Photo Credit: Fadi Xd via Unsplash
Self-love is a radical action
Brandon Tan, Design Manager
February starts like every other for me. While a couple hold hands as they walk past Trinity, my head is down, making my way to the gym. As I draft yet another paper in what is turning into an endless stream of essays, two girls on the table next me chatter and gush about dates and love in the springtime. I shove past a couple murmuring sweet nothings on my way into class. When I look back they are stealing a kiss, a flash of intimacy lighting up the muted browns of University College.
We all know this story; we know how it goes, every note and tune. Our friends run through ideas for Valentine’s Day presents, while we find yet another romantic comedy to fill the void. Our roommates ask if we have plans for the evening, like there is anything to do on a night for love. It is easy to become bitter, to turn that sourness inward and wonder if the problem is, in fact, me.
It is not, and that was quite a hard thing for me to realise.
It is quite sad to take a day ostensibly about love, and to focus simply on how it isn’t being given to us in the way we’d like. True, my Tinder is drier than the Sahara, but there is still much to be said about the love we have, for others and for ourselves. We are not less because we’re alone, and that we feel bitter is a marker of a simple truth: we don’t love ourselves nearly enough.
How can we? In a world where we are made to feel more-or-less-than for what we can and cannot do, it is radical to consider that we are wonderful in our own skin. That we deserve to buy ourselves flowers, to have picnics with ourselves, and watch movies with our friends. The dress that we think we look fat in is not nearly as terrible as we imagine, and neither is that haircut, for that matter. That niche interest that is ‘too much’ for people to hear? Say it! Have you considered that passion is sexy?
There’s a lot of froufrou surrounding self-care. In a panoptic world where we are always seen and feel seen, it’s good to stop and think about why it is so strange to dress, to speak, and do for ourselves instead of others. It should not be controversial, or gauche, or sappy to experience the world and ourselves like we are in love with it, and I’m tired of saying otherwise. Cynicism is for cowards, anyway.
So this Valentine’s Day, do something for yourself! Treat yourself to that ice cream, or that dream date that you’ve been saving for the right person. The most important person you need to love is yourself anyway! We all deserve soft endings, my love.