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Words from a wallflower

Photo: Taelar Pollmann · The Sentry

Valentine’s Day has meant different things to me over the years. In elementary school, it meant bringing small gifts for friends…and everyone in the class, so they wouldn’t feel left out. In high school, it meant an anniversary. Now, it means a day to do kind gestures for the people I care about.

I realize that Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark holiday. People spend money on flowers and cards simply because they feel obligated to on a day that is labeled to show your love. And people do expect to get those things (I’ve definitely been guilty of having those expectations). Yes, I am one of those people who celebrates the holiday, but I also do small gestures for those I care about any other day of the year, so February 14 is just an extra day of that for me. 

This past weekend, I went out on Saturday morning to a couple different stores because I was feeling restless being in my apartment. I did not go out looking for Valentine’s Day gifts, but ended up finding some that I couldn’t leave the store without for my friends and family. 

To me, anything that says I was thinking about you is more than enough, and I’m grateful for whatever those things may be. I take the same perspective when getting things for other people—I get things for people because they make me think of them. It doesn’t have to be a special occasion nor does it have to be something extravagant. It just has to say I was thinking about you.

I think using this mindset—just do nice things because you want to—works for Valentine’s Day and every other day of the year. So, whether Valentine’s Day means celebrating the love for a partner, friends, family, or simply just letting the day pass by because it seems overrated, I hope that people take that extra effort they put in to make the day special and apply it towards spontaneous acts of kindness. Everyone needs reminders that someone is thinking of them, especially when they least expect it. 

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