Self-Love Letters

Each Valentine’s Day, I encourage readers to submit a self-love letter expressing all the reasons they’re wonderful – single or not. I’m always accepting self-love letters, so email them. See past ones below:

Dear Lindsay darling,

If someone would have told you just how much you would change in the past year, you wouldn’t have believed them. From the outside – everything looks pretty much the same: you have a steady job, you live in your prized Upper West Side apartment, you still have incredible friends and yes, you’re still rockin’ that single status. But inside – you’ve become this incredible, optimistic, lovely force that is so brave, you surprise yourself.

But it hasn’t been easy. In fact, it’s been really hard.

You’re no stranger to hard work – it’s how you’ve gotten everything you wanted: to live in New York, to work in media, to establish a life for yourself far, far away from the Southern home that raised you to be kind-hearted and brazen. I’m so proud of your grit and your smile as you get through it. Last year your company crumbled, your father battled cancer and struggled through recovery, your friendships changed and you finally put Mr. Possibility back in the past where he belonged all along. Through it all, you cried a lot. You became frustrated and frazzled, disappointed and disheartened. There were times when all you wanted to do was pack up your bags and move somewhere far, far away where you wouldn’t have to face anything anymore. You had never considered giving up, not even once, in your 25 bright years, but what you wanted more than anything was for something to give.

Anything.

But on a snowy day in December as you rummaged through your thoughts and felt your hope drifting away yet again, you realized you had a choice: to be happy or to not be. And somewhere down in your mini-little-pit of despair, you found that sparkle that’s always made you, you. And you decided to stop waiting to your life to change, for something big and bright to come along and sweep you away. You stopped waiting on the universe to rescue you – and instead, you rescued yourself.

And though you’re only six weeks into the year – I’m so amazed at how much your perspective has changed. You feel like your bubbly, beautiful, energetic self again. Your heart is open to possibilities and love, your mind is overflowing with new ideas and new dreams you didn’t know you had until you made them. You’re taking better care of your body and your bank account than you ever have before. You are a better friend with a better listening ear, trying to put the needs of others before your own. And with dating? You’re doing it. But it’s not the source of your happiness and you’re so thankful that you don’t have to rely on a man to find joy in your life.

There will be times when you forget all of these wonderful, impressive, sweet truths. There will be moments when everything feels like it’s crumbling all around you again. You’ll cry. You’re get infuriated. You’ll feel like you’re screaming in the middle of a crowded subway cart and no one can hear you. But when you do, I hope you remember these words straight from your own mouth:

You are a one-in-million woman. You are full of goodness and beauty, and your heart is so vast, you don’t even realize how loving you are. You make people feel special. You make them feel like they matter. You are encouraging and vibrant, and trust me, you do not go unnoticed. As you’ve been figuring out – nothing is going to be perfect. Nothing will go according to plan. But you, my darling firecracker of a Tigar, you will always find a way. And that love you’ve been aching for, that special feeling that has felt so absent for so long – it won’t be gone forever. I promise. Try not to worry about it – the best things of your life are still ahead of you. I can’t see them just yet – but I know they’re there. And I definitely know you’ll get there.

Keep sparkling, keep believing, keep that pretty chin up. Love ya. -Linds

Dear Little Radiant Self who has come into this world with so much,

I bet you thought you would never be here, right? I bet you thought that the journey you worked so hard through would never end, right? If you look back to your life two years ago, I bet you are saying to yourself, “wow I am completely unrecognizable”, but all for the best. Because now you have finally found the best in you. All those beautiful parts that have been hidden and bruised for so long. That scared little butterfly which has been waiting to spread its wings is now ready to fly. Congratulations little radiant self for making it through such incredible times of adversity and finally growing into the woman you’ve always wanted to be. The woman who you love so deeply because you’ve fought to become her. The woman who doesn’t care that it will soon be Valentines Day and could possibly be dateless. That dateless woman who no longer needs a man to define her worth. The one who sees relationships as gifts, and not as needs. Roses as things, and chocolates as extra added pounds that she rather waste on a hearty bowl of pasta while enjoying wine with her best friends on a Saturday night. The friends who have stood by your side to watch you grow and never forgot to remind you along the way that eventually you would be exactly where you are. The universe has promised you that this journey would not be in vain, and you would have everything you need.

So this Valentines Day, whether there is a man or not, I ask that you celebrate the truest and greatest love of all; the one you have reinvented with yourself. And whenever you feel the urge to dwell on the past, relinquish it, smile and remember what it has taught you. And even better, how it has prepared you to be ready for the love you are seeking, and that it is finally your time for the universe to bring it to you. Not only on Valentines Day, but this year in general is where you will reap the rewards of all those difficult lessons you’ve battled. You know, the ones that you questioned what the purpose was? Well now you know.

So dear little radiant and beautiful self, I hope this Valentine’s Day you will celebrate the gift of love, respect it, own it, nurture it, and value it. Because after all, you created it. Love, Me. –Beautiful Optimist

Dear Me,

Wow. We are almost thirty and who would have thought that we would be here. We’ve been through a lot the last few years but we have come out of the darkness stronger and brighter than I could have ever  imagined us being. The last few years were especially dark and painful, but you’ve come out even stronger then even I realized you could be. You will continue to become a stronger woman and person in your own skin. Your internal beauty will start coming out more and more and you will continue to light up the room with your infectious personality and smile. You know you are not broken maybe a bit bruised at times, but you continually smile through any pain this growing stronger daily. You have realized that happiness is something only you can control. You will find someone that wants to share in making you happy and likes making your face light up the room. You are not lonely and never will be, your family loves you and so do your friends, you will find your special someone when you least expect it and all your hidden dreams will become reality. I will always love you and will always have your best interests at heart even if you don’t see it at the time.  –Love, Stephanie

My dear miss…

You are amazing and I love you with all my heart as you are now, unconditionally. You don’t have to be better, you have to be as you are just because you are really great. –With love, ME.

Dear Summer,

I am so proud of who you are and what you stand for. You are beautiful and you are doing a good job of believing that about yourself more and more each year. You are very smart and you are good at your job. You don’t often give yourself enough credit either, especially at work. You have good ideas and you are very creative. You are very lucky to have such a wonderful husband who appreciates you and makes you a better person. You have so many of the good qualities of your parents and I know you will be a great mom one day. You have really done better for the past 6 months with anxiety and worrying too much. You should be proud of that. You are thoughtful and funny. This year has been such a good one- you finally moved back west! It took living 5 hours away from your husband for 5 months, which was much harder than you thought it would be, but you got through it. You both made sacrifices to make the life you want to have and now it’s here. You’re back home and you’re about to buy a house. Every year you grow up a little more without really noticing. So take the time to congratulate yourself and reflect upon the accomplishments of your life. You are happy, secure and loved, and you have worked very hard to get here. Happy Valentines Day! –Love, Summer, Boone, North Carolina

Dear Leslie,

I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the absolutely kick ass job you’ve done in the past year of being good to yourself. It took a while for you to embrace this concept; to realize that it’s not being “selfish” to make decisions that enhance your mental and emotional well-being.

Although you’ve second-guessed letting go of “that one”, know that it was truly in both of your best interests to walk away from something that was only perfect because that’s the way he — and you — wanted it to appear. You knew better, and it was brave to walk away this time, before it became something that hardened you once again.

Thanks for opening up your mind and allowing yourself to enjoy life, embrace new things, and push yourself further than you’ve ever done. Sure, you’ve still got work to do, but the transformation has been impressive thus far.

Here’s to more new adventures. More trips to places as far as Mexico and New Orleans, and as near as your new favorite fragrance shop. More spoiling yourself, but in moderation (let’s not forget your physical and financial health in the process). Here’s to loving more and needing less… of anything, anyone and EVERYTHING.

Until next time, keep up the great work, and remember to appreciate the value in each day, each moment, and each person who comes into your life. It’s all worth it… I promise. -Love, Me.

My dearest,

I don’t want you to think that you can’t do anything. That little voice inside of your head may be telling you that the goal you want to reach is too far or too out of your comfort zone, but it’s not. “You can” are the two words that should always be on your mind. Whenever you start thinking about the negative and heart-breaking things that happened in the past, remember those two words.

I remember those times when you lost yourself and didn’t want to be around other people for weeks after a horrible breakup. I’m glad you finally faced those feelings and became the person you are today. You are stronger and smarter than you give yourself credit for. You are worthy of a relationship full of admiration, happiness, and laughter at all times. He didn’t realize your worth and never will. You always seem to be reeled back into seeing him for a night-time rendezvous but anytime the past is brought up, he refuses to acknowledge he did anything wrong. Doesn’t that seem wrong to you? Unless by some godly intervention, he might change but he has dimmed your light far too dark. You can do better. You’re the Queen of your own life. You are cherished, admired, strong, divine, amazing, beautiful and fabulous.

You know what I love about you? You have confidence and yet you deny having any self-confidence at all. The fact that you can walk into a restaurant and be okay with treating yourself to dinner and not think twice that you’re all alone sitting at a booth for two, enjoying reading the paper and catching up on your emails. Though you may not think that you can move to a different city or take that campaign job that you’ve been offered that’s going to take double the work of any other campaign you’ve ever worked on, you can. You’ve always leaned on people to help you out when you’re not sure of the right decision. What you don’t realize is that you just need someone that you trust to back up the decision you’ve already made.

For this Valentines Day go be with your sisters that you’ve kept in touch with these past two years since you’ve graduated. Don’t talk about why you don’t have someone to hold your hand or buy you flowers that are going to die in a few days anyways, talk about what you’re worth and how far you’ve come since those mighty four college years. Your sorority sisters took the oath with you, almost like marriage, to be there through thick and thin. You’ve been there for them when they moved into their new house, gotten engaged and then married, gotten into graduate school, and started a job they love. You’ve also become a stronger more independent person than I think you realize. This past year and a half you went through the ringer with your family when you lost your grandfather, uncle, and grandmother. Your grandmother was your inspiration and the reason why you were holding back from leaving the city that you grew up in, for a job. She would be proud of you for fighting for the common man through the political process and taking a stand on an issue that isn’t always popular. She is telling you now, from heaven above, that you can aspire to do or be anything.

Lastly, enjoy life. Be the fabulous person that you are and don’t let anything hold you back. You can. I love you. -RJW, North Carolina

Dearest Kristine,

You are beautiful. Your heart makes you beautiful. It speaks to the world. Having a conversation with you, a stranger wouldn’t be able to guess the amount of pain, stress, loss and helplessness that you have felt and still do sometimes. Your big smile and your kind eyes tell a different story. They don’t tell a sad story about a girl who’s family is broken, who never felt supported while pursuing her passion, who sheltered her little sister because her parents were to caught up in themselves to, who experienced three big losses in a matter of months, but who was never allowed to grieve. But rather the stories your eyes, smile and sweet personality tell is one of redemption and perseverance. You’re stronger, wiser, more cautious, and a thousand times more loving because of it all. While the past wasn’t the best, it’s over. The way you learned and grew because of that is what the world sees. The world sees your heart shine through in everything you do and it inspires not only me, but it inspires everyone around you. Stay incredible, my love. Stay beautiful. -Love you forever, Your Glitter Diary

Dear Younger Me,

I know you’re being picked on and teased right now. And I know how rough it is, when all you want to do is please everyone. It can feel like no matter how hard you try…you just can’t seem to be good enough.

Well, I’m writing to tell you that you ARE good enough. I’m not going to lie to you – life doesn’t get easier by any means. But you are a tough, smart, and loving girl. And the people that are picking on you right now? They don’t go anywhere in life. But you will. You will find yourself, and start learning to love yourself. And you deserve it. Don’t ever think that you don’t deserve someone’s kindness, affection, or love.

And one more thing…I want you to remember the kindness and optimism that you have in your heart right now. Hold onto it, cherish it, and never let it go. The world will kick you down sometimes, but that childlike love of the world is what will help you get back up again (over and over). You’re going to be tempted to turn cold, to shut people out, and to scoff at that kindness in your heart. Instead, remember what I’ve said, get back up, and try again with a smile on your face.

You can do this. I know you can. I love you. -ThatCollegeGirl

Dear Kelly,

You are beautiful. Take those special moments when you realized that you are just a glimmer of that person that used to think so many negative things. You have been through more than most people can say, and are a confident and strong woman. Remember that moment at the lake when he had to stop and what he was doing just to say how beautiful you are and know you deserve it. Remember all those little moments where you looked in the mirror and all that hard work paid off. You are smart, you are beautiful, and you are a force of nature all by yourself. Being with someone only improves you by making each one of you want to be even better person, and that is always your goal. -Eternally Single Kelly

Dear Danielle,

2013 did a number on your heart and emotions. Remember: if they want you there, they’ll put you there. Sex does not equal love. And it’s okay if you turn guys down because they’re not your type or you’re just not interested. Don’t beat yourself up; he was nice but you’re not physically attracted to him and that’s okay. Friends might be more of what you need right now anyway. Make sure you love yourself enough for everyone because they might not always say it back wen you do. This is your year, darling. You’re leaving the dead-end job, going back to school, and pursuing something that ACTUALLY interests you. I’ve never been prouder. You’re absolutely stunning in every way. Open your eyes to that more often. I promise, you’ll thank me later ;) -Love, Danielle

Dear Self,

This is a love letter. And because I love you, I need to tell you some things–and I need for you to listen closely instead of putting up your regular walls to hide away from things that are disturbing. You need to take better care of yourself. You need to learn how to slow down and focus more on being happy rather than being productive. You need to spend time and energy on being nicer to your partner, in particular. You can’t love someone more than anyone else in the world and then treat them as anything less than that—it’s not fair for them to suffer because of your bad behavior, and it’s not fair to you to miss out on any possible moment of happiness with them. Life is short, as you have learned the hard way over the past three years. Instead of trying to make the most of every second with busyness, try breathing deeply and focusing more on intentionally showing love to your partner instead of conquering your to-do lists.

