February 14th was a cursed day for me. For nearly a decade, unfortunate events befell me on this day. Every. Single. Year. So when I volunteered for a trip from Mosul to Baghdad during my deployment to Iraq and later realized we would be flying on February 14th, I was fully convinced it would be the day of my death.
Call me melodramatic, but I was going to be in a helicopter, in a war zone, on the day where terrible circumstances unfolded nearly every year of my adult life. You would have been unnerved too. Don't lie.
Clearly I survived, but the curse was nowhere near broken. I spent the evening of February 14th, 2008 alternating between being frozen by the winter winds of the desert whipping through the Chinook, and standing outside during multiple landings waiting to re-board the flying freezer. We didn't make it to Baghdad either - we ended up stranded for 14 days in Taji (which actually wasn't all bad, but more stories for another time). The point is - the day sucked - the curse survived.
Until it didn't.
I don't know when it happened (which is unfortunate because I'm trying to craft an essay here and I could use a better segue), it just happened. The day of hearts came and went, came and went, came and went without a single unlucky event.
And when I realized the day of love embraced me, I embraced it back.
After all, I'm pretty into love. Love saved me. Love sustains me. Love knows me wholly and embraces me fully. Love lifts me up where I belong (sorry not sorry.) So this day I once thought would be the day I died is now a day to celebrate the reason I live. Love is awesome, and I'm cool with a day set aside to celebrate awesome things. I'm also cool with an excuse to eat cupcakes.