If you read my last blog, then you read about my beautiful Valentine’s Day proposal. I really hate spoiling the story for anyone who hasn’t read my book, Life After Birth: A Memoir of Survival and Success as a Teenage Mother, but these two blog posts are in me and need to come out because I feel in my heart that someone needs to read this. This is one of the questions I get asked almost daily by someone who has read my book.
“Did you get married?”
The answer: Yes, I did.
BUT I no longer am.
I had the sweetest proposal on Valentine’s Day and had done everything I knew to do to make the marriage last, but it didn’t work out. The Valentine’s Day after my divorce was final was hard (like most of the other days leading up to and for a while after my divorce). I treated myself to a beautiful, expensive pink Coach purse as a gift to MYSELF. That was so not like me. I wasn’t a purse girl, and I have actually only carried it three times in nearly six years. Plus, I’m extremely frugal but felt I just had to do something for ME.
Fast forward to now. I’m longer over my ex and the fact that my marriage didn’t work. I’ve been essentially single since then for a number of reasons, but the key thing that has happened over the years is that I love and value myself more than ever before. In addition to my speaking and educational products business, I now have a nonprofit that helps youth learn to love themselves and achieve success regardless of the challenges they face. The S.O. What! Foundation has workshops, retreats, and a unique summer camp that focus on academic achievement, personal development, and challenge management.
So as I talked to several of my friends and acquaintances (many of whom are single), I decided to host an event for Valentine’s Day to help people not focus on being single or not having a “Valentine” but to “Love Yourself” for Valentine’s Day and every day. To celebrate both Valentine’s Day and Heart month and to raise funds for the S.O. What! foundation, we held an amazing event that included a wine tasting with a free, custom wine glass and some awesome vendors to help guests love themselves.
The event was a huge success raising a lot of money for the S.O. What! Foundation programs and also giving guests a great time. Free massages and manicures and the opportunity to purchase jewelry and candles as well as health and wellness and self-defense products.
And lots of great food including the famous chicken salad from Chef Chris Beavers and cupcakes from TeewSweet Treats.
We had giveaways all night including great products from all our vendors, neck massages, luxurious shea butters, cozy Valentine’s Day socks, and designer chocolates from Phillip Ashley Chocolates.
The theme for the night, like what we teach in our workshops, was no matter what your circumstances may be and regardless if you have a Valentine or not…Love Yourself first. Take care of yourself spiritually, mentally, emotionally, financially. People will come and go and romantic love may be fleeting, but when you love yourself you can cope with all of life’s challenges and you can truly embrace the love of others. And even accept when you don’t get it when you expect it.
Remember my Valentine’s Day proposal? Yes, it will all be alright. Love Yourself. Not everyone will love you. Not everyone will see your worth. Not everyone will embrace your smile and want to ensure you keep it. But the right people will if you do first.