2014 is going to be a great year, but it requires work on your part. Not by doing “things”—you’re great at getting “things” done. Your work will be with your heart, spirit, and mind. Work on learning to not immediately compartmentalize information. Work on slowing down at home. Work on relaxing, Work on trusting your partner completely. Work on being thankful, and considering everything that your partner does as extra rather than something that is expected—because if you continue to hold practically impossible standards for yourself and let that bleed into your expectations of your partner too, then you will never be satisfied. A partnership is more than just sharing to-do lists, after all.

Thank you for listening, Self. I love you very much. You are beautiful, and kind, and worthy of this letter. Please take the time to reflect on what I have told you today, and put my suggestions into practice. They will benefit you, and those around you, I promise. -Sincerely, Self

Hey there, darling.

Another year, another time to reflect on what this year has meant for your heart, and why you continue to fall deeper & deeper in love with the woman you’re becoming. This year has given you so many firsts–buying your first home with your partner, adopting your first cat, seeing Beyoncé in concert for the first time, traveling to many states and cities, and selling your first item on your new etsy shop, and so much more. And these opportunities are presented to you not because you’re lucky–they happen because you deserve them. You work hard. You’re a great partner. You are responsible. You care for others madly and deeply, and the universe continues to reward you. Stop being so worried that it’s being stacked against you just to tumble down–enjoy it. Embrace the good fortune in your life and celebrate all the wonderful people you get so share it with. Rejoice in your good health, strong runners legs, dynamite body, talents, skills, and community. You deserve all of it.

I am so proud of you and your strength. You knew what you needed, and you did it. You were resilient. And now, you reap the benefits. Hell yes.

Enjoy your evening of lobster and Valentines Day episodes of 30 Rock with the love of your life–you both truly deserve every moment you have worked so hard to enjoy together.

I love you, and know the future is so bright. Lets do it, boo. Michelle, Asheville, NC

Hello Gorgeous,

You voluptuous vision of greatness! How the heck did you get so fine? Must be all the veggie eating, water drinking, and exercising. Thank you for loving yourself enough to take care of what’s necessary and pave the way for yourself to have a happier, healthier life. By loving yourself, you’re treating yourself better and ensuring a healthier future. Way to go, girlfriend! Even though you’ve got a ways to go, keep shaking your groove thang at Zumba and running like a gazelle on the elliptical. And for the love of all good in the world, thank you for breaking up with Self-Pity, Emotional Eating, Fat Shaming. Those three were hardcore Bitches. Isn’t it better to love you for you? -Love always, Mrs. Healthy Ever After

Dear Me,

Everyone has a time in there life where they encounter a feeling if depression, loneliness, regret and guilt. Endureing those “what if” moments are never easy and trying to keep your self strong and motivated is easier said than done. This past year and half has been filled with all of those emotions and finding out who my true family and friends are. This year, with a new born. It’s time to love my self… Not only for me but for him. No more regrets. No more what ifs. Now is the time to live for the future and love every moment of life. And be humble and grateful for everything and everyone in your life! This year I love me so I can become the worlds best mother. -Love, Me

Dear Me,
Give yourself a break. You’re amazing and you need to start realizing it. Yes, you have things about yourself that you’re unhappy with, but so does everyone. It’s time to start focusing on what makes you so amazing. What do I love about you? Your drive, your passion for helping people, your life goal to try every craft beer ever brewer (seriously, thank you for that one), and I also just love you. You make my day everyday by just being you, and I can’t thank you enough for that.  -Love forever, You

Hey, you.

We’ve had a love-hate relationship for years, but I have to say, I am so freakin’ proud of you. You worked your butt off in college, and here you are—doing what you first set off to do. But something’s missing, and you’re not just going to settle. You keep pursuing those ever-evolving dreams to finally be at peace, happy, living. You’re going to do it. You’re going to rock it. And it’s inspiring. Now go, and finally take those chances. Your future self will thank you a million times over. -xo, Grace

Dear Self,

You’ve learned how to love more this past year. Just when you thought it wasn’t possible, you fell in love deeper with those closest to you, leaving stretch marks on your heart. Having a baby this year changed your heart and soul not to mention your body, but you allowed yourself to heal, to rest, and to trust others, all great challenges for you to overcome.You have never been more determined in your life, so I expect to see great things from you this year. Enjoy your hubby and that new babe this Valentine’s day, you deserve it. –Fatima

Holy Crap Lady.

Over the last couple of week I’ve been trying to think of what to say. I’m not sure I’ll be able to beat the reference number of my last letter to you in 2011. I think instead of the funnies, I’m going to be slightly serious.

I love how you have grown. You’ve been trying to find yourself, but really what you needed to do was to relearn yourself and start to have confidence in all your wonderful qualities again. Frankly, you have a lot of qualities and those who don’t like them can just suck it.

Like for instance, when you get so little sleep you start to giggle, non stop. You can’t do anything about it and there is NOTHING funny to giggle about, but you can’t stop. It’s like suddenly you are making yourself laugh because you know what is happening is completely ridiculous, but you can’t stop what you are doing. Can’t Stop.

I love how you’ve started to become more and more confident in yourself. You know you are beautiful, you know you are more capable of doing things that you think you can’t, you know that you are one hell of a fighter and you know when to stop putting up with stupid crap that you shouldn’t have to deal with. I know you get shy. I know you look at something and think, “Ffs, that’s not something I can do.” I know you look at some of your friends and think, “I love them… I just want to help, they are asking for it, but they don’t really want it,” you can’t help them until they want it. They have to make their own mistakes, so you just stop trying to stop them, because they have their path to go through and you have yours. It’s okay. Paths break apart and path can sometimes come back together. I know you pick out clothing that you’ve never worn because, put it on and think, “I look horrible.” I glad you are getting over by shy, doing the stuff you think you can’t, leaving friends behind that aren’t help you or themselves, and being a little more adventures with colors and clothing style.

I love, you have no idea how much I love this about you, that you have retained the small child in your heart. That you still get excited about things in the world, even if you’ve been through, watch, or done something multiple times. I love that you see feel wonder by things you’ve seen before and NEW things you’ve never seen before. I will always feeling like cheating death, trying to drive up the winding road over by Grandpa’s old house. You wonder if you’ll see the ghost of the witch on the hill behind the forest or lights of an oncoming car and wonder how you’re going to move to the side of the road, when really it’s only a one car road. Disney movies, books turned into movies, books, tulips, your kittens (who aren’t really kittens anymore, but will always be kittens to you), will forever make you so excited and happy you’ll be bouncing around the house for days. You just will. Karaoke will probably ALWAYS scare you shitless, but maybe one day you’ll get back up on the stage by yourself and sing a whole song by yourself without fear, or fearful tears. You can do it.

I know before you were afraid of the future. You were afraid of what was going to happen, how you were going to get back into college, how this or that was going to work out. You felt rushed that you needed to get everything done now, that everything had to happen now or you would disappoint yourself or your mother. I glad, so glad that you’ve relaxed a bit. You know things need to happen, you know you need to get out of the house, you know you need to do this or that… but you don’t feel that rush anymore. Where some people thrive on rushing to do things, that only make you feel anxious and depressed. It’s okay that you can’t do things like other people. I mean, when the hell have you ever thought that you were able to do things at the pace like others can do things? WHEN? I’m so happy and glad you’ve relearned that it’s okay to go at your own pace. You will get things to happen and the things you want to happen will happen.

Last year was filled with so many ups, downs and relearning lessons that you needed to learn. You’ve show the strength that you have always had in yourself, always, and now you’re remembering how to use that strength again. Well, you’ve been using it for awhile without realizing it, but now it’s starting to settle and become a normal use. I love you for that. I love you for reminding me that I’m perfectly imperfect just the way I am. Including all the childness, oddities, “don’t wannas”, fears, and endless happy moments. You are a wonderful, full and bright soul. This life is yours and you get to live it the way you want to.

Love,
The hands attached to your body typing this.
The brain making sure you are well encouraged by this.
The smile that is on your face.
The tired eyes that can clearer see these words.
The heart that is full with happy, proud, and giddy feelings that are ready to burst from your chest. -Shay Rae

Dear Self,

Hi there! I know you might be feeling lonely right now, so I just wanted to pop in hello. You are strong and beautiful. You can handle anything that life throws at you. So hang in there! Just do your best; it doesn’t have to be perfect. And always remember to love you for being you. –With Love, Emma

Dear me,

It’s been quite a year, hasn’t it? It’s been a year full of challenges and new opportunities. You didn’t end up where you expected but that’s the beauty of this thing called life, right? This past year may not have given you everything you wanted but it taught you so much more. You are smart, funny, and compassionate. You are beautiful. You learned never to settle for less than your deserve. And most importantly you learned to love yourself; flaws included. So stop beating yourself up because you haven’t found “the one” and don’t have it all figured out just yet. Your time will come and someone will come along and appreciate all you have to offer. Don’t settle. Just wait. The best is yet to come! Emily, Albany, NY

Dear Babycakes,

This is the first valentine’s day you will celebrate being in a relationship. I love how you have wrestled with the fear and thoughts of not being good enough and been someone who can love and be loved. Your resilience and being able to hold on during the toughest times is something that is truly amazing. I only wish you had the strength to get up and walk away from a relationship that is not right for you. maybe it will happen today, tomorrow or on Valentine’s day-whenever it finally happens, I hope you will let this person go in love and remember that you will love again and it will be magnificent. Happy Valentine’s Day! With love, Your voice of confidence <3

Heyyy beautiful ;)

I love your willingness to always try new things and have FUN. I love your smile and your ability to brighten other people’s days. I love your hard worth ethic and your ambitious goals despite any obstacles that you face. I love your passion for life. Keep on sparkling, GF and never forget how amazing you are!  –XOXO, Tricia

Dear Adriana,

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So look within yourself and see how beautiful you are! Even if you don’t hear it often just know you are special in your own way. It is more important to love yourself and accept yourself than always seeking others approval. Be happy, be you, be lovely. Mistakes and all, you are valuable. –Adriana

Dear you,

You. Complicated li’l you. Sometimes you frustrate me so much, but I can’t help but find you charming, even in your most irredeemable moments.

It took me a while to realize my attraction to you. At first, I kept telling myself you were ugly; your imagined beauty was just that: an illusion. You were not that eye-catching, especially after a stressful week on the job, especially since you couldn’t find enough time to go to the gym to get your ideal figure back.

But something told me “Look closely, look deeper.”

That’s when I noticed the striking contrast between your dark hair and your pale skin, and the three separate Orion’s belt-like constellations made of dainty moles on your body. That’s when I noticed your skin isn’t as congested or as rough as I’d originally thought, nor was your body that pudgy at all. Whether it was in your own way or in a way others turned their head to notice, it didn’t matter; that’s when I realized you were beautiful.

It took me a while to realize you were intelligent, capable. At first, people said you couldn’t do it because you were young, you were a girl, and you were too nice. People said you couldn’t make it in college, in the big city, in a high-pressure job, in grad school, in life.

But something told me “Look closely, look deeper.”

That’s when I noticed you had gotten through everything people said you couldn’t. You had gone to school, exceeded expectation, and graduated with honors. You had gone to the city without permission and made your own decision that it wasn’t for you. You had taken many jobs, some of them you loved, others you hated, but all of them… ALL of them, you had gotten through your own initiative, determination, and hard work. You had found a way to support going back to school because you didn’t have another way of income, and you needed an in for a new job, a new career. Now you’re almost finished with a perfect 4.0 GPA. You found true, honest, deep love after a tragic loss of the very same thing. You keep a roof over your head, even if you struggle sometimes. You speak your mind, you write your blog, and you do what you want to do, despite any backlash. That’s when I realized you had to be intelligent because you were more than capable.

It took me a while to realize you were enough. At first, people kept telling you to do better, do more. People kept saying you could be different if you tried, able to fit in if only you worked hard enough. Some people even tried to change you, mold you, because they wanted you to be “perfect.” In the process, most of them told you what was wrong with you: your honesty, your weight, your lack of sexual activity, your presence of sexual activity, your hairstyle, your emotional responses, your fashion, your overall lifestyle choices. They told me you were so far from being even remotely appealing that I shouldn’t even bother.

