Happy Valentine’s Day!
I hope you’ve had a great day so far. I treated myself to a heart-shaped Boston Creme donut (like a good Boston girl would), miraculously paid my rent early, picked up a Galentine’s Day present for a friend, and chatted with my mom on the phone as I opened my valentine from her. Leave it to Mom to find me a chocolate man!
Valentine’s Day is cute, but not something I take very seriously. I’d rather celebrate little things throughout the year than expect flowers, dinner, and chocolates on one specific day. I’ve been sick a lot on February 14ths, too- two years ago I had the flu and could barely get out of bed, let alone go out or have the energy to talk to another human being.
I think my longest relationship lasted about a year. On-and-off again relationships don’t count, and a few dozen short-lived boyfriends don’t really add up, either. Although I’ve had some awesome Valentine’s Days in the past- two in Kauai (with two different guys, two years apart), friends visiting me in NYC from San Diego, and nights out with girl friends, I’m perfectly fine being on my own, too.
As many of you know, San Francisco has a special place in my heart. It was the first “city” I moved to after 23 years of life in Michigan, the first sports team I ever followed, and the first place I started to learn who I truly was.
Five years ago I happened to be back in San Francisco for Valentine’s Day. A few days beforehand I wrote a Broke Ass Stuart post about a food truck event a friend was promoting. At the time she was going on 50 Food Truck Dates and writing about it, so I wanted to stop by, grab some food, and chat. Funny enough, it’s the last piece I ever wrote for Stu’s website. Since then, Stuart has run for Mayor of San Francisco, Ed Lee has passed away, and Donald Trump has become our president.
Oh, the difference five years makes.
Five years ago today I also met some great people. After the food truck event I headed over to a party at “The Villa,” a mansion in the city I had previously seen on the Bravo show Start-Ups: Silicon Valley. I awkwardly walked into the techie party (imagine that) not knowing anyone, but a New Yorker named Brett came up to me and started to chat. I was relieved he saved me from my social anxiety- I learned he also worked in social media and even wrote a book about Twitter marketing.
We’ve been friends ever since. From both living in New York City (he definitely looked out for me) to now Boston and Denver, I’m looking forward to a trip out west in the next coming weeks. I’ve never been to Colorado before, unless you count the bar during a five hour layover at the Denver airport.
As I reflect on past Valentine’s Days and my own day today- a peaceful one with plans to cook dinner with my friend Jess- I feel super grateful. I’ve made so many amazing friends throughout the years and have learned so much from my erratic cross-country moves, turbulent relationships, job failures, and struggles. Boston is finally starting to feel like home after 14 months, and I’m happy I pulled myself out of my antisocial, hermit phase.
Stepping out of the nest forced me to fly and fall a few times, only to learn to pick myself back up again (even when it feels impossible). Although I’ve been through a lot this past decade, I’m glad to know I don’t have to pick myself up by myself- I have amazing people to fly with.