Saturday, February 14, 2015

For the Lovers and the Fighters...

Hi guys!

Happy Valentine's Day!

(Quick pause for any and all awes and/or puke noises).

Good. Super. We got those out of the way.

I wanted to share a fun little story with you. Before we get into it, I should note that I'm not really into elaborate Valentine's Day celebrations, but I'm not really against celebrating this day either. What could be wrong with a day that reminds us to show appreciation for the ones we love and tell them that we love them? Honestly, I don't care about V-day enough to have super intense feelings about it one way or the other. But, I wasn't always this way.

Flashback to high school.

When I was a teenager I felt like I had to be one way or the other about Valentine's Day. I had to love it and everything that it stood for, or I had to hate it and think it was stupid that other people loved it. So, when I was 14 and involved in my first *serious relationship, I decided that I didn't care about Valentine's Day. I swore that it was a stupid useless Hallmark holiday. I told my friends that I could care less whether or not my high school boyfriend got me flowers or a card with some stupid poem in it.

* SIDE NOTE: And by serious relationship, I mean not serious at all, because I was 14. And actual serious relationships don't happen when you're 14. I'm sorry kiddos. They don't. You're not mature enough yet to have a serious relationship. You will be, you're just not right now and that's actually a wonderful thing. If you're in High School and you are reading this right now and thinking, 'but I'm different. My relationship is the small percent of relationships that are the serious kind in High School.' Eh, not likely. This will probably not be the person you marry. I mean, ok, maybe it will. A very small percent of you will actually marry the person you are dating right now. Like, 0.5%.  I'm not telling you that your feelings aren't real. They are very real. When you're young and in love and you laugh and cry and give your heart away, it's very real and remarkable and worthwhile. It's just not serious. I know it doesn't feel that way right now, but it's true. So, instead of worrying about how to be a really good boyfriend/girlfriend right now, maybe just play a sport or an instrument. Be really awesome at theater or band or art...or all of those things! Because you are young and you have stamina and an ambitious heart and you can do all of those things! It's amazing what you are capable of! With all the extra time you'll have by not worrying about the state of your High School relationship and how it's going to affect the rest of your life, you'll discover all sorts of awesome stuff about yourself. Take my word for it. Or don't. I love you and your wonderful, beautiful innocence regardless. END SIDE NOTE. *

Buuuuut, I was also a 14 year old girl. So when that Valentine's Day rolled around, I, of course, stood in the hallway at school on the verge of tears comparing my relationship to all of the other girl's relationships as I watched them receive all of the gifts I said I didn't care about...candy, cards, flowers and various pastel colored stuffed animals holding little hearts scribbled with cutesy sayings like, "I love you beary much" or "I'm NUTS about you!" (That one being a stuffed squirrel, get it, "nuts" about you...not gonna lie, still pretty jealous of that one).

Isn't that messed up? Just to prove how messed up it is, let me take you back to that Valentine's Day and let you in on my stream of thoughts during that one particular moment walking down the hallway at school.

Teenage boys, pay close attention.

