“I Love Me. I Love Me Not. I Love Me. I Love Me A Lot…”

Never let it be said that I am not ‘occasion-appropriate’. So, in honor of Valentine’s Day, today, we will address some love (and, well, I refuse toIMG_7540 write about it ON the fourteenth; just too corny).

I know that so many scoff at days like tomorrow. I too roll my superior eye at the notion that there is/needs to be a set date on a calendar that so any buy into; leaving a trail of red rose petals on the floor of their lives from one fourteenth to the next. And the truth is, from the rose-petal vendors to the jewelers, it is simply a day to stick their hands deeper into the red-lined pockets of the gullible and unenlightened. Sigh.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a Trini; so that means, imprinted on my DNA is the need and the predisposition to celebrate every single occasion there is. And, I daresay that we may even be guilty of making up a few as we go along. But, there is something about V-Day that sticks in my craw. It may just be that for me, when it comes to love, we need to be more original, more individual and more personal than a pre-packaged date. But, let me leave yalls ‘tomorrow’ alone; I said we were going to talk about love; so let’s address this.

Love. I have found that over time, the definition of this word, in truth, this feeling, has changed; it has expanded. In my twenties (Lord knows, in hindsight, nothing before that matters), when I only just got introduced to the ‘self’ I would now be, I thought I knew what it meant; I thought ‘love’ was simply the feeling I got when the object of my then-desire walked into a room. I thought ‘love’ meant butterflies; and the more wings, the bigger the ‘love’. Well, as I continued on my journey of self-discovery, thankfully I have come to learn that ‘wings’ are indeed an integral part of ‘love’, but with so much more…

I couldn’t have been a very good partner back then, because back then, I did not understand that to love, I had to be love. No one told or showed me that the very first lover I would/should have, was named ‘Fury’. It took me quite a while to run into myself, get introduced and begin to court. In my twenties, I looked here and there for what, later on, I realized was always ‘here’. So, when I finally realized what I was doing wrong, what I was indeed missing, I decided to truly get to know and hopefully fall in love… with myself. Turns out, I think I am the best partner I have ever had! Really J

So, I started a dance that to this day continues. I invested the time that I would have offered to others with ease and enthusiasm into discovering the woman that I am. I finally understood that to get the right partner, I had to be the right partner. I check in with myself constantly and am never afraid to address the shit that needs it. I look in the mirror and attempt to see what others might. At periodic intervals in life, I ask myself, “Would you date you?” I am truthful with the answers.

But the thing is, once I realized what I owed both myself and my potential partners, that responsibility carried with it an amazing duality. At times I shuddered at the weight of it all; even attempting to convince myself at times that, “I’m perfect just the way I am. You don’t need anyone who doesn’t love you just the way you are!” But, even I know that that is a lot of bullshit! I think that like in so many instances in life, we over-use any phrase, quote or cliché that lets us off the hook; that allows us to maintain our levels of mediocrity! A shame, really. So, I wizened the fuck up.

The other side of that ‘responsibility’ coin gave me an incredible sense of freedom. I thought the ‘butterflies’ I felt any time a lover walked into the room signified love. It was nothing compared to the liberation, confidence and pride I now feel every time I walk into a room! That is true freedom! That is love! That is having wings!

Listen, I live my life depending on not only the love, but the goodness of people. Every fiber of my being is connected to the yumminess that we can put out. So, please do not think that I (totally) hate what a day like tomorrow signifies for so many of you. What I am negatively brushing up against however, are the feelings of inadequacy that so many experience when sitting in the middle of tomorrow… alone. The injustice that whispers, “If it’s ‘just you’ in your bed when you wake up on February 14th, there is something wrong with you”. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. No! And, if you have bought into that garbage, then, you have not attained the comfort and confidence of the best love there is – that of self.

All I am saying here is this, someone standing next to you should not, does not define your worthiness. That is a quality, a reality that should/can only emanate from way down deep where the core, the center, the soul of you lives! Go down there and find out who you are and what you need. And, while you are discovering, be okay with dating you. Learn what you like, what you need, what you want and equally as important, please find out what you have to give. Always remember that as you do, so does the one standing right next to you, deserve the best. Be that.

Okay, for those in love with another, “Happy Couples Day”. For those in like with another, “Happy Almost Day”. For those who are single, but sad, “Happy Day”; and for my people out there who are single, content and understand that true love, the kind that only happens once you are ready, worthy and able to “give as good as you get”, I wish you all a very “Happy Good For You Day”!

Always remember, as it ends, so too does it always, start with you…





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