My Valentine

In the thirty-odd years since I blinked into existence, like most women, I’ve struggled with self-love and self-esteem.

“You’re not good enough.”

“Such a plain Jane. You should be skinnier,”

“Hotheaded and unpredictable.”

“Your boobs are average, on their best day.”

“Don’t answer that phone call, remember you have social anxiety!”

A plethora of restrictive phrases and ideas have followed me all my life; whispering angry nonsense into my ear, shushing me every time I felt a semblance of pride. You know what I mean. We’ve all got our versions of the same inner demons.

So this year around, I will accept every part of me, and learn how to take a compliment. And to start that, I shall compliment myself with reckless abandon and ZERO embarrassment.

Hey Pavi, here’re 10 things I love about you!

  1. I love your hair. Sure, it’s colored and primped and curled artfully. But I love the sheer vibrancy it exudes. On a summer day, the reds glint in the sun like young rubies. When it’s cloudy, your hair looks like an expensive bottle of red wine. Damn, girl!
  2. You are fiercely loyal to those you care about. You love big and not afraid to show it. This gets you in trouble sometimes, but that kind of devotion is rare.
  3. You are slowing down. Maybe you understand delayed gratification, but you’re happy to wait for your turn at success. Fitness goals, long term career plans, self-growth – all these are suddenly easier and more sustainable. You see the big picture, and you are happy.
  4. When did you get so good at making chai/coffee? I mean, back in college, you sucked. Look at you now, with your fancy tea leaves and drip coffee machines. Lucky husband, amirite?
  5. You are talented enough to be a legitimate author. Publishing houses agree. So enough with the excuses and get that book out into the market. The world may hate it, but they may love it too. Only one way to find out.
  6. You are solid and can be trusted to see things through. Even if you dream of bailing and quitting, you never do. And I don’t know if it’s the maturity that comes with motherhood or some new drug you’re sniffing, but you are a terrific listener and hugger.
  7. You ARE funny, even if everyone thinks otherwise. The jokes can get stale, but you never give up. Remember, in December, when you cracked the “I will see you next year” joke, and nobody laughed. They’re all just jealous. You.Are.Hilarious!
  8. People don’t always like you at first. Maybe you have a resting b*tch face, or you don’t instantly light up a room. But after a while, you break the ice and connect with them. And leave them thinking, “Huh. She was rather nice.”
  9.  You love being ridiculous. One day when you’re old and grey and smoking weed surreptitiously in the nursing home, you’ll thank God that you didn’t take yourself seriously. (On a side note, make sure you’re rich. Private nursing homes can be expensive.)
  10. The kids think you’re beautiful. The husband concurs. Your family nods in agreement. It’s your turn now.

I blushed while coming up with this list; it’s so hard to praise oneself without cringing hard. But I am worthy, and  I’m starting to believe that.

Maybe this is the year I fall in love with myself. And wouldn’t that be perfect timing! Valentine’s Day is almost here, after all.

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