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To All The Valentines I’ve Never Had Before | Aimee Han

I may, as always, be fashionably late to the lovey-dovey, ooey-gooey, mushy-wushy subject of conversation surrounding one of the most emotional rollercoaster days of the 365-day revolutions around the sun: Valentine’s Day. But it’s better to have loved and be late than it is to have never loved at all. Or, I think that’s how the saying goes.

And so, on Monday, February 14th, I rolled myself out of my oversized and extra soft dark green Snuggy, snoozed my 5:15 A.M. alarm perfectly set at a time where I could psychologically manipulate myself by clicking snooze and sleeping in for an extra nine minutes, and forcefully poked contacts into my eyes to the point where it felt like my eyes were bleeding (but hey, red is on the theme for Valentine’s Day). I then proceeded to slip on my newly purchased rosy pink with floral embroidery skirt on, my off-white baby tee, long beige socks with roses on them, and my spiky two-toned pink converse. Of course, I couldn’t forget to accessorize with my excessive amount of silver rings, one consisting of the word “love” juxtaposed with my snake ring, and fully jabbed thin, gold chain drop-down earrings into my ear. And it may have been 5:24 in the morning, but I couldn’t leave the house without my mask consisting of bright pink eyeliner, glittery pink shadow, and heart tattoo stamps.

And as always, I was fashionably late to meeting my friends at sunrise at Powerhouse Park. But as my friends and I swiftly skipped down to the grassy area overlooking the ocean, my heart and soul had nothing but an open mind. But as we devoured freshly-baked (or freshly-baked-the-day-before) strawberry muffins with a sprinkle of love (an excess amount of red sprinkles), romanticized the rosy glow of the California coast, and felt healed by the crispness of the ocean breeze, Valentine’s Day seemed to begin with a fairytale ending.

Yet I was brought back down to earth and snapped out of my infatuated perspective, a gray-haired man with a very fluffy mustache in a white truck had proceeded to yell at me for cutting him off. I did cut him off, but I overcompensated for that negative aura by purchasing a bouquet of red, pink, and white daisies, sweet honey iced coffee, and a bacon and egg breakfast burrito that slightly steered the goal of the ambiance I wanted to create off course. Yet that’s how life goes.

But it wouldn’t be very self-aware of me to deny that all of this was in an effort to overcompensate for the fact that I have had an empty emotional void for the past few months. Genuinely, I have felt little to no emotion, and today is one of those days where I would love to block all the couples on Instagram (and in real-time too) because I have never been in love.

Yet in moments like these, I cannot fail to remember that I have been in love, in many other ways. I have been in love with the sunrise, in love with strawberry muffins, in love with honey iced coffee, in love with the fresh smell of flowers, in love with driving with the windows down, and in love with my exuberant best friends. And that is something that could fulfill the emptiness of the void within my heart. So to all the Valentines, I’ve never had before, you can gladly walk yourself out the door because all I need, as of right now, are the loving and radiant people in my life who are willing to wake up at the crack of dawn to spend all those in-between moments with.

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