Valentine’s Day, 2014

In the last few weeks, I have seen friends’ announcements on Facebook about new romantic relationships. I have watched wedding videos, scrolled through adorable couple photos and pictures of beautiful gifts, and read posts of love, affection, and thanksgiving.

As I reflect on these tender displays, I recognize a single question lurking in the back of my mind: “What about me?” I’m sure there’s many people wrestling with that thought. It is a scary and sad thing, to believe that one is alone. It can feel patently unfair to see other people in romantic bliss and see in one’s own life…nothing.

Yet a phrase that I heard weeks ago helps me maintain perspective. “That is not your story.” The key to contentment and peace is to embrace the life that I have been given. When I see someone with something that I don’t have, rather than stew in bitterness and envy, I can say “That is not your story.” As it is said, “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.”

Truth is, there is much in my life for which I am grateful. Wonderful family, incredible opportunities, a sound mind, a strong body. My grandparents fled the chaos of the Korean war, losing many of their relatives. My parents suffered through poverty in the aftermath and had to struggle to find stability and opportunity in a foreign land. I have loving friends, I have encouraging community. Delicious food! Transcendent music! Beauty! Wonder! Enlightenment!

To all my friends who are single today, remember this: Just because you are single doesn’t mean that you are alone. Just because you are single doesn’t mean that you are unwanted. Just because you are single doesn’t mean that you are unloved. Enjoy life!

To my friends that are in a relationship: My best wishes go with you. Whether you celebrate this day or not, may all go well with your relationship. May your union be more than you could have ever dreamed, but may it never become more than it was meant to be.

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