Most people would type ‘Valentine’s Day’ instead of February 14, 2012 on that title (which is the longest I have ever made in The Lifeline history). However, I decided to take a different approach. After having read various posts about V-Day on my Facebook wall, I realized that Valentine’s is the only worldwide celebration which you can call whatever way you wish, depending on your Facebook status (or where you spend your dinner). Unlike Christmas or Independence Day where a birth or death of a person, nation, or idea in history past is being celebrated, Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, and love is a notion that has baffled humanity since…forever. And even that temporal adjective is equally baffling (and almost unreal to some people) because it is not bound by time! It’s one of the words we use to describe God, and even the idea of God cannot be fully grasped. February 14 can be called Single Awareness Day, an ordinary day, Cupid Independence Day (this one I made up) or however you wish to call it because you and I differ in our experiences of love. My experience of love is different than that of President Noynoy Aquino’s (who I assume spent his February 14 in utter, unadulterated happiness with his new found sweetheart). Because my second Tuesday of February 2012 was not spent in blissful romance or in doleful meditation, I just named it how Time would call it.
So how did I spend my February 14, 2012? Love still maneuvered its way in my roster of activities: from attending my Marketing class to my refusal to Dad’s offer to sing in his new videoke toy to my belting out of contemporary songs an hour later after lunch to scooping coffee-flavored ice cream to my mouth to singing more songs before dinner to watching the last 15 minutes of 50 First Dates to watching Father of the Bride for the first time with my father. I did not include the habitual things I did, but basically, these events comprised my ‘Valentine’s Day.’ Romance was nowhere to be found (except between my parents probably), but even they did not really take V-day as seriously as other couples I know, but they sure–we sure–did not miss out on what we were celebrating in the first place: love.
Dad showed his love for his gifted vocals by effortlessly singing his favorite tunes such as Sting’s “Englishman In New York” and Apo Hiking Society’s “Kumot At Unan” to GenY songs such as Bruno Mars’ “Just The Way You Are.” His love for the gift of music brought out the concert king and queen in us as well. Mom showed her love for God by conducting a Bible study with my lola, our helper, Anne, and Anne’s friend. Josh expressed his love for diligence by answering his PACEs (school workbooks) while the rest of us sang. Like our father, James sang to his heart’s content; like his sister, he ate until his stomach waved the white flag.
How did you express your love (aside from your love of food), you may ask. This is the part where I begin explaining the reason behind my singleness. I am what society calls “single since birth.” If you fall under this category, you probably blamed nature for making you that way or Cupid for forgetting to hit you with the right arrow (or any arrow for that matter). While God may have really never planned to include marriage in your list of things to be while living on earth, He also gave you a choice. And that’s what I am attributing my singleness to. It’s my choice.
It was a choice greatly influenced by my loving parents who explained to me the downside of being involved in a romantic relationship while studying and the scar that came with it after the heartbreak (which almost always ensued). They warned me that they would be extremely disappointed if I chose to be more than friends with a boy. Fearing to lose their trust, I obeyed. The second influence that shaped my decision was my dreams for my career. I actually want to spend the next 9 or 10 years of my life being single, earning money, giving back to my parents, and enjoying my career (whatever that may be). The third and most important factor that influenced my decision was my commitment to God. About five years ago, I offered my whole life to Him–my time, wealth, brain, talents, my wants, dreams and desires including that of marriage. Well it took me a few years before I finally surrendered my romantic life to Him (that is, whether marriage is for me or not, I would still follow Him). This commitment also included not to have sex outside of marriage (or even a first kiss outside the altar for that matter). That surrender, as releasing and joyous a surrender it might have been, was difficult. Difficult because I believed (and still believe) in marriage. I adore the whole idea of romance not just on a spiritual level, but also in a personal level. I desire to grow old with the man (aside from my Savior & my Daddy) who vowed to stay with me in sickness and in health, for rich or for poor, till death do us part (or whatever vow he will make to me because I like us to make our own). I want to pick out my wedding dress and organize my own wedding. In fact, lately, I am obsessing over prenup photo shoots and wedding photos and videos of different couples in wedding blogs & photography sites! And frankly, I want to experience pure and rightful sex with God’s choice guy (after all, sexual activity is the greatest form of pleasure for us homo sapiens).
There is another factor that influences my decision, and that is the fact that I have never been asked out or pursued by any guy (at least none that I liked back) . There have been mutual understandings, but no one attempted or dared to take the mutual understanding to a mutual standing on love. Could it be because God wants me to stay faithful to my commitment so He purposely keeps pursuing guys off my radar? Maybe, I don’t know. But I know what I’m capable of. I (think) can make a guy fall in love with me superficially. Some of my friends who asked me how many boyfriends I had in the past were surprised when I said, “Zero.” Such a human being, and a teenager for that matter, exists! they probably thought. When they asked why I was SSB (single-since-birth), I always replied:
“It’s my choice. I have a commitment.”
In my head I wanted to say, “Wala pang lalaking nakaka-abot sa level ko kaya; lahat bagsak,” but my heart overpowered my brain: “Say the truth. It is beautiful. Don’t be ashamed of it.” This was a rare moment when my heart did not deceive.
A friend of mine once asked me why I was SSB, and as usual, I replied what my heart told me to say. That time, however, I decided to throw back a question at my friend: (in Tagalog) “Why do pursue a relationship with a guy? What’s your purpose?” Her reply was probably molded by the hundreds of movies she has watched in the course of her lifetime. She said:
“I just want to be happy.”
So does this mean I (and other SSBs out there) are unhappy people? I am more than happy. I am joyful. Happiness depends on happenings so when the happenings are absent, so is happiness. Joy is present in Christ’s presence; wherever you find God’s presence in life, there you shall also find joy abound. Joy persists through trials, valleys, and life’s lows. Joy is a gift. It’s something only God can give because He does not break people’s hearts. As a line in a Christian children’s hymn goes, joy is the flag that I fly in the castle of my heart when the King is in residence there. And through this post, I hope I am letting the whole world know that, as cliche as it may sound, that there really is no love worth comparing to the love of my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. 🙂
I hope this month of love, you would discover True Love. Even in a broken world, I am glad to tell you that He exists. True Love is not just a philosophical idea or concept that you need to draw to yourself; you must choose to seek Him with all your heart. And when you do, you will find Him because He has been waiting for you. Jesus is more than just your one-day Valentine; He’s yours (and you’re His) forevermore. 😀
For all the SSBs out there, I leave you with these encouragements. Belated happy hearts day! 😀