But something told me “Look closely, look deeper.”

That’s when I noticed that all of the people who’d said you weren’t their ideal were just projecting their perceptions, sometimes even their flaws, directly onto you. They might have needed you to be skinnier, more demure, and less emotional, but that was never something you set up as a goal for yourself. Someone else might have wanted you to stay the same – immature, rounder, wilder – but you were ready to grow and leave them behind; this didn’t make you crazy, or a bitch, or even a shitty person… it made you your own. And being your own is all you ever have to be. That’s when I realized you always had been and always will be enough.

It took me a while to realize you were sick. At first, I just thought it was all the stress of undertaking so many things at once: a full-time job, a full workload at school, a long distance relationship with a man you love, a dog your adore, a new gym membership, a blog and a house to maintain, and the general in-and-out of daily life with friends and responsibilities. You felt tired because you didn’t have enough time. You felt sad because you were overwhelmed. You felt angry because you had so many rights to. You felt nothing because you had nothing to be happy about.

But something told me “Look closely, look deeper.”

That’s when I noticed you were always inexplicably tired, no matter how much sleep you had gotten. I noticed you were always sad, sadder than you needed to be, no matter what you were crying about. I noticed you were getting angrier and angrier about smaller things and at more people than ever before. I noticed you should be feeling things, a lot of things – especially happiness – because you had plenty to be thankful for. I noticed you felt withdrawn, alienated, attacked, and scared. I noticed you were having problems doing things you loved and working on anything for more than five minutes at a time. I noticed other people were starting to notice something was off. Some loved ones were even saying things to you. Even strangers noticed, sometimes making you feel so broken down about it that you fell into a deep, dark hole for two full and horrible days. That’s when I realized you had been sick for a while.

That’s when I realized I needed to get you help.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Rachel. My gift to you this year is reconnecting you with your true self. I know you miss her, and I cannot wait until you’re acquainted again. By now, you’re about three weeks into treatment. Do you feel the change I longed you would? I hope you do, I hope you do…

Because, for the first time in a long time, I realize you are worth it. –Love, Rachel

Hey You…I Mean, Me :)

It’s been quite a long road so far as you’ve noticed. You told yourself a year ago that you’d begin loving yourself more than anyone in this world ever could and look at you now! It takes a lot, I know. It’s not easy to get up in the morning and look past the mess of curls, the less than perfect skin, those tired music-major eyes and think of “love” when you look into the mirror.

Still you’ve realized somewhere in between all of the ups and downs of your life and your story that there is so much to love and so much to offer. I love you unconditionally for where you have come and for where you have been. I love you for everything that you have been blessed with in life. I love you for every second of your life that you haven’t been loved adequately by the people in your life. I love you so much so that if love doesn’t come from any other corner of the world you can look in the mirror and feel it radiating back towards you.

I love your physical being, your mind, and everything that you are, and that’s all I’ll ever work the hardest at. Because if all else fails, what else can I do but love you more than I love anything or anyone else? You will always be just right for me. You will always be loved.

Love Always,You. XoXo

Happy hearts day!

I can not believe that another year has passed. I just want to tell you how incredibly strong and resilient you are. You have had so many challenges in the recent months and you are still a shining star for all around you. It is super hard to rise above the negativity and stay true to yourself and your family. That is truly what matters in the end, and I am proud to be a part of that. You are an amazing woman with so many strengths for others to see. Keep on loving those around you and it will come back to you ten fold!! –Emily B.

Dear Rachel,

You have always been so good to me. You were such a sweet and gentle child,as a teenager you always tried to not abuse our body with bad chemicals. When you turned 18 and we became very ill you always held your head up high and carried on even though you were scared. All the boyfriends that turned out to be bad…you just took that as a life lesson and when we finally met the man of our dreams you always stayed true to yourself…to us. When Jack got diagnosed with autism you never cried or became sad…you like him just like he is. You have always been so good to me. You got me…With all my love- Rachel’s heart

Hey Lady,

Wow. You’ve grown in so many ways in the past year and it’s all because you took an incredible leap of faith.
By opening your heart, you’ve allowed some pretty wonderful things to work their way into your life! 2014 has been challenging so far, but don’t ignore the obvious blessings that have been overflowing in your life over the past month. You are beautiful, talented, smart, sexy, funny and quirky in all the best ways. Don’t let anyone define you or tell you otherwise!

You have absolutely everything it takes to live a full creative and authentic life in 2014. Let’s do this! –Love, Katie, Charlotte NC

Hiii lady-

It’s that time of year again! In the past, I know that you have dreaded this day because, to be honest, you have never had “that special someone” to spend it with. You even used to say that it was a stupid holiday because there was too much expectation and forced romance and something you didn’t care about just to make yourself feel better. Well, this year is going to be different. Not different in the sense that you will unexpectedly get flowers from some great guy or that you are going to be making googly eyes with a handsome someone over a candle lit dinner. This time it is going to be about you and finding the love that you know you have for yourself somewhere underneath all that self-criticism and self-doubt. The past year has not been an easy one with many trips to the doctor for a disease you found out that you have, the stresses of the first year of graduate school, bouts of anxiety and panic attacks that came out of nowhere, and the return of that pesky acne. It wasn’t the easiest year to love yourself while asking, “why me?” and “Am I strong enough to handle all of this?” Starting this Valentine’s Day, you will start finding reasons to love yourself and carry that with you to help make 2014 the best year yet. Take yourself to a movie, have a dinner for one at your favorite restaurant, get a pedicure, have some wine and chocolate for one. Show yourself that self-love is not a bad thing that makes you into a cocky, stuck-up person, but rather it makes you confident and able to show more love to others. One day you will have an incredible man to spend today with, but until then don’t keep putting yourself at the bottom of your list of priorities. So with that I simply say, Happy Valentine’s Day! -Leslie

Hello Lady,

I knew I was falling for you when were sniffing the ocean air from beneath a redwood on the California coast, all the wind in your hair and up your dress, and again when you were standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon, unshowered in a dirty tank top. But I loved you most in the desert of the still wild west, when you threw your camera around your neck, tied your dress to the side, and scrambled up steep rocks on your hands and knees. I loved you most there, when you took off all your clothes and stood naked in the middle of nothingness. There you were, in your imperfect fat body, tattooed with equal amounts of art and scars, pale and chubby, with jiggly thighs, a plump belly, a flat ass, and uneven boobs, feeling 100% at peace with everything you are and will be. So you drove home over the next week, filling yourself with diner food and waking up on the floor of some strange, fancy apartment overlooking Lake Michigan. You came home and you drank too much beer and fell out of love while dancing in your living room to old records at 3am. You said, “I can’t wait to be your friend,” and finally meant it. You played your guitar and he said “It feels all wrong, the rhythm isn’t right,” and finally mean it. You cried and held each other and he kissed you on the forehead and reminded you how great you are. You said “I know,” and finally meant it. -Love, Allison

Happy Valentine’s Day, Warrior Queen!

I know you’re excited to spend another year with your love but I am so happy that you’ve remembered [yet again] self-love. I know things have been a little crazy in the past year. Who knew that planning a wedding could drain so much love from yourself? Adjusting to being part of a partnership has had its ups and downs, and I know the transition is harder for someone so confident in her self-love. Things sort of got lost for awhile again, didn’t they? For the girl who never truly focused on her personal appearance, you’ve been insecure. But you’ve also been brave; very brave. I am so happy to see you getting that confidence back and to see you taking time and money for yourself. Pamper yourself, you deserve it! So before you go out to that fancy dinner tonight, why don’t you get in the kitchen and bake yourself your favorite treat. p.s. that printable you made for self-love? Genius! -Love, Raewyn

Dearest Jennilee (though your friends from home gave you this lovely nickname over 10 years ago, it still hasn’t gotten old),

You are 25 this Valentine’s Day and more in love than ever — look at your happy self! Though it hasn’t always been easy, you’re resilient, optimistic, and excited for the future. Aside from the strides you’ve made in your professional career, you’ve moved mountains when it comes to looking deep down inside of you and understanding yourself a little bit better. Coping with anxiety has always been your struggle and in 2013 you tackled it – hard. With the help of some amazing friends and one strong, patient, and loving boyfriend, you’ve learned how to manage your mind, understand your thoughts, and move forward full-speed. I want you to know that I’m proud of you — of the incredibly caring and considerate friend you are, of the hard, dedicated worker you are, and of the optimistic and spontaneous spirit you still possess. May 2014 bring you all the love in the world and the courage to chase after rainbows, as far away as they seem.  –Love, Jenn

Dear Shane,

I have a confession to make. There are only a handful of days in my life that I have felt truly beautiful. As much as I love making others feel great about themselves (see my Operation Beautifu projectl), I struggle to talk about myself and my own accomplishments.

So, this is the point where I realized, I’ve had each of you find the courage to embrace the beauty within yourselves. Honestly, I hate compliments. I would almost rather be criticized. I realize this makes zero sense. So I am here today to break myself of that mentality.

My favorite physical feature is my… smile. I used to be so self conscious about my “big” teeth but I’ve been told it’s beautiful.

Something non-physical that I love about myself is… my drive and passion for whatever life throws my way.

I’m happiest when… I’m with my mama, my best friend. Looking at each other and laughing without having to say a word, because we both know exactly what one another is thinking.

I enjoy the simpler things in life: The morning dew on a fresh-bloomed flower. The bittersweet feeling of finishing a really good book. Laughing so hard her cheeks hurt. Sitting outside during a thunderstorm, the smell of rain to remind me of the beauty of nature. Watching snowflakes fall while cuddling by a toasty fire with cocoa. Turning the page of a calendar to a month full of things to look forward to.

I question everything and would never settle for second best. I’m glad life is a challenge and take full advantage of every opportunity. I am the farthest thing from perfection, but my flaws are what make me beautiful. –Love, Shane

Hey there pretty girl,

Look at those mesmerizing blue eyes and that long brown hair. Not to mention that stunning smile of yours.

This past year has been a challenging one no doubt but somehow you’ve managed to keep a positive view of everything . You cried many tears but had just as many laughs and smiles.

You’ve been able to gain an amazing promotion at work which leads you that much closer to moving into your dream place. While it wasn’t easy and will continue to be hard work it will all pay off in the long run.

You learned that its important to do what you want, when you want, and with the people you want to do it with. Although you are still the amazing friend and peer who is always willing to help out you’ve learned to put yourself first no matter what. This has been a key factor in growing and loving yourself.

The number one ,most important, thing you have learned this year is to love yourself. Really love yourself more than you thought possible. By learning to love yourself and finding what makes you happy you have been able to find an amazing man to share your life with. You were never willing to settle for something less than you deserved. All of the years of singleness and lonely nights in truly led you to this happy ending you always wanted and believed in.

So here is to you this valentines day when you’ll be spending it with the two people you love most. –Love, Christina 

Dear Jana,

I love how strong you are — you learn from your mistakes and you let your past make you better, not bitter.
I love how you always are wearing a smile — you can’t help smiling at every occasion possible, because to you the glass is always half full.
I love how you are a sucker for romance — there is nothing more powerful to you than a passionate kiss, and the feeling of a man’s arms holding you close.
I love how beautiful you are — even if sometimes you don’t see it yourself, it’s important to know you are.
I love how creative you are — you can conceive a fantastic masterpiece by just jotting down a few words.
I love how sweet you are — you exuberant light and an abundance of warmth to anyone you meet.
I love how motivated you are — you won’t stop until you succeed in your dreams.
I love that you’ve come so far — your journey hasn’t been an easy one, but you’ve kept your head up along the way and taken something valuable with you from each and every experience.
Lastly, I love how you love — you have a huge heart, and although there are so many people in your life who you feel blessed to have, you never forget to always love yourself first.
Happy Valentines Day, J!  

Dear Me,
Yes, I know sometimes we have not been the best friends. And sometimes, we don’t look at each other without getting angry or sad. However, we must make peace with one another. There is no time to be regretful or sad. The time is now. Be happy. Enjoy life. Let’s be happy together.  –Xoxo, Naomi

Dear Charlotte,

You’re not always kind to yourself. I know that sometimes you feel like you’re the worst person in the world, the ugliest, the fattest… all of the most awful things you think about yourself. It’s not true.

In 2014, I really hope that you are able to see more positivity in your life, I believe it will help you greatly. Remember, not everything is black and white. You are a good person. You’re not ugly. You’re not fat. You are you, and you are beautiful. Remember this. There are people in your life that tell you all these wonderful things on a daily basis. Believe them. You are loved, and that is all that matters.

Love from Charlotte. <3

Dear Megan,

One year ago today, an amazingly sweet and perfect guy sent you flowers for the first time. You had just gotten out of a four year relationship that had been slowly falling apart for the latter half of it. You had been rediscovering what it meant to be you–without a significant other–for the past six months. And you’d developed more as a woman than ever before.

