the man, I never expected to meet, let alone fall for. Thank you for being you and for letting me be me. Thank you for loving me each and every day. You are my Valentine today and for as long as I can see. It's safe to say, I think you're stuck with my crazy.

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A Thank You To My Bipolar Depression, Because I Wouldn't Be Where I Am Without You

Thank you for making me a stronger person.

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Dear Bipolar Depression,

Thank you.

I know it's weird to thank you for putting me in a deep hole where I felt like I could never get back up, but I am. I didn't realize this at the time, but you have made me a much stronger person. I spent most of my life letting other people push me around, but thanks to you I got sick of it, and I found my voice. I found my passion.

During those two years where you were at your worst, you helped me rediscover my love of movies, and helped me realize why I fell in love with the art of film and storytelling in the first place. Sure, you made me doubt myself over and over again, but in the end, you showed me that I am my own worst critic and that I need to be more lenient with myself.

Without you, I wouldn't be where I am today. If my life had played out the way I had planned then, sure I would have probably left home four years ago with the intent of studying journalism, so I could ultimately work for a top tier newspaper, and while that would have been nice, it would have also been extremely stressful. I am a workaholic. I have to drag myself away from editing over the weekend just so I can have a break, and since the news doesn't sleep, I wouldn't either.

Thanks to you, I figured out that I don't want to live a super stressful life. Yes, I still want to impact people with my words, but you helped me find a new medium to share my voice.

Without you, I never would have had the opportunity to join Odyssey. Because you made me depressed to do any of my Spanish work the first time, you gave me the chance to retake it, and this time I met Maggie, our fearless President and one of my best friends.

You gave me a different perspective on life. Thanks to you, I know that life isn't like a movie. People are mean, and people will try to tear you down. But there are still good people in this world, and you helped me weed out the ones who aren't.

Sure, I hate you when you make me so depressed that I can't get out of bed, but I know now that you are forcing me to recharge because I tend to over-exhaust myself.

You are not this super villain that everyone puts you out to be. In reality, you are my annoying sidekick that always gets your way. But I am no longer going to fight you.

Everything happens for a reason. I got you for a reason, and I couldn't be more thankful.

So thank you Bipolar Depression.

Now please lower your voice so I can get some school work done.

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The Unspoken 'I Love Yous' In Asian Households

Hi, mom and dad.

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My Asian household doesn't do feelings. We don't really say "I love you." You may be shocked, but don't think that we don't love each other because we don't say these three words. Instead, we show it in subtle ways.

My dad would be careful with his money but would always be there when we needed something. My mom would be cutting up some fruit, not for herself, but for us when we're studying. "This is good for the brain," she'd say or when I stayed home from school because of a cold, and my parents would come back from grocery shopping with lots of fruits.

I'm twenty-one years old and living in an apartment away from home for college, but I'd come back from visiting home I always have with me, bags of groceries. Dad would call to check up on my location, seeing that I'm 0.7 miles away from the apartment at 6:30 PM. Mom would insist on taking food after food back to the apartment.

As a five-year-old, I never really realized how big the world was. All I knew of the world was school, my family, this big tv set from the '90s (one of those CRT televisions- I actually looked this up) that would play teleseryes (Filipino soap operas) and kids shows, and the outside that served as our playground. I didn't have an idea of extravagance nor simplicity. I was just being a kid.

As a twenty-one-year-old, I saw values. I saw the gravity of simple things. I would fall in love with life through the lens of simplicity.

I never heard "I love you" in the household growing up, but I still felt the comfort and warmth of those words.

"I love you" poetically hid behind my family's actions. They were in "because you need it," in every "kumain ka lang" ("just keep eating") words a tired college student who missed home-cooked meals loves to hear. In that one lumpia in the center of the dinner table, in every game of Mario Kart, and in the home that sheltered us. I would hear them as my sister would cheer loudly for my name when I walked across the stage on graduation day. I would see those words written under the pseudonym "don't forget to pray."

I'm not saying that my family's the best or I was raised perfectly. We all have imperfections. We all have something we don't have but, if you've known me for quite some time, you'd know that my favorite quote is "happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light." These gaps in our lives are under our control: either leave them empty or do something about it. In this case, not having heard "I love you" means I got room to hear it under different lenses.

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