Oh Valentine's Day- Making Space For Communication ALL 2019

This blog comes from special guest, my line sister, Mimi! Mimi is the epitome of dopiness! Check this out: She's a recent graduate of American University where she earned her Master’s degree in public administration in May 2018. She also holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in political science from Texas Christian University. Mimi, a member of Delta Sigma Sorority, Inc., serves on multiple boards including Purpose Tutors and is the co-chair of the TFA DC region alumni organization, The Bridge. Dope right! This doesn't even cover it all! Mimi is one of the most loving people you'd ever meet! So why not have her talk about love and building relationships!? See what she has to say below!

"With February slowly creeping up on us, it’s difficult to avoid the fact that Valentine’s Day is around the corner and if you’re like me, you’re probably rolling your eyes at yet another made up, corporate holiday. Don’t get me wrong, I dig the fancy heart shaped chocolates that infiltrate grocery stores starting immediately after the new year and the countless red roses that line the grocery stores, office buildings, and practically every restaurant in your local neighborhood. However, what I find deeply problematic is how we as a society have accepted this holiday as some force from the universe that pressures us to somehow only confess our emotions toward one another on this particular date and then expect for this inauthentic gesture to be sufficient enough for those closest to us.

I remember once reading an Instagram post that said something along the lines of “Never make people you love the most guess how you feel about them.” Well, my rendition of this saying would be, “Never make people you love the most guess how you feel about them until Valentine’s Day.” If you’re like me, you’ve probably taken the Love Languages quiz one too many times (and have also encouraged your closest family and friends to take it too). That quiz not only made me realize the various ways I needed to be loved, but it also revealed how I could effectively show affection to my loved ones. More importantly, I’ve realized that all of this means absolutely nothing if you fail to communicate this to others! Side note: my top love language is ‘words of affirmation’ for anyone who’s reading this and wants to send some encouragement my way ;)

When it comes to expressing our feelings toward our loved ones, I can guarantee that Africans are the absolute worst at this. Growing up in an Ethiopian household, it was extremely uncommon to hear the words “I love you” or anything remotely similar be muttered from the mouths of my parents or grandparents. This was mostly due to the fact that they were raised in a culture that didn’t value the need to consistently express emotions in authentic ways. Nowadays, times have clearly changed and since then, we’ve experienced various cultural paradigms, but I think we should get in the habit of effectively expressing affection to our dear ones. Just to be clear, there’s also nothing wrong with simply asking others about the best way they’d like to receive affection instead of making assumptions like we’ve been doing all this years.

So, my challenge to you is to make a habit out of telling someone you care about them, or better yet, SHOW them. Tell a loved one you appreciate them, pay for a friend’s drink, or even surprise someone with a thoughtful gift that reminded you of them. Whatever God places in your heart (and of course whatever your bank account allows for), always remember that love is an action and you shouldn’t feel pressured to wait until Valentine’s Day to act on it. Oh, and quick disclaimer: if you’re not necessarily about that “leaning into vulnerability” life, then I suggest you get it together and start owning this component of maturity because in 2019, you best believe we’re communicating more! Furthermore, remember that your actions should align with your passions. I’m no therapist, but I believe if you’re not consistently expressing affection towards your loved ones, then you may need to reevaluate some of your passions.

That’s just my two cents tho. 



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