That time in your life was paramount in molding the woman you are today. You began to see your future clearly, without depending on someone else (who is actually not dependable at all). It wasn’t until you finally let yourself be creative, get motivated and succeed that you came into your own. There are some people in life that will try to hold you back, but NEVER AGAIN let that person be you. Just like no one can truly love you until you love yourself, no one is going to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself. You experienced that first hand.

Now that you have the confidence, drive, and passion to do what you love, you have a partner who not only supports you and celebrates your successes, but he also inspires you every single day.

Keep it up, girl. You da bomb! -xoxo, Megan

To my biggest critic and my biggest fan,

You definitely have a lot of flaws. But your most prominent one is not accepting those imperfections as just another lovable facet of yourself. Sure, you overreact to things emotionally. But that just means you have emotions to feel in the first place. Yes, you should exercise more. But embrace those times you do exercise, whether it’s going to one yoga class a week or running up and down the stairs to visit all of your friends. Maybe not everything you do is perfect, but where’s the fun in not ever messing up? The word “flaws” has a negative connotation, but it’s easy enough to turn a “blemish” into a “decoration.” Like the best literary characters, your flaws are sometimes your most endearing features. –Love, Julia

Dear Chelsea,

This is the third year in a row that you have wrote a “self-love” letter, but for some reason this year you kept putting it off… Is your procrastination habit becoming worse? Or is there something deeper going on there? I’m going to go with the latter…

Wow! It’s been a whirlwind of a year! You graduated law school! You passed the bar! You got a job! Basically, you are kicking ass and taking name, but I know that it feels like something is still missing. Well, let me tell you something (and please remember this on the gloomiest of days)… You must learn the art of loving yourself before you can expect another person to love you unconditionally. Yeah, it can be hard sometimes but let the good overshadow the bad. Push the negativity out of your life and embrace the individuals who build you up and make you stronger. Forgive those boys (not men) who have broke your heart in the past and move on. I know it seems like the dating world is a black hole right now but do not lower your standards and do not put up with lies and bullshit. I might be a little biased but you are pretty amazing and you deserve the creme de la creme. Every little thing is going to be alright. Stop beating yourself up for mistakes made in the past. Your past does not require an explanation… not to yourself and not to anyone else. They can love it or leave it.

So, this Valentine’s Day please do not sit around feeling sorry for yourself because you are single and love cats. Hang out with girlfriends. Drink copious amounts of red wine.  And CELEBRATE yourself. –Love, Chelsea 

Lix, sweetheart, honeybee, cherrypie,

All those adjectives that you mean sincerely because you use them on your cat and obviously you’re sincere about how much you love him— Lix, babe, you’re doing just fine. You’re beautiful, and you respect people, and you want everyone you care about to be the best they can be, and get everything they deserve. You’ve done so many things this year that seemed impossible last, and that’s not just the antidepressants, that’s the creativity within you, that’s guiding yourself out of the mess that is your life, that’s making something out of nothing in every which way you could. Everything you do has taken so much courage and it’s incredible that you have that within you after all these years, that you’re willing to put yourself out there and try to build a career and a life on a path that’s so foreign to you.

Besides that, you try so hard to be your mom’s rock, and you try so hard to ignore how difficult it is to live with your father, and you try so hard to love your sister and do things for her even when she’s unbearable and doesn’t seem to understand what’s going on around her. You’re allowed to strike a balance between helping your mom out financially and saving for yourself— you’re allowed to want more and to make your life easier and to go after your dreams and save up for them. You’re allowed to go. You’re allowed to stay longer, if you have to. Give your dreams room to breathe and grow a foundation if you have to. That’s not a failure, that is being responsible, that is all right. Lix, darling, honestly— you’re doing so much more than fine. You’re thriving, and that’s not stopping any time soon. -Love, Lix 

To my dearest Kriselle,

Hi. You never thought you’d be in this position again, did you? Except now, the situation has slightly changed. You’re in a relationship and your thoughts of worthlessness are no more. That is so great, because many people don’t get to that stage. The important thing now is not to turn back. That all may have been many years ago, but it is so important to remember that you are loved no matter what you do and no matter what happens. You are not the things you do or don’t do, as a very good friend once said.

I know that it’s easy to do everything and feel the need to please, but that is not your identity. You are amazing and such a hard worker and a beautiful soul no matter what you do. I know that it’s so hard, but I know you can do this. You are such a strong person and you are more than able. Stop worrying and just be you. Do you, booboo. -Love, Kriselle

Dang girl…

I see what you are doing there… And yea it’s working! You with your infectious laughter and overflowing wit and whimsy. This past year you have had amazing adventures and embraced so many fears, all with courage and grace and that million watt smile! You are blessed beyond measure and you have the most wonderful people in your life. Embrace and enjoy every single moment because you have never been more amazing. I love the person you are are and who you are becoming… Keep it up dollface… It’s just getting good! –Love, Julianne

Dear Kat,

Valentine’s day is about love & love comes in many shapes, forms, & sizes. Growing up you’ve always felt lonely not having a significant other to share it with, but than you came to see that love isn’t just about having a significant other. You have wonderful friends & family who continuously spends this day with you & because of that you’ve grown to know the true meaning of love. Love is about embracing the people you truly care about no matter what your relationship with them are. Because you’ve grown to understand & know what love truly is that itself you’re ready to love & be loved. Whoever walks into your life will know what it feels like to be loved & one day you’ll know what it feels like to have someone be insanely head over heels crazy about you. For now enjoy the amazing people who makes you feel loved each & everyday, but most importantly remember to love yourself. –Love, Kat 2014

Dear Me,

You aren’t as pretty as you were in high school. Your breasts droop, your eyes sag… That energy you used to have is all but gone. But you know what? You are an amazing woman for the life you lead. Taking care of three children, one of which is another woman’s, is not an easy feat but you manage to do it day in and day out without complaint. You are kind and caring, and strive so hard to achieve the things you want; there is no greater passion than that of a mother trying to do better for her kids. You take your full plate and juggle it like no other, and that is why I love you. –Love, Jaime

Hey you.

Yes, you – the one with the warm brown eyes, unwavering smile, and fearless heart. They say feeling too deeply can be a blessing and a curse, and yet you still do it, day in and day out. You always throw yourself 110% into anything and everything that you do, all the while wearing your heart so proudly on your sleeve. This Valentine’s Day you might still be single, and that’s okay. Because that heart of your’s has got so much love in it, more than it can even keep inside sometimes – and one day some special guy will be so, so lucky to have that. In the mean time, you keep loving those people in your life who already love you – yes, those people – your family, and the friends who have turned into a second one. But even more importantly, this Valentine’s Day, remember to keep loving yourself. I know you’re hard on yourself sometimes, and you feel that your life doesn’t measure up to those around you, or the expectations you have set for yourself. But that’s what your twenties are for! You will never be more free or young than you are now, so why not embrace it? And I know you already have. This past weekend you went on a plane finally for the first time, and it opened up your world! You said 2014 was going to be your year of action, and damn it, girl – it’s only February, and you’re already well on your way! Not only have you already flown (which you told yourself you’d do this year), but you also landed a fulltime job in NYC helping others, and you’ve read a book out of that pile you said you were determined to finally read this year. These may seem like small feats right now, but when you look back on 2014, and your list has check marks on it and no longer empty spaces, you will be so proud of yourself, like I already am of you. So keep checking off those resolutions, girl, and loving you and your life. Because as long as you love life, life will love you back. It already has been! Stay smiling, Ash. I love you! Here’s to your year of action. xo –Love, Ash

Hey there lady,

You’ve had quite the year, haven’t you darling? It’s been full of changes and challenges, incredible new beginnings and the start of  madly, profoundly falling in love with yourself. It certainly hasn’t been easy — in fact, it’s been a lot of work. You had to learn to let go of the glimmering hopes of the past so you could find all the lovely opportunities (and people) waiting for you in the days you’ve yet to see. You had to have faith in that brilliant and incredibly powerful voice inside of you that aches for better. The knows there’s more out there. That’s brave, yet very soft. That feels things it only tries to explain in far too many words. It’s your heart that makes you so thoughtful, so loving, so sentimental and it’s that same heart that will help you find all that you’ve ever wanted. For the first time, maybe ever, you don’t have a five-year plan. You don’t have a complete schedule for what’s next or what will be. Instead, you’re learning to love this little life you’ve built this in big city. You’re savoring your friendships, your adorable puppy, your morning runs and the coffee that follows, the job that continues to fulfill you, and the people and the places, that make your life so beautiful. And like a star, you really are. Never change that. Don’t ever lose it. It’s what sets you apart, it’s what makes you bold and what makes you adventurous. It’s what titillates your curiosity each and every day. It’s what makes you so fierce that people notice it once they’ve known you for just five minutes. Your nature makes people want to be better. You have more beauty than what you see and you’re spirit inspires those around you. Keep believing. Dream bigger. Dare yourself more. Say yes. Buy yourself some flowers. Buy that expensive pair of shoes that is really out of your budget — and march those streets with intention. Catch a jetplane. Be so excited that you still have your single status and complete independence… for now. Remember that you’re truly special, incredibly unique and yes, oh yes — that the best is still yet to come. I love you, Happy Valentine’s Day! -Linds

I love the way you have big dreams and are not afraid to work hard to make them come true. You are the eternal optimist and always put a smile on everyone’s faces. You are selfless and kind. You are always there for a hug. You have a beautiful family that is always happy, even when the laundry isn’t done and there are dishes in the sink. Your children love you; you can see it in their eyes. You a strong woman, and you’ve built a family with a wonderful man because you want to, not because you need to. You have faith that one day everything will work out, and you are determined to enjoy the journey with all its ups and downs until it does. You take each day as it comes and never stop dreaming of what the future will bring, even if sometimes you get overly hopeful about your make-believe plans. I understand. This Valentine’s Day you will snuggle with your children and tell them how much they mean to you, how much you love them. You will curl up with your husband because you want his presence near you, but you will be perfectly fine alone when he wants to go play his video game before bed. :) You will love because you want to, not because it’s an obligation to make you feel better about yourself. You are strong, you are loved, and you love. Happy Valentine’s Day, Me. – Tiffany, Atlanta, GA

Happy Valentine’s darling. Look around you and take in all that you have accomplished. Look at the incredible, inspiring people in your life that you are lucky enough to call boyfriend, friend, and family. It hasn’t been an easy few years, but all the hard work was way more than worth it. Live in love today – with yourself first and then with the love of your life (don’t forget to put those roses in water right away!) – Jenn, New York, NY

Firstly I love you & how you always convince yourself that you are one handsome lady that has the world at her feet, being a hot poet that indulge herself with everything good. The reason you are here single and enjoying yourself is your independence your bravery to be on your own and to achieve your goals…You’re a city girl living a life with a deep philosophy of the inner peace you have within. I admire the courage, with your beautiful smile that always give your eyes that much needed glow….You’re beauty transcends everything about you, you are alluring. No matter how many women have broken your heart and walked out your life, you still pick yourself and move forward with life..That is something they can never take from you that you would still greet them if you should see them walking down the road or in a mall. You have finally decided that hindering on past hurts doesn’t need to feature in your life. The universe will give you something better and this V-Day embrace your growth and your journey..This is about me, Myself & I and nothing and no-one else..I love you, you sexythang… -Chim, Capetown, South Africa

You are incredible. I love that you smile to much, laugh way to loud, trip all of the time, have a coffee addiction, and live life to the fullest while trying not to look back. Take time to be proud of yourself. Be proud of who you have become. You are worth someones affection, time, and love. Although you have always been single, you have discovered how to love yourself. Take pride in that. Not many people can say that they have lived in other countries in their twenties. Or have an amazing group of friends who would do anything for you. Or truly have a passion for what they majored in. Enjoy being single while it lasts. Stop trying to find love and let it find you. You have so much to give to the world. Don’t hold back for a second. -Ashley, Canberra, Australia

Happy Love Day! I know that 2013 has not lived up to your expectations: you put your trust in the wrong person and it backfired. It is perfectly understandable to be upset, sad, angry, confused, or whatever emotion you are currently feeling (I know how much they fluctuate), BUT stop letting that negative emotion get in the way of creating new relationships and new opportunities. Your destiny is never tied to anyone that left and the rest of your life is a blank piece of paper just waiting for you to decorate it. This isn’t the last time you will ever feel sad, and this isn’t the last time you will cry. But when those feelings rise to the surface, take a deep breath and realize what you have to be thankful for. February 14th is not a day to sit around and feel sorry for yourself. But instead, it is a day to celebrate love. Yes, I said celebrate love. Love is not contained to romantic feelings. Tell your family how much you love them. Make sure they know that you appreciate EVERY little thing they have ever done for you and that your love for them is limitless. Tell your friends how much you love them. Thank them for the countless hours they have spent nursing your broken heart and listening to you rationalize what happened over and over and over and over again. And last, but certainly not least, LOVE YOURSELF. You are a magnificent creature who is worthy of bona fide love and nothing will ever change that. Go buy yourself something pretty and some fine wine and celebrate love. – Chelsea, Charlotte, NC

