Valentine's Day 2018
Valentine's Day 2018 relationship status: Happily Single. Last Valentine’s Day, I hadn’t even been living in LA for a month. My grandparent’s drove down from Palm Desert and we spent the day at The Grove, having lunch at Nordstroms followed by dinner at Cheesecake Factory (this was before I was vegan and was woke AF about the meat, dairy, and egg industries). I was so happy to be with them, but a small part of me wished I was spending it with a boyfriend. I’m in different state of mind this year, and I can appreciate seeing a happy couple while not dwelling on being single.
When I was growing up, I envied the girls who had the boys I was crushing on, crushing on them. I always imagined being a girl and what it would be like having the boy of my choice be my Valentine. I so longed for that life, but I had no idea that it would ever be possible for me to actually become a girl, especially in elementary and middle school. After learning there was such a thing as transgender when I was 12 years-old, I would dream about the day when I could be the hot couple everyone was jealous of. I still want the “perfect” Valentine’s Day with the “perfect” boyfriend like we see in ad campaigns. To be honest, I haven't truly experienced that dream regardless of being single or in a relationship post-gender affirmation surgery, but I have no doubt I will soon.
This is the first year where I haven't paid much attention to my single-ness or let it bother me in the weeks leading up to today. I’ve realized how crucial it is to focus on what I do have in my life and be grateful for that. Due to our constant scrolling and stalking on social media platforms, I find our society as a whole has trouble being grateful for the daily love we receive; and we forget the importance of self-love. As everyone asks what my plans are I have never been more proud to say that I haven’t given my evening much thought, but I know I will shower myself in self-love. Most likely, I’ll spend it in bed with candles, watching the movie Valentine's Day because I genuinely love that movie, doing a clay face mask, and eating vegan ice cream... I’m actually getting super excited as I write this.
My mom always made sure to show us extra extra extra love on Valentine's Day. She was so heavily involved with my brother and my education and classroom environment. Every year we would make the most festive Valentine's Day cards and gift bags to bring to school for all of our classmates. Even throughout college and studying abroad in Amsterdam, my mom made sure to send me Butterfingers and other Valentine’s Day wrapped goods, it’s another one of our special traditions. My mom has taught me that this day is about more than just a romantic relationship.
I’ve posted on Instagram every Valentine’s Day for the past few years preaching the importance of being your own Valentine. Whether you’re single or not (but definitely when you’re single) giving your mind, body, and soul extra love on this day is key. Treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure, your favorite workout class, face and hair masks, and whatever vice you have (whether it be chocolate, booze, weed, or something else that makes you feel good.) Keep in mind today is about love, not just romantic love. Make sure to send some loving words or gifts to your family and friends as well.
To my fellow single women, trans or not, don’t get down on yourself if you are single this Valentine’s Day. I’ve written a few posts for Stylecaster.com with dating advice that hopefully helps get you through this year’s lovey-dovey festivities. Remember that I love you. I am here for you. With a positive mindset, you will have a romantic Valentine someday, and it probably won’t live up to your romantic-comedy expectations (sorry not sorry.)
I am thrilled to announce my first ad campaign, now live on HelenFicalora.com. My friends and friends of my friends have been sending screenshots of the social media ads throughout the past week or so, and it is such a surreal feeling to be recognized from an Instagram and Facebook ad. I’ve been waiting to share the photos and video from this campaign and I am happy to have finally posted them today on my Instagram page, @imcoreyrae. This is the first of many ad campaigns to come and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me. I'm unable to predict what my life will be like by next Valentine's Day, but I know I’ll be enjoying the ride there. Stay tuned, and give lots of love!
Written by Corey Rae --- Edited by Emily Turner