Valentine's Day / by Liz Brown

Dear you,

Honestly Valentine’s Day has never been my fave. I’ve felt everything from apathetic to angsty to sad. I get it.

Last Valentine’s Day I was on tour so this is my and Blake’s first real holiday. I’m tempted to say it’s my first Valentine’s Day not alone but the truth is I previously spent it with the Aces and with my mom and sister and with gal pals. Just because you don’t have that one person doesn’t mean you’ve got to be alone.

And even if you have someone it doesn’t mean it’ll be easy. Blake and I are very different people and it’s been an incredibly good and hard and challenging year—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Being in a relationship didn’t make me stop changing and crying and losing people and feeling lonely and anxious and insecure and self-conscious and jealous and all the same yucky things I felt before. If anything, being in a relationship has shined a light on my inadequacies and torn down the ways I’ve been proud and wrong.

We are constantly growing and demolishing and reclaiming and rebuilding ourselves and our relationships. Perhaps this is what it means to grow, to be human.

I’ve changed so much internally this year, demolishing thoughts about myself, relationships, and the world. I’m working to rebuild my insides. It’s long work and painful work and I’m still not done, but I’m hopeful and I’m determine to keep growing.

I am so so thankful for Blake and how he’s loved me through anxiety, sadness, joy, peace, and growth. But at the end of the day, I’m still me. And I still have to do the hard work of changing my insides and my circumstances. Blake can support me, love me, and challenge me—but that hard internal work has to be done by me. 

On days like today, drinking a cinnamon shortbread iced latte and wearing a Miranda Lambert shirt, and driving with the windows down—I’m starting to feel like myself again. Like the growth and hard work and hard days are paying off. 

I do love Blake and he’s my best person and that’s just as true on Valentine’s Day as any other day. But I remember being single and feeling so sad after scrolling through gross sappy “everything is perfect now” photos on Instagram and I don’t want to write a sappy post, not because I don’t love him, but because of how those posts made me feel. 

So this is me telling you a different story today: you’re okay. We’re figuring it out and we’re all doing our best. You’ve got this. Maybe you’ve got a hand to hold while you’re doing it and maybe you don’t, but that’s not always the point. The point is I believe in you. I’m going through hard things, too. Being in a relationship didn’t fix me. It helped me grow, but I still had to do the work. We still all have to do the work. It’s brave and it’s hard, but the beautiful thing is that you can do that brave work of growth whether or not you’re in a relationship. You can do it with your friends, your family, whatever community you find yourself in. You don’t have to do this alone. That’s the point, too, I suppose. The point is you’re doing the damn thing and you don’t have to do it alone. Every season—single or in a relationship—will be both hard and good, but if you lean in, I believe you can grow. I believe you WILL grow. I believe you are growing even if you don’t see it yet. Demolish, rebuild, grow—you’ve got this. WE’ve got this.

Much love,