A Love Letter

Love is a very big word with a lot of guises.

The love I feel for my children is an all-consuming and amazing thing. The selfless, unconditional kind that really makes you see the entire world in a different light. What's more, when they reflect that back to you it is a truly remarkable thing. There is a similar kind of love that I feel for my close friends and family too, which is a totally safe kind of love. I think that says a lot about just how great many people in my life are.

Then there's my love for Keanu Reeves and 1992 Eddie Vedder (no other vintage will do). My love for music, art, miscellany, Radio 4 and chips, cheese & gravy. My love for my dog, which is peppered with contempt when she chews my knickers up for reasons unknown.

If we're talking about romantic love I'll be quite honest and say it both thrills and terrifies me. I'm not a huge romantic in many ways but I am capable of being thoughtful and sensitive. It terrifies me because it goes hand in hand with vulnerability and opens doors not only to joyous brilliance but also to potential hurt.

Valentine's Day is one of those days I always hated at school because I was frankly, totally uncool and have always felt that it's purely a commercial exercise with a side effect that all those "perfect" people feel popular and warm inside, and all us misfits feel that little bit smaller and alienated. If you find yourself feeling a little unloved this week you may like to read some tips on self care and coping with loneliness.

This all said, you'd think I would forgo Valentine's Day completely and want to rise above it all but alas, every year without a gesture still gets me feeling a bit forlorn. I mean, it's always nice to receive something nice? Even if it is just part of a corporate money making scheme which you theoretically reject…

But why are relying on others to make us feel good about ourselves? For this weeks Best Boot Forward Kate has challenged us to write a love letter to ourselves. Having thought about this for quite some time I realised that is actually more difficult than it sounds, especially given that I don't think that I have ever written a love letter to anyone!

Instantly, the first thing I thought of was how when I'm browsing Facebook memories or reading old ramblings and notebooks, I really do laugh out loud at some of the things I've written. Humour is so important to me and past Chloe has some cracking quips. So, here goes…

I am glad that, no matter what is happening, that I can find the humour in a situation. I'm thankful that I inherited my Dad's skinny build and can eat whatever I like without putting on weight, and despite also inheriting his depressive tendencies I have learned over time how to look after myself and be okay.

I am proud that I have been brave enough to bring three beautiful children into the world, stand up and not be ashamed that each of them has a different dad and have the common sense to put them first.

I am grateful that I have been raised to be discerning when it comes to food and wine and that I have a life where I can enjoy those things. I am also grateful that I'm not so pretentious that I can't the beloved Northern delicacy that is chips, cheese and gravy.

I love that with my stubbornness, short temper and selfishness comes a level of intelligence and self awareness that allows me to know that I am all of those things sometimes. I love that I have learned that sometimes those former things can be channelled into good traits. I love too, that with age I have become more confident and grown into my womanhood.

Most of all, I love that I am bearable enough to others to be loved, no matter what.

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