It's a word that gets thrown around pretty liberally sometimes. I love this song or that movie or your haircut. It's a word that we know has big implications when you're romantically involved with someone. To tell a significant other "I love you" is usually a big step in the relationship, or maybe not a big step because maybe you're saying something that you both already know is there. (I'm just assuming here - I've never fallen in love so I can only guess.)
But the term 'significant other' is so misleading in a few ways. I'm not dating anyone, but that doesn't make the people who are in my life at the moment insignificant. And I love them, certainly not in a romantic way because that would be weird, but I love these people who make up my family and friends.
It all brings us to Esther Day. August 3rd was the birthday of Esther Earl, a Nerdfighter who unfortunately passed away when she was far too young at the age of 16 due to cancer. However, before she died, Vlogbrothers John and Hank Green told her the community would make her birthday a Nerdfighter holiday and the day would celebrate whatever she wanted it to. Wise beyond her years (or at least much wiser than I was at that age), she decided the day should be one to celebrate all the kinds of love that Valentine's Day looks over. The non-romantic love. The family and friends and platonic loves that shape our lives just as much, yet how often do we really stop and tell those people?
I'm guilty of not saying "I love you" very often. I feel it, I try to show it, but considering how much words make up my life, saying "I love you" is hard. But yesterday, for Esther and just because I should, I was at a baseball game with my parents, brother, and future sister-in-law. It was a beautiful summer night, we were having a good time, and I was weirdly nervous, but I said it. I told them all that I loved them.
And it was SUPER AWKWARD. Nice, yes, but also kind of FREAKING WEIRD. My parents were very touched, but it was especially weird to say to my brother (we both made a face, honestly) and then we went back to our evening just as it was before, only now I could feel good about the fact that my family knows for a fact that I love them. I used my words.
It shouldn't be hard and it shouldn't take an unofficial holiday to make it happen, but it was and it did, and I'm grateful for it. So thank you, Esther, wherever you are, for making such a fantastic choice. My family and I appreciate it.