"Oh that's's Valentine's Day."
"Ugh, Valentines Day is SO lame."
"I honestly don't even care about it so much that I forgot it was today."
"These girls couldn't be more annoying, seriously, and that teddy bear is dumb."
"Oh my God it makes noise and dances."
"Kill me now."
"All of these girls are seriously so dumb."
'I'm so glad I don't care about Valentine's Day."
'I'm so glad that I don't even like stuffed animals."
"I could really go for some chocolate though."
"Chocolate is like, the only good thing to get on Valentine's Day."
"Why didn't I at least get some chocolate?"
"Like, chocolate is a year round thing."
"He should of known that I at least wanted chocolate."
"And a card."
"Like, how hard is it to pick up a red card with a heart on it and sign your name?"
"And then maybe put the card in some flowers or something."
"...why am I yelling?"
"Gah, he's so inconsiderate though!"
"I mean, I know I told him that I didn't want anything and Valentine's Day is stupid, but he SHOULD have got me something anyway. Obviously."
"Cause now it looks like he doesn't even care about me."
"Why didn't he make a bigger deal out of our relationship today?" 
"I mean, he obviously doesn't care about me."
"We're probably breaking up and he just doesn't want to tell me."
"Ugh, my life is OVER." 
"Oh cool, Ashley got red roses. Isn't that so sweet."
"I bet SHE got chocolate and a card."
"I bet HER boyfriend actually loves her."
"Why doesn't my boyfriend love me as much as all of these boyfriends clearly love their girlfriends?!"
"Now all of these girls are going to know how much my relationship sucks compared to theirs."
"I'll just tell them that my gift is a...surprise."
"Yeah, that's what I'll say."
"I'll say that he wanted it to be a surprise and wanted it to be...special!"
"Yeah, special is a good word."
"Oh my gosh, wait a minute."
"What if he somehow took the time to learn my locker combo and my Valentine's gift is in my locker?"
"Oh my gooooosh. That's totally what he did!"
"My boyfriend is seriously the sweetest."
"Best. Boyfriend. Ever."
"These girls are going to be SO jealous when they see what he did."
'They are going to WISH they had a relationship as good as mine."
"I bet he went all out."
"I bet music starts playing, and balloons pop out and there's one of those giant cards that plays a song when you open it."
"Oh my gosh. He TOTALLY got one of those and programmed it to play "our" song."
"I think I actually love Valentine's Day!"
"This is the BEST Valentine's Day ever."
"Ok, at my locker. Act cool."
"He's probably hiding somewhere waiting to see my reaction."
"Oh my gosh, I bet he pops out and hands me like a million roses after the surprise."
"I have to play it cool."
"I have to act like I don't know anything."
"Oooook, opening locker, annnnnnd...."
"*gasp* ..."
"So, nothing then."
"What. A. Jerk."
" can't take the time to learn my locker combo without me knowing, blow up some balloons, sneak them into my locker when I'm in class and get Hallmark to use OUR song in one of their cards?"
"Oh sorry!"
"Didn't realize that was SO MUCH to ask."
"Whatever, just whatever, I guess."
"What. Ever."
"Valentine's Day is SO LAAAAAME."
'My relationship is the worst."
"*Sigh* ...I'm eating chocolate out of the vending machine for lunch today."

The story ends with 14-year-old me making a big deal out of him not making a big deal out of a day I told him not to make a big deal out of. We had a fight. There were tears. Life was over. Then, the next day he picked me up for school and surprised me with an obnoxious balloon and a pink bear holding chocolate and my relationship was valid again.

Present me would kick 14-year-old me right in her dumb feelings. But, I'm happy for this memory because it reminds me not to get wrapped up in material things when it comes to relationships and especially when it comes to Valentine's Day. Because...THOSE THINGS DON'T MATTERRRRR!!

Seriously. Every year Valentine's Day rolls around and I watch as people give and get gifts, all the while spending the day comparing their relationships to the relationships of those around them and it's insane, you guys. Most of this is in our heads. Most of this is foolish expectation that we've created, made up standards we give into. Valentine's Day shouldn't be about comparison or jealousy. It shouldn't be about whether or not someone loves you enough to buy you a fancy dinner and show up with expensive flowers. It should just be about love and appreciation. It should just be about appreciating that someone wants to show up with flowers and take you to a fancy dinner. It's cool if you show love by celebrating this day if that's your thing yo! Everyone shows love in different ways. I just think that we should be showing little acts of love and appreciation so much, everyday, for the ones we care about that when Valentine's Day comes around, we don't put so much stake into how it's celebrated or whether or not we received a material gift good enough to validate our relationship. It's ok if we want to show love in this way, but the intensity of the love we feel shouldn't revolve around expensive dinners, chocolate, and flowers.

So, let's stop bashing Valentine's Day because we're bitter or can't appreciate another's excitement about their love, and let's stop letting one day affirm whether our relationship meets the unreasonable standards and expectations that holidays like Valentine's Day place on it. Really, let's just stop giving this one day so much credit.

Because Valentine's Day is SO laaaaaaaame.

Just kidding. Let's love and show love. All the time. Everyday. To the ones we love. Because love is the most beautiful thing.

I love you all.

xo - Kari

By the way, I collaborated on a love song duet with my supa talented friend, Spencer Martin and it's available on iTunes if you want even more love in your life today. I know, a love song released on Valentine's Day. How much more cheese can ya even get?!

Check it out here -----> I Think It Started There (feat. Kari Lynch) - Single by S. Martin

Also, and I'm just throwing this out there. If anyone, I don't know, is bored or whatever and maybe wanted to show their love in my direction with dark chocolate...and wine...I totally wouldn't be opposed to that. Just. Saying.