I am so happy you’re a solo diva this Valentine’s Day. Why? Because you won’t have to pretend to like any jewelry you hate, you don’t have to look gorgeous whilst eating chocolates – in fact, feel free to binge (in a good, liberating way). I can’t wait for you to throw on some fierce heels for a carefree night on the town, no strings attached! Expect flowers and chocolates from me to me. Love, Me -Anonymous 

Stop beating yourself up for not being “right” for people. They probably aren’t “right” for you either. Even if you vacationed at the all same places growing up and love the same food. It doesn’t mean forever. It’s just a series of lovely coincidences. Don’t turn into a hard person or frigid. Look for the love, don’t change to make it happen. You’re a beautiful, caring, fun girl. Someone is bound to come along and appreciate these things and put the effort in. You deserve more than the bare minimum. Don’t go for Mr. Boring, he’s been around long enough. Let go. Remember, the definition of ‘settle’ is to move downward; sink or descend. You know you always kick way more ass when you’re single anyway ;) Your biggest fan, Danielle PS- have I mentioned how good you look naked these days? I couldn’t be more proud of you for sticking to your workouts and better eating habits <3 – Danielle, Greensboro, NC

I am happy to spend Vday with my girlfriends, because I always have more fun with the girls over dates. I love my independence, freedom, and living by my self. I like being with a man, but am happy without one. – Anonymous 

Dear Renee, You don’t know much about love, admittedly. But if there is one person you have always loved, it’s yourself. You’ve always been proud of yourself, always been able to see the bright side of your flaws. You’ve always been there for yourself, always supported yourself, always believed in yourself. You have never had a problem being who you are. You have never had a problem loving yourself. You have always been fearless and fabulous and you’ve always known it. You’ve spent that last 20 Valentine’s Days on your own, and you’ve always enjoyed them without even a hint of cynicism — writing a love letter to yourself is practically second-nature at this point. But this year has thrown you for a loop. You love your family, your friends, and yourself so naturally. But this year, you’ve had to learn to love someone else too. You have been with a wonderful man for almost a year, longer than you’ve ever been with anyone. But you are a neophyte in the first degree — a definite “beginner” when it comes to being in a relationship, and it has been quite the learning experience. It continues to be a learning experience — learning how to give yourself to someone without losing yourself completely. Learning how to be less selfish and to compromise instead. You thought it would all come so naturally but you’ve had to make some changes. You’ve had to let go of that control you love. You’ve had to give in to those feelings that scare you. In learning how to be there for someone else, you’ve actually grown up a little. And it’s a good thing because this wonderful man does love you — no matter what. Throughout all of your wild independence and criticisms and learning curves, he has been there, patiently waiting, always willing to work with you. You love yourself, but you know you can be a handful. He knows it too, and he’ll still be in your apartment tonight waiting to give you a kiss when you walk through the door. So here’s to a new kind of love — the romantic kind that you never looked for but miraculously ended up with. Here’s to the love you never thought would be as important as the love you have for yourself. Here’s to realizing that you can love someone else the way you love yourself — unconditionally and repeatedly, no matter what, over and over again. Happy Valentine’s Day. Go celebrate ;) – Renee, Asheville, NC

I like how organized you are, and how you are such a great friend. You DO NOT need a man to make you happy. You are building a fantastic life for yourself, your career is progressing in the way you want it to, and if a man came into the situation he would fuck that up right now. I am a fabulous single woman because I do not need a man to validate me. I am a strong and independent woman. I am happy to be single this Valentine’s Day, I would not like to feel like a caged bird. – Anonymous 

Although I’m happily married now, I had plenty of single-mom years to learn that being on my own was just fine, and often really great. There’s simply no way to be happy with a man without being happy with yourself, first, and through a lot of trial and error I kept learning and re-learning this. I write this more for Rivkah now, our sweet daughter, because whether she flies solo temporarily or forever, she needs to know that love starts with herself, first. So, dear me, I hope you feel supported enough to feel love from the outside world but strong enough to share as much love as you possibly can with the rest of the world. Sharing love, as it turns out, is what brings it back… and that feels pretty great. – Bryce, New York, NY

I may be a guy, but am very much appreciative of the wonderful beings women are. I love most about my liberal attitudes, being accepting and tolerant towards others. Well I’m single now, I believe in giving love time. It’ll pop up in the most unexpected circumstance and till then, I should always keep my heart open and strong. I am happy to fly solo this valentine’s because eventually when I find my love, it doesn’t have to be on this particular day, or Christmas, or any other day. Because everyday, being with my valentine would simply be special =) – Jason, Singapore

You are a crazy ball of nerves and curls and I wouldn’t have it any other way. You’re afraid of aquariums, tunnels, and escalators but not of hiking glaciers or navigating through new countries with only a post it note with an address and a handful of useful phrases in your pocket. You cannot figure out a tip without a calculator or dance a waltz, but you can play punk songs on the ukulele and bluegrass on the guitar. You are a 5 foot 10 sponge, constantly learning and soaking up stories and memories. You once taught someone how to fence at a tiny, narrow, southern diner. You can recite poetry, name constellations in the freckles on your cheeks, and say “cheers” in five different languages. You can go for miles and miles. You, my love, are disgustingly, hopelessly optimistic at all times and can handle emergencies like a champ. You are taking risks and I’m so proud of everything you are and have become. You’ve come along way, and I love you. – Allison, Raleigh, NC

You are fierce and brave. You love your husband with abandon, and that is an admirable quality. Your body is an amazing temple that is currently housing a little miracle that you’ll fall even more in love with throughout the rest of your life. You respect yourself and are finally in a place where your are comfortable with the body you’re in. You’re doing good and will continue to do so. When you are counting your blessings, don’t forget to include your wonderful self. I’m so blessed to be in your skin. -Fatima, Asheville, NC

Look at you, you starry-eyed princess. I don’t mean to give you more of an ego than you already have, but you were SO amazing and beautiful this past year. It is so incredible to read back on your love letters to yourself for the past two years–in 2011, you were so fierce and wild, ready to love yourself more than anything in the world. In 2012, you were so much wiser & calm–you knew love was on the horizon, & who knew that a week after contributing a Valentine to yourself for your beloved friend’s blog, you would meet the man of your dreams. This year has been beautiful and amazing in a way that words can’t express–but this isn’t luck. With your positive energy, joy, & hope, you made all this happen. Your heart and your spirit never fail to impress, & I’m so glad that after all the tears, the analyzing, & the let downs, you found someone that was worth the wait. Although your Valentine is your missing puzzle piece, & you’ll spend this evening preparing lobster together & cuddling to your favorite Valentine’s Day episodes of “30 Rock” & “Parks and Recreation”, and it probably will be perfect and wonderful (just like the two of you), but please don’t forget your sweetest Valentine–yourself. The love in your life from your partner, your family, & your friends exists because you love each of them madly & deeply–never stop. You love others because you love yourself. And that, my glittery princess darling, is something to write a love letter about. Now go get some from that sexy man of yours. XOXO. – Michelle, Asheville, NC

I am so freaking proud of you…maybe more than I have ever been. Not only did you make it through the crazy wedding drama, your mother-in-law’s death, your husband wanting you to quit your job and move so he can go to school and LORD only knows what else, you made it through on top. AND despite being married, you still are you, you still go out with your girlfriends, you still have me time and you have yet to succumb to being one of THOSE wives (you know what I’m talking about). Plus so far in 2013, you lost 12lbs and finished writing a 77,000 word novel. I think you deserve a high five. But more importantly, last year you’ve learned to love selflessly, but you’ve also learned how to make yourself a priority too. So take a deep breath and feel the love. It’s still crazy and probably always will, but rest assured that for the first time ever, you’ve finally realized who you are and you’re not hating it. -Nikki, Boone, NC

So this year, I’m proud — no, excited — to say I am the sole owner of my heart… and as such, I feel the need to express it in the silliest, cutest way imaginable. And if that means I get a sparkly card… then dammit, it’s gonna be the BEST sparkly card EVER!! (Read the rest of Leslie’s New York, NY love letter to herself here.)

Well hello you ambitious, determined young lady! Yet another year has flown by but this Valentine’s Day is so much different than last. You are now MARRIED to your best friend, living in Los Angeles (planning on moving to NYC), and above all…you have finally grown to love yourself. People have told you for years that you need to love yourself if you ever dream of being happy and I never knew what they were talking about until this year. I can finally embrace my quirky habits and see myself through my husband’s eyes. I am beautiful, intelligent, and, depending on the day, I can be funny. You have so much going for you! I couldn’t be more proud of your determination to succeed in a male-dominated profession and your willingness to always take on more than any one person should. Keep up your spirits this year and always remember, you are your own person, don’t let anyone tell you any different!  Alyssa, Los Angeles, CA

It’s funny, last year my Valentine opened with how appreciative I was of your faith in God’s plan, and this year I want to start the same way–even though so many things are vastly different. The past year has brought you so many changes that you chose, and some you didn’t. But all of them have made you an even more fiery and brave woman than you were on the last 14th of February. You’ve embraced your independence and you’ve learned to love the things about yourself that you can’t ignore when it’s quiet–and there’s no one else to distract from your flaws. You’ve learned the value of solitude. And you’ve come to appreciate the beauty of being on your own, and being happy, whole and peaceful. You’ve turned to God when you were lonely. And you’ve trusted God when you were anxious. The last nine months of singledom could have been terrifying, but instead you grew in your faith and spirituality and you’ve entered 2013 with the clearest picture of what you want and need than you have ever had before. You are doing things instead of just talking about them; and for once, pretty girl, you’re following through! But of all the growing pains and changes you’ve endured and conquered in the past year–perhaps the best? The most beautiful? Is that you’ve healed a heart to the point of brand new. And you’ve remembered that love is magical. And you’ve believed that love can come again. You’ve learned that you’re not broken. And you’ve found that your heart is very capable. This Valentine’s Day, it could be so easy to look at what hasn’t come yet. But instead celebrate that this Valentine’s Day can be one of the very most true to date. Love will come. And until then, love the fact that, right now? Right here? These friends? This family? This is all very, abundantly enough. – Ashley, Winston-Salem, NC

I love how you chew up toys and pull towels off hooks while mommy is at work. I love how everything that can get stuck to your fluffy white fur, does. I love how cuddle everyone, stranger, friend or neither. I love how you try to pull mommy into the streets during walk-time. I love how socks are much better than most treats and how stealing them from mommy — or anyone — is really funny. I love your little bark that alerts mommy of every sound. I love your sweet, beautiful big brown eyes and the way they steal the heart of everyone you meet. I love how your belly is perfect for scratching. I love how much joy you bring to your mommy’s life, always. I woof you very much! Happy Chew-Up Flowers Day! – Lucy Liberty, New York, NYC

“My love, my darling, You’re my very best friend, my ray of sunshine. My girl. You stand by me when I can’t stand. You remind me that I’m more beautiful than I realize, stronger than I can comprehend, and braver than I thought possible. You make me laugh when everything feels like it’s crumbling. You’ve shown me that imperfections are really not flaws, but the things that make me,me. Sometimes, I can’t believe how far you’ve come. Literally, living your dream and often time pinching yourself because you can’t believe it actually came true. But, want to know what’s funny – it didn’t just come true, you made it your reality. You’ve never been afraid of taking risks, of asking questions, of putting yourself out there, and going after and standing up for what you believe. It is your bravery, your spirit, your kindness, and your compassion that make me love you so. You really are the whole package – petite, but hell in heels. Shapely and fit. Lovely brunette with piercing blue eyes and sometimes, a quite witty sense of humor. You’re intelligent and proud, but not narcissistic and condescending. You really do love people, people of every shape and form. People you’ve known for years, people you’ve never met, people you’ve read the words of, people you passed on the subway, people who you have not loved you in return. But most importantly, you love me for me, no exceptions or excuses. I hope you know how much I love you in return. You give and you believe in love freely, and you’re learning not to let it be everything. You’re always honest with me, I can trust you more than I rely on any single thing on this planet. You are the person I want to wake up to each and every single day and look at before I fall asleep. Your optimism, your faith that all turns out as it should, makes me believe the future we have together is never-ending. I’m so thankful that on Valentine’s Day you decided to choose me, to love me, to be loyal to me, and shower me with your beauty and your ever-shining light. Thank you for all you’ve given me these 20-something years – I can’t wait see what you do next. Know that no matter what happens, no matter where we go, no matter what rocky waters we may endure, I’ll be here for you, today and always. Go get ‘em Tigar!” -Love Addict, New York, NY

“Although you spent the last three valentines with her, it’s time to move on…. don’t dwell on the past and find a new love this year!” – Dating a Lemon

“I love how you always have an enthusiastic attitude about everything. You find the good out of every situation. You are strong, independent, and have passion which is incredibly sexy in a woman. I do not need a man to make me happy because I get along just fine without one, I have never settled for less and I am not going to start settling for less now. What makes me a fearless, fabulous female is my independence and that I value my own worth and put my needs before the needs of a stranger in my bed (Old self would have done that but new self laughs at the idea of a man she barely knows in her bed). I am happy to be flying solo this Valentine’s Day because I am happy with myself and would rather be by myself eating chocolate bon-bons and watching horror flicks then in a loveless relationship any day.” – Emily, Asheville, NC

