I may be alone, but I’m not lonely this Valentines Day

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If Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, then i have plenty to party about tonight. I may be without a traditional partner to celebrate with this year, but there is nothing for me to be sad about on this day we pay tribute to love, and here’s why:

1) I’ve recently fallen head-over-heels in love, with myself.
I used to dread alone time, but these days I actually get excited to spend time with myself. There are so many things we can do! We can work out, go for a swim, blow off some stream in the sauna, go grocery shopping and cook ourselves an amazing healthy dinner, go shopping for new additions to our wardrobe and not have to rush one bit, go exploring in the city or beyond, go for a drive, do some writing or reading, write a new song, watch a movie. There’s no pressure to impress or entertain anyone, I make for pretty amazing company, and it’s a lot of fun to spoil myself. I don’t know why it took me so long to realize that.

2) I’ve experienced the “long-term-relationship-kind-of-love” four times in my life, and to me that love never goes away.
I’m lucky to have fallen in love so many times. While I’ve learned a lot about myself and what does and does not work for me in relationships along the way, I don’t feel any spite or sadness over the loss of love, but rather cherish those times in my life when I gave my heart up so completely to another human being. Even the ugly times I spent with those four people were beautiful.

3) I’ve experienced other “less-romantic-but-still-amazing” kinds of love, countless times.
Sibling love, parental love, grandparental love, love from aunts, uncles, cousins, teachers, childhood friends, single-serving-friends, college friends, sole-matey-friends, roommates, coworkers, almost-lovers, campmates, people I’ve met on my travels, characters in movies, pets, my roommate’s cat, the list goes on and on. My life has been full of love affairs of various scales.

4) I’m madly in love with Mother Nature, and I always will be.
I’m pretty sure she was my first best-friend. She’s always been there for me, has always listened to my problems and helped me think them through. She’s amazing at getting me to look at the bigger picture and remember how closely we are all connected. She is my rock.

5) I fell in love with Burning Man last year, and we’re planning to run away together every summer from here on out.
And you can’t stop us. I think the playa should get a lot of the credit for #1 on this list. Similar to how summer camp helped me find myself as a kid, BM has helped me to find my core and be unapologetically myself as an adult. Black Rock City is a testament to human creativity and ingenuity, and it opened me up in ways that cannot be reversed.

6) San Francisco somehow stole my heart when I wasn’t looking.
I honestly don’t even know how it happened, but it did. This city may demand astronomically high rent costs, it may be noisy, gritty, smeared with human feces, pretentious hipsters, homelessness and hopeless corners, but somewhere along the way it’s flaws have become overshadowed by it’s attributes. I think the parts I love best are the many pockets of unique, talented, creative people who are all here fighting to live out different dreams, and how there is no such thing as “fringe” culture here (we call that Tuesday). There is something about the collective spirit in SF that encourages people to not only be their weird, quirky selves, but to celebrate their separateness. I think that’s what makes the city both filthy and stunning at the same time.

7) I’m obsessed with Storytelling and Design, and I get to do them both.
I get to indulge in my infatuation with storytelling at the theater, in the many amazing screenings we have at work, at home with the epic story lines now airing on scripted TV, in a good book, on my travels when I make friends with strangers, or just listening to a friend who is vulnerable enough to share. I get to witness amazing art organically evolve on the streets, in galleries, in the offices of my co-workers, in various corners of the world, and on the playa. Even better yet, I get to contribute to  the art forms I love almost every day with my work as a graphic designer in animation, with my freelance work, and with my own writing efforts at home. I two-time Storytelling and Design everyday and I get away with it.

8) I get to look forward to falling in love again.
To those of you who have already found your life partners: congrats and best wishes to you. But I get to experience that incredible high of falling in love all over again, and you don’t.  So neener, neener.