Why I (Still) Love Valentine's Day


Elle Huerta

Happy Valentine’s week! I wrote this post on a trip to San Francisco several years ago, and it still rings so true. I hope you are able to find some comfort in it.

A couple days ago, I received a text from a girlfriend thanking me for being there for her during a really difficult time about two years ago; it was the anniversary of that day. I received this text as I was on a run in San Francisco, and it made me stop in my tracks because I had just been thinking about her. About three years ago, she helped me through a really difficult time. In fact, the last time we got together in Los Angeles, I went home and wrote this short letter to her:

“I don’t think I ever told you how much you helped me through my break up. So thank you. I met up with you and your girlfriends right after it happened, and I remember that you showed an incredible mix of toughness and tenderness. It was a perfect balance of “Chin up” and “I know the pain you’re going through.” We’ve been through some interesting times together, and I am so happy that some of our memories in SF were intertwined, even if they were hard. Every time I see you, I’m reminded of the light inside you that is always shining and always smiling.”

I never sent it, and I’m not sure why. I finally sent it to her today. And this whole exchange made me realize that I have a lot of valentines to write today, none of which are romantic. There are so many people who have loved me just as a human, not as a girlfriend, or partner, and I am so thankful for those people.

My friends know that Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. I get that it’s not a popular opinion. I get why people don’t like today. They don’t like the pressure and the presents and the prix fixe menus. But, for me, Valentine’s Day has never been about those things. When I was little, I threw Valentine’s Day parties for my family every year, and throughout college and my twenties I organized Galentine’s Day celebrations. Valentine’s Day has always been a celebration of non-romantic love for me.

So, with that in mind, I’m going to spend my evening writing valentines.

Try it. Think about all of the love in your life. Think about all the people who have taken care of your heart. Think about the people who have helped you put it back together when it was shattered into a million pieces. Think about all of the people who have been there for you in your life, in small and big ways. Today is the perfect day to celebrate them, and I hope you do. I know, for me, one type of love that I am so thankful for this year is the love I see between Menders. You all are a truly amazing group, so generous with your compassion, and I feel privileged to know you all.

Lots of love and Happy Valentine’s Day,


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