“Do you remember your last Valentine’s day? When you spent an hour waiting for your (now ex-) boyfriend, before walking 40 minutes to his house in heels, where no one answered the door? Even though it turned out to be an okay-ish day (watching “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” isn’t really my idea of romance, but oh well), that’s not going to happen any more. You’re better than that, because you no longer need a man to feel complete. You have a great personality, long legs, a kick-ass wardrobe and mind-blowing curves. You are strong and independent. You’ve got the whole package: intelligence, sexiness, wit and not to forget, 32 pairs of fabulous shoes. The fact you’re alone on Valentine’s day does not say you’re lonely, It only says you’re not prepared to settle for anything less than your dream guy. You deserve so much more than all those guys you’ve given the chance to stand at your side. So, this year have a little fun on your own. Take this day to start believing how truly fabulous and amazing you really are. Have a wonderful Valentine’s day. You don’t deserve anything less. Love, Me. P.S. Happy Valentine’s day to every love addict out there. You are truly amazing too!” –Cassandra, Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland

“This Valentine’s Day, as I spend the night convincing myself that I’m happily single, I’ll remind myself of the one word that drives me and it won’t be so bad – fearless. I’m fearless of my independence, fearless of getting hurt, fearless of my flaws, and fearless of falling in love. I’m ready to take on the challenge of finding the emotion every girl dreams of feeling and I’m not afraid to take on every little thing that’s thrown at me along the way.” – Chelsea

“Hmmm. You know I have a hard time thinking of things to say to you. You tend to just think up things all on your own to make yourself have a brighter day. Which is probably what I love most about you. You are an amazingly strong women, the stuff you think up in your head is like “Sunshine, Lollipops & Rainbows,” not to mention a little bit of “Be Happy,” and “I feel so Pretty,” also not to mention the way you screw up lyrics and smoosh together songs. I’m glad to spend my days with you forever and always. As you remember to treat each day like a “New Design” and not a story going “Over and Over Again.” Btw, you are the bees knees of pretty ladies, don’t let yourself feel otherwise. Love Always and Forever, Me, Myself, and I.” –Shay Rae, Fort Wayne, Indiana

“You’re in your twenties and have lived in various amazing places. You’ve suffered great losses and yet you’ve managed to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and dive head first once more. You’ve dated a number of men and have learnt a lot. You’ve been treated terribly but you’ve still managed to forgive, not regret and cherish the experience. Over the years you have taken your life back for yourself and have learnt that you can do and achieve all that you want without a man. You’ve learnt that you need to love you before he can love you. I’m happy to be alone this Valentines Day because you’ve shown me that I don’t need just one day for me to appreciate myself; I have 364 other days.” –KruRai, Gaborone, Botswana

“You know what I love about me? I love my heart–it knows no bounds or limitations, it just loves people unconditionally…no matter how hurt I’ve been in the past. I love my wit & sense of humor–I am ridiculously funny, and I think that is awesome. I love my interests & talents, and how they fuse together to make one incredible individual. I love my fashion sense, I love my compassion, I love my ability to give amazing advice. Physically, I love my freckles, my curves, and my naturally wavy auburn hair. Mentally, I love my ability to reason and use logic. I love my laugh. I love how I handle confrontation. I love my silliness, my surprising skills at Nintendo 64, my cooking talents, my absence of shame or regret, that I can drink most people under the table, and my lack of modesty about how incredible I am. I don’t need a man because my happiness doesn’t come from ANY other individual–it comes from me. My happiness doesn’t depend on someone’s opinion of my body, my talents, or my character. I don’t need a man because I am surrounded by incredible people that can do all the things I can’t: I have girlfriends that I can talk to about anything, will take me out to dinner “just because”, and are more fun than anyone else on the planet. I already have a strong base of incredible men in my life, who will always be there to squish spiders & help me move large furniture (as well as remind me that I am beautiful & an incredible woman). I don’t need a man because I have an incredible family that supports me & loves every little thing about me. I don’t need a man because, simply, I don’t have time or energy while I’m focusing on my new job, new apartment, and new city. What makes me fabulous? I think all of these things do. Being completely self-assured & hopeful about the future is a big deal, even if you’re only 23. Given the things I’ve been through, witnessed, and experienced, optimism seems kind of silly–I’m not optimistic, I am 100% positive that good things are going to happen for me in every part of my life, and this includes falling in love. I am still so young and there are so many people out there to meet, there’s no time to be focused on what ISN’T happening right now. Being able to see that there are good things ahead makes me a different kind of fearless, and I am proud of that. Also, Beyonce is married to Jay-Z & STILL talks about how fun it is to be single. Given that Beyonce is fucking fearless & fierce, doesn’t that mean all single gals have something to do an incredible dance about? I think so.” – Michelle, Washington, DC

“Can you believe you’re spending this Valentines Day in London? Not too shabby of a suburban Canadian girl. Two years ago, you were just an anxious 18 year-old high school senior. You couldn’t wait to get going in life but wasn’t quite ready to leave the home you grew up in. A lot has happened and changed since then. Just look at what a whirlwind these last 12 months have been. You worked for that big Internet company, studied abroad in Paris, branched out in the international photography community, and now live in the United Kingdom. I know it’s been challenging at times, like the week when you got no sleep trying to juggle work, school, and photography, having to build a nest for yourself each time you moved to a new city, all the holidays you celebrated away from family and friends, and that first birthday you spent completely alone. Despite all of that, and perhaps even because of all of that, you’ve become stronger – more confident, more certain, more humble, and, most importantly, more fearless. You’ve learned to make new friends anywhere you go, embrace all the opportunities that come your way, and stay grounded with the endless love and support of family and friends. Some day you’re going to look back on this year of endless travels and exciting opportunities and realize you are living the life. Keep dreaming big and don’t wake up too soon. Love, TZ.” –Tracy, London, England

“This will probably be the only Valentine you get this year, apart from the annual pity card from your mum, though even that this year may not be there now you have drifted back home. By now your used to valentines alone, to seeing others receive gifts and mocking them (without a hint of jealousy – you wish) but this year will be different, because this year for the first time you actually love you and that is enough. For the first time this year you have realised that you actually quite like who you are. This is a big step and its taken 3 years of friendship from some pretty great people to get you there. So today be thankful that they are there, have been there and will be there. That they too realise that you need to be you, alone, until someone turns up who allows you to be you as well as being an us. They don’t judge you for pushing away J and R, for dashing their hopes for your romances and you have stopped judging yourself now too. So embrace this new happiness, keep defining yourself apart from others and please keep being the best friend i have. With or without a man i promise to keep loving you, not return to the self loathing that has plagued many a past memory. I love you and you love me so happy valentines. I’m happy you’ll always be mine.” –Anonymous

“Happy Valentine’s Day! Year number 14 on my own (with 1 oops in there somewhere). Congratulations for being such a strong woman, to make it on your own. While men are nice to have around, and every year I hope, will this be the year I get roses?, I think, I can buy roses myself. I can hang a picture, I can mow my yard, I can even change the headlight on my car. So while I think we all secretly wish for Mr. Right to find us before Valentine’s Day (so we can receive the chocolate and roses) celebrate that you are the fabulous woman you are; call a girlfriend, who also is waiting for Mr. Right, and go out to dinner; take each other a rose and share a heart-shaped box of candy while watching one of those girlie movies that men don’t really care for anyway. And enjoy being You!” –Anonymous

“You’re beautiful inside and out. You’re worth more than you think and you deserve more than you get. You don’t need another half to make you whole, you do damn find out on your own. Be proud of yourself and your accomplishments, you did it without a man’s help. Valentine’s day is about love, who’s to say you have to spend it with a man? I love myself, therefore, my valentine is myself.. the only person who will never let me down.” –Katie, Cleveland, OH

“You are fabulous. You’re fabulous when you’re single, you’re fabulous when you’re with a man, and you’re fabulous even when you make mistakes. Live it, learn it, love it. xoxo Cat.” –Cat, New York, NY

“One day someone will fully appreciate you for all that you are. Someone will love you for being strong, forgiving and understanding the way you love those things about yourself. Until you find someone who adores you for those things instead of feeling challenged or threatened by them, then you’re better off single and in love with yourself.” –Suzanne, Canton, OH

“You rock because you know what it takes to make yourself happy…adventure and the company of people who contribute to your dreams. A man is like a good accessory. It completes the outfit but doesn’t break the look when it’s not there :)” –Brittainey, Des Moines, Iowa

“I just want to say what an honour it is to get to know you. After being surrounded by people all week, I look forward to spending some quiet time alone with you, whether it be a quiet evening on the couch with a glass of wine, or a run along the river, or a play in the park with the hounds. Taking time to listen to your fears and your aspirations. Making plans for the future, understanding what makes you happy, is time well spent in my book. I observe with a little touch of awe, your strength to deal with the tough times with your chin up and a wide smile for those who need it. It is truly a pleasant surprise to take stock and see how far you have come, despite the setbacks. You strive to face your flaws with dignity and whilst I know you consider it somewhat a failure to have those imperfections, I remind you that it is an admirable trait to humbly forgive those who hurt you- even if it does take a year or two (or longer). You have every right to feel pleased that you have not given up hope for one day again feeling that rush of excitement coupled with the warm glow of a steady, secure love. You have the right to be proud that you have not settled for the company of a man who treated you poorly, regardless of how completely you loved him nor how crippling at times the loss of that love has felt. You have the right to be proud that you have not settled for the company of a man who adored you, but with whom you could not summon the heart-swelling emotion which you know he deserves in return. And so it is that this Valentine’s Monday, you have the pleasure of spending the evening in the company of someone who understands you, who loves you and who will never leave you. Truly, the very best of company- mine! Happy Valentine’s Day!” –Serene, Perth, Australia

“I love your boldness, independence, undying love and compassion for others, and your ability to put anyone in their place. Yes, you have your flaws, but each of them is a blessing. They make you who you are. Love them. Cherish them. Your confidence is your best feature. If men and women alike cannot appreciate it, and run scared instead, then take it indirectly as a compliment. Compliments are wonderful, as you know, but you are responsible for your own happiness. So, no long face today because you have the best Valentine in the world–yourself. You will always be there for yourself for better or for worse. You love unconditionally. You’ll never walk out, or cheat. And when the day is done, you will be all that you need to stand on your own two feet and simply be. You are a peaceful warrior. Good things are still to come. At the end of the day, you are going to be perfectly fine being solo. You made your own dinner reservations. No one was late. The meal (and the wine) will be pure bliss. You will still get your chocolaty goodness and flowers, but without the drama, stress, and embarrassment (maybe). You get to be yourself, in your pajamas, in your hotel room (you can thank work later) without a care in the world. Sounds like the perfect day to me.” –Nelson, Lexington, VA

“Dear Darling Valentine, You totally deserved the creme suede lounge you just bought yourself for your new apartment (and the black satin robe that goes with it). Who wants a man when you’re working with something like that? Looking forward to laying with you in luxury, <3 FT.” –Cady, Durham, NC

“I love that you’ve come this far. I love that you didn’t let your past determine your future. You don’t need a man to shape the most important few years of your life, while being a 20 something year old. That’s what friends, vacations, and credit cards are for. You’re fabulous because you can stand strong on your own, and lead a career more promising than any guy you’ve been with. Being single this Valentine’s Day will be one of the best because ‘After all, the company of confidence is much better than the company of a coward.’” –Anonymous

“I shouldn’t feel any less special or loved on a day where love ought to come from everyone, everywhere. I may be single, but let’s be honest, we all have dozens upon dozens of Valentine’s, and each is as important and special as any significant other. Sure I won’t be getting “up close and personal” with any of these people, but I wouldn’t be who I am without them. I wouldn’t be where I am without them. And it has to be said, there’s nothing like getting roses from my dad every single year without fail. Now that’s commitment.” –Anonymous, Canada

“You never tell yourself that you are amazing, even though you are. Despite all of the social pressures, you have lived a truly unique life. Somehow, you have managed to experience and accomplish more things than most people will in their lifetime. Valentine’s Day has never been happy occasion in the past, but why be so hard on yourself just because one facet of your life isn’t the usual? If you look closely, living outside the lines has been the motto for your 28 years. You are beautiful, hilarious, and refuse to compromise on what you want out of life. Take today, and celebrate this beautiful life you have made for yourself and the amazing woman that is unfolding before everyone’s eyes. Don’t let anyone make you second-guess yourself or the choices you are making right now. You are surrounded by love no matter where you go!” -Kelly, Phoenix, AZ

“For the first time since middle school, you’re happy to be single on Valentine’s Day. Your recent trip to Israel helped you discover more about you in 12 days, than you knew in the past 25 (almost) years. Congratulations on being able to laugh off the mushy stuff. Enjoy this day as it was meant to be, sharing life, love, and happiness with your closest friends.” –Sharon, Massachusetts

“Dear Blonde, Do you love yourself? Check YES or NO. Wait a minute, honey. Don’t make a move just yet. I know you’re wanting to pick up a cute pink pen and place a great big mark next to “YES”, but it seems lately that you haven’t really been SHOWING yourself much love. No, not that kind of self-love. The emotional kind. The good stuff. Most days, you’re a happy-go-lucky single girl out to even the score. I see you check yourself in the mirror some mornings, I’ve seen the wink and smile. You’re awesome and you know it. Your blonde hair shines almost as bright as your personality. You’re witty, you’re passionate. I’l be honest, this version of yourself? IRRE-FREAKIN-SISTABLE, honey. But some days, there is no look in the mirror. No wink, no smile, just a sigh. Listen, I know you’re worried. What if karma is punishing me in some weird way? I mean, you weren’t a great girlfriend sometimes. Yep, you’ve made mistakes with relationships. But honestly, Blonde, who hasn’t? It’s time you stop beating yourself up over things that happened in the past. It’s been a long time. You’ve changed. Everyone that knows you can tell how absolutely fabulous you’ve become! And on the days that you’ve got the wink and smile, you know it too. So, repeat after me: “I AM THE BLONDE, AND I AM FABULOUS!” Now, once you believe that, feel free to pick up the pen and check yes. XOXO, The Blonde.” -The Blonde

Much love to Tall Brewnette for this lovely Valentine!

