February tends to be my most important month. This is for several reasons. I think there is too much pressure placed on January. It is the first month and we enter into a new year, reflecting on the previous one and make resolutions which most people cannot stick to for even a month, let alone a year. I have always celebrated the new year with everyone, but this year I really felt a lack of meaning to this celebration. I was pleased with how my year had gone. I did not want anything to end, plus it was almost another month until I would be returning home, so I knew there would not be many changes until then. I was still in a Christmas bliss sort of mode of eating too much and not being as motivated as I could be. I had goodbyes to give, but they were still in the future and I was not ready yet. Therefore, I did not give much attention to the new year.

My dad passed away right in the middle of February, on Valentine’s Day. I tend to have this in mind as February approaches. This is not because I want to spend a day sat crying and mourning all over again. I have healed and forgiven, but it feels strange to me that this day is supposed to be a day all about love. It has been far too over commercialised and now is the time of year when suicide rates rise. I have known many people who decided to end their life on this day. That is why I like to take time out from the pressure of it. I like to reflect on the ideas of love, because it should not be a one day a year thing. Love, especially self-love, should be so strong and powerful that it lasts every second of every minute of the year. I too, like to be with the people I love the most in this world, as I have done every February 14th. I like to fill my day with laughter and go and see them, no matter how far so that they know how special they are.

That is why for me, my new year starts in February. The second month of the year begins and I like to sit back and reflect on my January. I like to see whether I have kept my resolutions, and why not if I have not. I like to try and improve myself by looking at the people around me. I assess and decide who I do and do not want in my life, because come February 14th I want to be with the right people. This is not to say that these two weeks are not still a time for meeting new people and beginning to let them in, but more a case of giving up what has become toxic. This gives me a chance to know and decide what I want. Although, I may experience some pain still, it is not the same every year. The darkness and tears can just come from the difficulty faced in moving forward. Your head and heart do not always agree on what is best for you and this can be a challenge. I can say that I now feel as though I am emerging onto a brighter side of this month. That is what is most important.

It is not about being different, it is about always being me.


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