Happy Valiant Day!
What is Valiant Day, you ask? Is the day when you celebrate yourself for having the courage to believe in love, despite its absence, and for putting yourself out there over and over again despite the hearbreak.
I wanna talk about the vulnerable experience of putting ourselves out there.
Also known as “being single and looking”.
Being “Single and Looking”
It’s a bit like walking around with your heart on your sleeve.
At any moment you can go back to being a 5 year old on the first day of school. Head downcast, feet shuffling, sleeves twisting, wondering if anyone will want to be your Best Friend.
You feel tiny and vulnerable and scared. You have those big sad puppy eyes… your heart might break in a billion pieces at any moment.
All it takes is one look around, suddenly noticing other couples and then bham. They are no longer couples, they are kids playing with their Best Friends, and you’re not an adult, you’re back at the school break, and you want to be out and play like all the other kids but… you have no Best Friend to play with.
You look around and, sure enough, all the other kids are playing with their Best Friends.
And you’re on your own.
Big, sad puppy eyes.
Then this Day comes, and you’re not an adult on this day
Because on this day all the other kids, who regularly walk around playing with their Best Briends, which they very much have because they are not *YOU*, on this Day the kids who have Best Friends decide to make a big fricking deal over the fact that yes, indeed, it is awesome to have a Best Friend to play with…
Much like they do… every other day…
They get a Best Friend every day and then also on this Day… while I go around without Best Friend and have to cope with life.
I have to cope with walking around feeling like a 5 year old on the first day of school, watching my heart break whenever I see either a couple or an attractive man. And then I have to put my heart’s pieces together. Which all sounds very poetic, but actually feels like being repeatedly punched in the stomach at any minute. Ouch.
I have to cope with having to support myself on my own, without a break, without a handy male who might earn more money than me because for all the feminist work this continues to be an unfair world, and I have to pay rent and bills and cook food and do *all the things* without anyone ever lending me a hand because single.
I had to cope with looking after myself after I had a fricking accident on my bike, cooking food for myself even though I had no strength to do so because without food I would pass out, and then I had to mush said food because I couldn’t bite. And I had to cope with taking the bus to the hospital and walking back in the fricking rain, trying my best to keep warm, because it was fricking winter, and if I got too cold my teeth would chatter, which I had to avoid, because they had been broken.
Yes, I’m whining. I don’t care.
It’s Valiant Day and points are awarded for courage
For having the courage of putting yourself out there, going around with your heart on your sleeve, and showing up. Over and over again.
For the strength, dear God the strength you need to put your heart on the line, to keep your heart open and not just give up and turn cold and cynical, when it would be so easy to stop caring.
But no. Heart on the line it is. Looking at attractive men in the eyes and hoping they might look back. Witnessing how they never, ever do. Enduring yet another round of “yep, no man looked back at me today”. Staying open to all that and not just saying “f*ck it”.
And grow stronger and stronger with each day of loneliness and sadness. Growing kinder and more open and more capable of love, because that is the consolation price of pain and all the hard bits of life: spiritual growth.
Yeah, yeah, whatever, right? Not as much fun as a hot man taking you out to dinner in Paris.
You Are Valiant
If this “Day of Celebrating One’s Best Friend” finds you minus Best Friend, I wanna say something.
If you are doing your best to keep your heart open day in and day out through all the singleness and loneliness and hardness and sadness, then you are amazing. You are valiant.
Yes, you are.
Because it takes fricking guts to stay open to all this pain when shutting down would be so much easier.
Believing in love in the absence of love is fricking hard.
Believing in love in the absence of love is an act of courage.
Right now, I am in the middle of a process I can only describe as “gearing myself up to putting myself out there”.
Notice I say “gearing myself up”, ‘cuz it’s happening slowly…
Do I feel “ready”? ‘Course not. I’m terrified.
But intuition says it’s time, so… who am I to go against intuition?
If you’re putting yourself out there, heart and arms wide open, still holding the belief that love is real, despite all the singleness and loneliness and hardness and sadness, then you are one fricking brave amazing person.
And that bravery needs to be recognised.
Happy Valiant Day.