Hey lady-

Yeah, you. You with those beautiful blue eyes and that crazy hair that somehow manages to fall into place naturally, even with it’s wavy flair. You with that giggle that responds to anyone’s attempt at make you smile – from the kid you volunteer with to a man who tries to steal your attention. You with that blog where you right open-endedly and truthfully. You who allows yourself to be vulnerable with strangers, displaying what you feel and what you think for anyone who clicks to read. You who landed that oh-my-god-so-amazing-you’re-still-pinching-yourself dream job in August. You who was brave enough to walk away from someone you really loved because you loved yourself more. You who has the most incredible, dependable and outrageously hilarious friends who stand by you, no matter what. You who set your mind to living in New York City – and damn it – you did it, girl. You who I’m so, so, so proud of. You, who made it happen, by never missing a beat or fearing the future because you set that pretty little mind to it, and you, pretty little thing, knew you’d get there.  You with those curves and those hips, that runner’s booty and that’ womanly-ness that men love. You who shouldn’t give yourself a hard time for being a little round around the edges – you were made to turn head with that femininity because damn girl, you own it! You who deserves – and will one day find – the greatest love of all. You, who even if you kinda hate the word, is ever so nice. To those you know, to those you don’t, to those who deserve it and those who take it for granted. You who was born to survive, born to thrive, born to take this place and this space by storm. You who glitters with gold but shimmers like silver, believing in the best and knowing with all that you are, that you can make it through the worst. You who is generous with your words and your time, with your mind and most importantly with the thing that makes you so gorgeous — your heart. Lady – that’s the most radiating thing about you. It always beats. It always believes. It takes a moment to write a handwritten note to a friend who’s had a rough time and it pauses to let the elderly pass before you. It hopes and it hears, it keeps you strong and reminds you of your tears. It comes up with the loveliest rhymes and it remembers the things that are the most important. And the most fragile. It’s so strong, even when it can’t tell right from wrong. It breaks sometimes and it’s felt destroyed for an hour or so, here-and-there, but it keeps going. It keeps you going. It keeps those eyes shining through it all, and it’s what makes people love you. You, lady, are so impressive. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Don’t let anyone take away that fire or stomp on that sparkly heart. It’s truly, magically, profoundly – one of a kind. And so are you. Go get ‘em Tigar – you’re just getting started. Happy Valentine’s Day. I love ya – Linds, New York, NY

Dear lovely me, Hello, gorgeous. You are looking adorable today. You radiate such strength & love in your small frame, & the whole world recognizes it. This year has been a doozy for your little heart, but no matter what….you are able to piece it all together again & grow wiser. I love the person you are–every curve, freckle, curl, & smile. & I know love is in your near future, because that’s the energy you’re putting out there….& good things really do come to good people. Let’s just hope YOUR good thing loves tacos & “Parks & Recreation” as much as you do. Keep on shinin’, precious girl. xoxo – Michelle, Asheville, NC

This Valentines day you will be with your boyfriend. Do not set any expectations which are either too high or even too low. Expect nothing so that you can be surprised and love him because he loves you too. Enjoy yourself and keep in mind to value yourself because you are strong, independent and have come a long way. After all is said and done, you have many things to be proud of. Especially be proud by being able to leave the past behind and working on a better, happier future. – McKenzie, Canada

You are quirky, independent, and a bright, bright star that shines her sense of humor into other’s hearts. not many may understand you, and hell, sometimes you don’t understand yourself. but have you ever thought about the positives of that scenario? there is always something new to discover about yourself. the adventures that you partake in open your eyes to the realization that you can accomplish so much more than you ever dreamed of. i am so proud of you! you are beautiful. you truly are. some days you may feel unpretty but your soul never is. your soul is a pure light with golden undertones that sparkles silently inside of you but its vibrations make their way into you heart and out into the world. now that we are on the topic of your heart… yes, its been broken, bruised, absolutely torn apart but its also mended itself into a heart that has become even more beautiful with the damage. please, do me a favor, open it a little bit more. when you feel safe and secure, open it again. and again. and again. love endlessly. give your trust to people when they give you a reason to trust them. and slowly start rebuilding the walls around your soul and heart. when i say rebuilding, i mean completely destroy the walls made of steel, stone, and radioactive materials. rebuild them with something less intimidating. rebuild those walls with materials that allow pure spirits to flood into your heart. rebuild those walls with force fields that deflect all negative thoughts and people. you are a goddess. a curvy, curly-headed goddess, that can twist into all those insane yoga positions. you are intelligent. you are going to excel in your career and give “zealous representation” a whole new meaning. be strong and demand respect from everyone, especially yourself. make sure your family knows much you love them. the same goes for your friends. i promise that one day you will be swept off your feet and you will know why it didn’t work out with anyone else. i know its hard but keep your head up and your standards high. its ok to be lonely. use this time to love yourself in every way that you can. you are prepared for amazing things to happen and you can handle it. so don’t you worry your pretty little mind. people throw rocks at things that shine. xoxo – Chelsea, Charlotte, NC

You are beautiful with ocean blue eyes and long red hair and cinnamon freckles sprinkled here and there. An unusually loud laugh is what they say, but you don’t care you laugh anyway. Smart, witty, funny and caring but not always very good at sharing. A daughter, sister, girlfriend and mother, blessed by those who really love her. Strong and determined with a plan, your going to make it with or without a man. So take comfort girl, in knowing thy self, a simple life of happiness and health. –Stacy, Missouri

Happy Valentines day to the person I have truly learned to love, to the person who has unwavering strength, compassion, and generosity. You have so much to be proud of, especially in forgiving yourself for any flaws and in forgiving your ex for all of the heartbreak. Today, I celebrate finding a new type of happiness in myself, a fabulous group of friends, and a lasting love in myself. Because at the end of the day, I really am enough. – Alex, Arlington, VA

you amaze me | always have | always will beautiful | confident | full of life never compromising | always striving those words you left | scrawled on the floor were never for him | nor the rose | nor the love every moment | when you said “i love you” what you really meant was “i love me” – Bianca, Mount Pleasant, PA

I love you for who you were, who you are and the YOU that is yet to come! You are beautiful, smart, witty and kind. You are blessed with the best daughter and husband on earth, both your special Valentines! You give to others from the heart and it comes back to you 1,000 times over in friendships, family, kind words and helpful hands. Happy Valentines Day to you! I am proud of you! –Kim, Asheville, NC

Please know that you’re better than the crappy financial situation you’re in now…it will get better. it has to because too many people think i rock and appreciate me. so forget the ones who don’t appreciate me. they don’t matter. start seeing yourself as those who love you see you. look at yourself through their loving eyes rather than your own self-loathing. realize that richard loves me. he loves me as best he can with his own human fallacies. he does listen. he does care. relish in the good he brings to my life and release the crap he does that makes me feel unspecial because i AM special. in his own way he knows it so any hesitation on his part in any way is a sign of his own lacking, not mine, for i offer him my heart, my soul, my laughter, my joy, my shared adventures. he does the same, remember that. again, he does but in his way. he is smart, opinionated, strong, sexy but i am all those things too! that’s why we merge so well. relish those moments with him that allow me to breathe, laugh, transcend limitations on many levels. relish the true me he encourages. release the toxic crap from my nasty family. stop allowing them to enter my headspace because they aren’t in my life so stop that bleeding. instead, heal now. this instant. HEAL and GROW and get a grip on my life again. no more slipping into abyss of worse and worse debt. instead, focus on regaining my wonderfulness and my footing in my career. pay back those who have shown me generosity. may god bless them for their compassion towards me when my own family doesn’t care. thank god for my mom who does care and love me. relish the good. release the bad. accept what is. change what is changeable then release the rest. AMEN. now go eat some organic raw vegan dark chocolate. it’s valentine’s day, you deserve it! – Lisa, New York, NY

This valentine is to you and ONLY you…yes it has been a few years since you have had a “real” valentine but who cares! You have so many people who love you and care for you. they may not always show it when you want them 2 but when you need them the most they are usually there. What i LOVE about you is that you are finally starting to become the women you have been working so hard to achieve. I can see the changes you have made over the past year and i am HAPPY with your choices and the women you are starting to become. You dont need a man to be happy and you have found that! even though it took you a little bit to take the focus off of trying to find HIM and putting all that time and effort into your own new projects! Over the past year and a half you have learned to survive and love yourself. In the world the only person you can depend on 100% is yourself (and of course God) and you are learning to do that and become less dependent on those around you for emotional or verbal support. You will ALWAYS be fearless and fabulous. You are stating to make a statment and make your own rules in life. You have started so many new great things that are helping you make a name for yourself and so many great things will finally fall into place. Your hard work is paying off and it will continue to pay off. So here i am saying happy heart day to you and lets have a toast…and a few shots…to US. and hopefully you will be having these drinks with some of your fav gurls and dont forget to just enjoy life! Dont forget this years motto…”Laugh, Love, and Live without regrets”. One day…yes one day (hopefully sooner than later) HE will come along and be all that you want plus more. So put those thoughts of HIM on the back burner and focus on school and your other new projects. It will all work out. i promise :-) –Stephanie, Kirksville, Missouri

Dear Me, Thank you for finally comitting to loving every dimple, every curve, and everything you deam as a flaw. I know this is corny but, you are beautiful the way you are and I think over the past year we’ve created an unbreakable bond. You finally not only believe but also love what you see in the mirror instead of condeming us behind closed doors. You hold your head a little higher and your confidence is no longer faked. Thank you for trusting in me, thank you for now trusting that the rest of the pieces, the rest of your life, will fall in place just as it should. I know it’s not easy but rest assured there is no thought, no fear, no regret that I don’t understand and won’t let you go through alone. Think about how far you’ve come girl and use this day to keep pushing yourself forward. –Sarah, Portland, Oregon 

I love how you can smile all the time. I love how you work hard and focus. I love how you can love yourself. I love how you strive for positivity (though this may be a bit recent). I love your desire for more. I love how you can feel less awkward around others than you did years before. You, my dear, are amazing no matter what. –Anonymous 

You may not be the smartest, or the prettiest, you may not have the greatest job, or a loving boyfriend.  You may not live on your own, in a cute little apartment.  You are not the best cook and yes you have flaws – but don’t we all ?  You may not have all of the things in life that you`d like, but for once in your life you are genuinely happy.  You are beautiful, and determined, you are kind and patient.  You care about others more than most and love to see people happy.  You go on roadtrips, spend time with your family and spend money on things just because you want it. While many of your friends are getting married and having babies you are seeing the world, volunteering for things that are important to you, and planning for a big move.  You focus on loving everyone who is around you and most importantly you have learned to love yourself.  This past year has taught you many things and you have seen lots of heartache, but you are alive and healthy and living.  You have found true friends, kept them close, learned who was using you and moved on from old relationships.  Most importantly you have learned that happiness is not a destination but it is in fact a mood.  You will have days where you are sad but you`ll watch a sad movie, cry your eyes out and wake up ready to conquer a new day with a new attitude.  So go out tonight with your friends, enjoy staring at Channing Tatum for an entire movie, treat yourself to some popcorn and enjoy a normal Tuesday night out.  You are wonderful just the way you are and one day you`ll find a man who will bend over backwards to make you his. Happy Valentines day to all you other love addicts out there :) – Christina, Cleveland, Ohio

I know you have been alone on Valentine’s Day every single year of your life because the one time you had a boyfriend you broke up before Valentine’s Day. But that is okay, because there is a guy out there waiting for you and he will be even more than you could have hoped for, and then when you finally get to spend Valentine’s Day with that special man you will know that the wait was worth it. So stay strong, because God has someone waiting :) – Leslie, Asheville, NC

