Every year, the days leading up to Valentine’s day have a lot of the same message: here’s a Valentine’s day gift idea. Here’s how you and your beau can spend a ton of money to spend time together. Single? Spend a ton on stuff anyway! And on it goes till you’re eating a shit ton of chocolate, watching sappy movies about unrealistic love and wondering why nothing in your life measures up.
What if I told you that I know what the best Valentine’s Day gift you’ll ever have is? And no, this isn’t a collaboration or a product or anything you might be thinking of.
We live our lives, day in and day out, with people, the media, peers, parents, friends, marketing messages, Instagram feeds and so on telling us things. Things like: do THIS and you’ll be happy. Change this tiny quirk of yours and you’ll be perfect. Stop eating that icecream you love and you’ll reach your goal of being as hot as Kylie Jenner. Wear that dress and maybe he’ll notice you next time.
Fuck all of that noise.
What’s the best Valentine’s Day gift you can get?
The best Valentine’s day gift you can give yourself is to stop putting yourself second. As women, we’re glorified and put on a pedestal for self-sacrifice. While there’s nothing wrong with being devoted to your parents or partner or anyone else, the emotional labour is too often placed on us alone. How many times have you seen your mom serve everyone and eat last, if anything at all is left? Or to use a celebrity example, when Ariana Grande was expected to be there for her ex throughout his addiction even at the cost of her own well-being, and then blamed when he passed away?
It’s ok to put yourself first sometimes. It’s ok to ask for help, and not shoulder every burden alone. It’s ok to set aside time for your own thoughts, or your own health or well-being.
When you do that, something magical happens. You blossom even more. You invest in yourself, spend quality time with your own thoughts, untangle some of the mess inside your head possibly. This manifests in everything you do! And if you meet someone wonderful, you’ll be that much better at developing a relationship with them that lasts!
So the next time you see problematic ideas like ‘women who give up everything for their man are the best’, think, and know that someone who is lucky enough to be with you, will also be your biggest cheerleader.
Let your dreams take wing, by caring for YOU first!
Photography: Harikrishnan Nair
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