I was fourteen years old, and like most teenage girls, I suffered from a high school crush. His name was Stef, and his eyes were blue as the waters of the Caribbean Sea, his hair soft as silk and he had a deep gaze that still melts my heart when I visualize his baby face. Twenty-five years later, I don’t remember much from my crush episode, but I do remember vividly how he ruined Valentine’s Day for the rest of my life! No, wait. It was actually the Shakespeare in me that ruined everything Valentine’s Day represented!

According to the world leading personality type assessment, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, I am an Introvert Intuition Feeling Perceptive type. In other words, I am a hopeless romantic with a big imagination! On top of this, I discovered I have been an Empath all my life. An Empath is someone who feels the emotions and feelings of those around her.

So you can only imagine the intense and passionate love affair I created in my mind, an elusive love affair which ultimately led to an epic rejection in real life! I vowed never, ever to celebrate Valentine’s Day again.

Are you curious about what happened? Buckle up and get ready for a healthy dose of tears, humor and perhaps even some lessons learned!

Leading Up to Valentine’s Day

I was not born with a silver spoon and I started working at the age of twelve. I drove my bike in the rain every morning at 7:00 a.m. to pick strawberries from the mud in the Dutch countryside. It was all worthwhile when I look back, because I could have my own pocket money. Pocket money I was about to spend on expensive presents to surprise my crush on Valentine’s Day.

I still remember my excitement and adrenaline when visualizing the scenario of him being blown away by my love and gifts. I was convinced he reciprocated my feelings.

You see, the subconscious mind does not detect a difference between reality and your subconscious beliefs. For me, this love affair was very real!

I bought a red rose that played music when you pressed the button on the stem. I bought a soft, white teddy bear holding a red heart and a box of chocolates.

Then I sat in my room; I unleashed the Shakespeare in me and started writing my heart out. I wrote about how he was my soulmate, how we were meant to be together, how I was dreaming of him every night and how our destiny was written in the stars! Boy, must I have scared the poor guy!

Writing this love letter of three pages took a lot of mental energy, so I got hungry! The brain needs food! I made the very difficult decision to keep the chocolates for myself and ate the whole box as I was unleashing my creative excellence through the pen. As a Dutch person, I decided that the letter, the rose with music and the bear were enough in the end.

Then the big moment came when I gathered the courage and drove my bike to the post office so I could mail my Valentine’s Day gift to the love of my life!

By the way, bravery is one of my top seven strengths as surveyed by the Values in Action (VIA) Inventory of Strengths Institute on Character. Being so shy and introverted at the time, I must have been brave to mail these gifts and a love letter to a fourteen-year-old boy with whom I’d never exchanged a single word throughout the school year!

Valentine’s Day Itself

The big day was there and it fell on a school day! I knew he had received the package because I was smart enough to send it Priority Mail ® with a required signature upon delivery!

I saw him that day at school and my heart skipped a beat … he saw me and he skipped me all together!

Unfortunately, the embarrassment did not end there! He had told his best friend, who had told his best friend and soon the whole school found out about my Valentine’s love ordeal. His friends kept staring at me and laughed as I became the joke of the school. I isolated myself and kept living in the world of my imagination. I never spoke to anyone and went straight to my room after school that day so I could cry my eyes out. He never said a word when he saw me. I was convinced he was in love with me, and he just needed time to get to know me. I convinced myself that he just needed some space and time to realize I was the love of his life.

This situation never changes no matter where you are in life: If he is not in to you the first time or the second time or throughout the whole year he knows you, accept it and move one!

When people show you who they are the first time, believe them! Dr. Maya Angelou

The Epic Rejection

We had a common acquaintance who was a family friend. This poor man was about to deliver the message that would shatter my heart into a thousand pieces. I still remember this day vividly.

The family friend stopped by our house and told me he had a video message for me from my crush. I had a sudden surge of optimism! He was about to declare his undying love for me! At last! Our family friend knew what the message was about and he could not bear to tell me. So he just showed me.

Wow! Watching the video was a huge wake-up call from the universe telling me: Get Over It! He is Not Into You!

Tears flowed down my chubby cheeks as I listened to the harsh truth. He was sweet and thanked me for my gifts that his mother had stored in their attic. He thanked me for the love letter, but regretted that he was not the man of my life and he hoped that one day I would find that man.

I am sure his mother forced him to be nice and make the video. What fourteen-year-old would sit there and be so nice to a girl whom he’d never spoken to and who was obsessed with him for more than a year?

The Meaning of Valentine’s Day

That moment was the first and last time I bought a Valentine’s Day gift for someone I was in love with, and I never wrote a love letter until many years later to another man who also rejected me (multiple times)! What can I say? I am a hopeless romantic still!

My mantra in life is that as long as I feel all of my emotions, I am alive in a world where people are miserable and don’t know better than to hide behind masks. Because growing up, people are not taught to feel the true meaning of love.

Love is a feeling that is inside of us and must be felt for ourselves first.

When we feel love for ourselves first, we will always experience our self-worth as enough; we are complete and whole. We will then learn to attract other people who feel love for themselves as well and together we can experience and cherish deep connections no Valentine’s Day can replace.

Don’t get me wrong; please celebrate Valentine’s Day if you feel like spending loads of money or if your loved one will never look at you again or even when you are afraid you will end up on the couch! Just be aware that love is timeless, selfless and has no expectations or attachments. Love is inside all of us and only when we tap into our love base first, will we realize that Valentine’s Day exists every day beyond the materialistic realm of this world.

Wish yourself a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Originally published on Medium in P.S. I Love you

Stories from the heart

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