Your snappy hilarity, your long legs and lashes, those green eyes that see into the most private of souls – these are the things I love most about you, and I am yet to meet anyone quite like you. Blessed am I to be in your skin. xx –Maria, Melbourne, Australia 

It’s amazing how you try to never lose your faith in God’s plan. Not only have you taken everything in the past three years in stride and kept your focus, now you’re taking even bigger steps to make some dreams come true. Never be afraid of greatness and never settle for ordinary. Always remember that the absence of change is death, so embrace the tides that are shifting in 2012. Keep your head high and know you’re stronger than you might feel. Your heart is going to stay true and you’re going to be safe, supported and protected where ever life takes you. Even though you do have a great boyfriend, part of the joy of writing this is knowing that you’re strong enough on your own that you’re not dependent–he is a wonderful addition to an already fabulous life. Never let yourself have to feel otherwise, simply always be grateful for what he adds. So share a lot of appreciation for him today—but also love on yourself. As a typical Libran, I know you’re often giving and ignoring what you feel or need, or looking for ways to make others happy first–and you have to remember all of the awesomeness you are and the fortitude you’ve shown yourself over the last year. My dear, you’re really coming into your own. –Ashley, Winston-Salem, NC

Go get ‘em girl. – Anonymous 

When the new year started, you deemed it as “The Year of Me”. You vowed to yourself that you would not let people bring you down, get in your way or make you feel inferior. From that moment, you dedicated this year to self improvement and creating a happy life for yourself. You are a beautiful, funny, compassionate individual with so much self worth- though it’s entirety has yet to be discovered. Keep seeing the potential each day offers, focusing on the good and finding reasons to smile. You’re not too old to make a difference, though the thought crosses your mind far too often. Your heart and what it has to offer has plenty of time to seep into others. Your experiences and passion to help and guide people will only grow. So, on this Valentines Day- love yourself exponentially, and remind yourself to continue doing so every day that follows. Give yourself a break…you’re on the right track. – Anonymous 

My girl L. had a topic for V. day: “Write a blog and say what is it you love about yourself.” It took me awhile to love myself. I always accepted myself but loving myself happened through trials and tribulations. I love most and foremost, my heart. I believe in humaneness, in that in each one I see myself. I would not do anything or say anything that would harm anyone else on purpose. I did it once and carry it with me, because I realize how I crushed this person. I totally changed who they were, how they saw themselves. Emotional assault leaves an unseen imprint on others. I learned a lot from that. I did it to protect myself and it worked. It got the abuser away from me but I had to delve into his core, and peel him raw. Have you ever seen how your actions harmed another? I hope most of us would, maybe then the world would be a better place. I loved this guy who stole my money. He shitted on my dream, my first savings towards buying a home and not once did I ever call him a thief or anything though true may cause him harm. I am not saying that I am a saint. But I understand how sometimes people do things and we do not know why they do them, so I let it go. I learned from my mistake about investing in others and walked away. So, yes, my heart is my favorite thing about me. I love my heart the most because I am caring, giving. I learn from my mistakes. I apologize when need be, I do not use people to achieve my ends. I am always there for those who need me. I love to please my friends, make them smile, so it is quite sensitive because of it, easily touched, broken perhaps as well. I love my honesty. It does and can create arguments, but with me you will always know where you stand and when I speak, it is to express how I feel not to hurt anyone on purpose. I think it says that I am someone people can rely on and I like that. There will be no second guessing, you will know when you ask me, I will tell you the truth, at least my truth. I love my perseverance in the midst of trials. I sure can moan and groan to my friends when the going gets tough but despite that, I know what has to be done and I will do it. I used to be a dreamer but I am more so a realist, so much so that some call me a pessimist. Yet, I persevere, hoping for the best. This makes me fearless cause I know I can, I have and will. Some say they dislike when women say “I don’t need a man.” No, I don’t need one to live but one who loves me as I would love him sure would make life better, easier. This year as in the past few, I am going solo because I won’t settle for just anyone and I am fine with that. I am worthy of love for who I am and all that I have to offer, no near-misses next time around. I am an awesome mom. Well, my girls tell me so. I love to learn. Some say I am quite smart. I think I am great at deductive reasoning and am studious but smarts, like street smart, physics, tidbits to throw in convos just to impress, I lack. I am willing to learn, to grow, to listen, to accept and I think that says a lot. I am flexible and open which, in my book is cool, that lessens my stubborn streak. I am friendly. I used to be friendlier but I have been hurt too much, too many times by allowing people in my life that now I am more aloof, more careful. My heart is too weak to handle these upheavals as much. So, here is V. day coming and I am with the one whose always been there for me and I love her unconditionally. I will protect her from harm, cherish her, encourage her, fight for her and accept her, faults and all. – Lynnaima, Boca Raton, Florida

You are a star. You work hard, are totally independent, you pursue matters of the heart, you send out love to all those around you, and you’re great. Thoughtful, funny, caring, intelligent and beautiful. You don’t need a man and you know it. Your life is complete as is and always has been. This Valentine’s Day, give yourself something special, more patience and trust that the universe will deliver. Love your life, love your family and friends, love your creativity, your writing, your health and especially your own heart. You’re a damn fine lady. Enjoy yourself, you deserve it. –Katie, Quebec, Canada

You are beautiful! You are beautiful, strong, courageous and fabulous. Those curves would make any man drool, and if they don’t then it’s their loss… Never back down, never grow up and never ever settle for less than you deserve! Happy Valentines Day, enjoy being fabulously single! – Anonymous 

i love you . really. i love you. you are amazing. –Miss Red, London

If I could tell you one thing that you might believe, I would tell you that you are special. You are unique, beautiful and complicated. You take too long to make up your mind and are cautious of making the right decision. You have so much curiosity and never want to quit learning-even if that means getting into the hell that is organic chemistry. Adventurous at heart you don’t shy away from a challenge and being told you can’t makes you that more determined to say you can. I know you have doubts. Doubts about your worth and your capabilities. Forget them. All of them. You are going to great things with your talents and perseverance. You’re going to find that someone to make you smile. You’re going to reach those goals in due time. Stop worrying so much! Live for the now and worry about all that boring grown up stuff when you actually feel old enough to call yourself a ‘grown up’; whenever that is… You’re beautiful just the way you are. Every freckle and scar, like the one from the time you fell riding your bike; It makes you, you. Love yourself and never let anyone make you feel like you don’t deserve what you want. You are worth every happiness in this world, try to remember that. You still have a lot of growing to do. A lot more to discover about who you are and where we want to go-but as long as you hold your head up high along the way, you’ll be just fine. You also don’t need to define your worth on the basis of a relationship. Relish in the ability to discover and grow all on your own so when the time comes that you get to forever share your heart with another, you are fully in love with yourself. Be sure of what you want and what you need before God lets the perfect man cut in a steal you for a dance. You need someone who compliments you, not completes you. I love you, and not surprisingly, a lot of other people do too. So this Valentines day love yourself more than you’ve ever loved anything else. We’re going places chick, and amazingly, that is more exciting than any box of chocolates or flowers on a Tuesday. –Laura, Mebane, NC

Dear you, I love you. No, I like really fucking love you. I think you are awesome. I love that you aren’t perfect-looking, and that sometimes you say the wrong things, and that you’re a little different, but pretty average at the same time. I love that you are real and that you don’t know how to hide your emotions, if your life depended on it. I think sometimes you forget how awesome you are. If I had one wish it would be for you to never forget how utterly amazing you are when you are completely yourself. You seem to carry your awesomeness pretty well, but sometimes a super hot savvy person walks in and intimidates you and you shut your awesomeness down a bit. I hate it when you do that, but it is okay. You are working on it. I love that you are an opportunist. I love that you graduated with a Masters degree before the age of 23. I love that you even did that in one year. I love that you have found something you love doing. I love that children and positive people rock your world. I love that you are obsessed with movies and stories and characters. I love that you sleep with books on the other side of your bed. And that you don’t go anywhere without a book or your kindle in your hand. Also love that you see every movie that’s in theaters. I love that you love the arts and that you really appreciate talented people and people who work their butt off to perfect what they do. I love that you get inspired easily. I love that you have hobbies. I love that you write, knit, and run, and play the keyboard all to yourself because you know you really suck at it. But I love that you still try. I love that you have goals and that you make list of all the things you want to do on a weekly basis. I love that those lists involve a lot of fun stuff, things you want to try, and places you want to go rather than just an exhaustive list of errands you have to run. I love that you stay busy, but I love more that you know how to stand still and know how to occupy the NOW without flustering your brain with the future. Who knows anything about that anyway? I love that you believe in math, and science, and God. I love that you take notice, write footnotes, and make sure you experiment those ideas before denying anyone’s truth. I love that you see that spiritualism and science are one. I love that you can explain photosynthesis, and the simple laws of physics, and that you believe that even with detailed explanations there is a higher power involved. I love that you’ve plastered Garth Stein’s statement in your heart after you read that, bodies evolve and souls evolve and the universe is a fluid place that marries them both in a wonderful package called a human being. I hate that you are such a bad listener and that people have called you out on it. But I love that you have recognized that you are a bad listener and now working on shutting the EFF up, and just simply listen. I love that you believe in love and in marriage and that you want those things for your self. I love that you want a relationship that would lead to love and marriage and a house and some babies, but that you don’t see it as the ultimate prize. I love that even though you want to come home from work on a Tuesday night, make dinner, and curl up in bed with someone who loves you, you are just as happy coming home on a Tuesday night, making dinner, and reading a book all by yourself. I love that you are living your life as happily as you are all on your own. I love that you make bold decisions and that you live your life on your terms without hiding under other people’s opinions. I love that you quit something you hated and didn’t even bother to get a second opinion from other people. You just did it. And now you are happier getting ready to embark on yet another grand adventure. I love that you aren’t afraid to be daring, that you make necessary changes whenever needed. I love that you have made the decision to move to Miami, completely on your own, again. I love that you love. Sometimes carefully but deeply. I love that you are generally satisfied with what you do have, but still ambitious enough to want more. I love that you are taking this time to do things that really make you happy, instead of feeling the need to whore yourself out. I love that you are taking the time to just be single. To just be with yourself and to love yourself more everyday. P.S I know you aren’t making enough money, but you are making more than ever before. You haven’t found your ONE and only Valentine-love, but you are finding more love than you’ve ever found before. Little scraps of it, in every person you’ve met. Everyone has something to give. and I know you have something to give them, too. Make sure you always embrace your authenticity, From yourself –Laskmy, New York, NY

You’re fabulous. You’re undeniably amazing and not to mention, gorgeous. You have the ability to make the best out of every situation. You have the courage to keep fighting for the love that one day will come. Every morning you are reminded to be your own kind of beautiful…. No where does it say valentines day has to be spent with a man so go out with friends you love and embrace your friendships!! Keep on being you, because no one can be youer than you. Kill ‘em girl! – Katie, Cleveland, Ohio

Remember in grade school when you gave Valentine’s to every kid in your class, no matter what? When it was all about the candy, and the stickers and heart shaped erasers from your teachers, and flowers from mum and dad? Remember when it was about friendship, and kindness, and respect, and all those little things that make love, L♥VE?! I love that you keep that spirit alive, even now, and I love your heart. –Jasmin

Dear Me, Although I know you know, I just wanted to say that on this romantic day, you are quite romance-less. Tonight, you won’t be cooking a dinner for two or showing off sexy lingerie or making love in the candle light. But the most important part about this romance-that-doesn’t-exist is the fact that you still have so much love in your life in spite of it. Your friends would do anything for you, your family loves you more than words can say and you love all of them too. You don’t have romance this Valentine’s Day but even so, you have more love now than you know what to do with. You’ve been in love before. You’ll fall in love again. And read this when you do – it will remind you that love was never something you gave up on. HappyValentine’s Day! –Renee, Asheville, NC

To my dearest self: While you may be rather crazy and head strong at times, you’re pretty awesome. Even though this year has been pretty rough with lots of changes and unforeseen trials, you’re still holding your head up high, being you and taking it all in stride. You may be surprised at the strength you’ve grown to possess– but you shouldn’t be. It’s been there all along. Your fiance may be a bazillion miles away this Valentines Day, but you’re going to have a pretty awesome day anyway because you don’t rely on anyone else for your happiness. Rock on, sister (err..or self?)! –Nikki, Florida

Dear Kristin (aka gorgeous), You are perfect in every way. I love your inability to stop talking about things you are passionate about for long periods of time, and I certainly don’t mind pretending I haven’t already heard your stories just so that I can hear them again. I also love shopping with you, watching “The Notebook” (thirty-three times, but who’s counting?), testing out the latest recipes with you, quoting bad movie lines and letting you dress me (seriously, I used to look like an episode of “What Not to Wear”). Most of all, I love sleeping without covers, so keep stealing ‘em (just like you stole my heart). I will love you forever, Cuddlebear –Kristin, New York, NY

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7 thoughts on “Self-Love Letters

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