My first memory of Valentine’s Day is from fourth grade. My very best friend at the time asked me to be his Valentine, and I very politely told him that I could not because I viewed him as a friend. He then threw a hysterical fit in the classroom, and then went and hid behind a tree on the playground at recess. He told everyone that he would not come out of hiding until I agreed to be his Valentine. I refused. My teacher then gave me one of my first lessons about love: She told me that hearts are fragile and even though I view him as a friend, he viewed me as more, and I hurt his feelings. She asked me to apologize. So, I apologized to him and said I would be his ‘friend’ Valentine, although I didn’t really feel like I was, and he came out from hiding.
It is safe to say that I have now had a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day ever since. There is a butterfly excitement about who could possibly send me something sweet, combined with a dread of not knowing who might ‘surprise’ me with feelings that I don’t return, combined with me spilling out my own feelings that might not be returned. To this day, I am not as assertive as I could be in Valentine-esque conversations due to a fear of someone going and hiding behind a tree.
Fortunately, my mom started a tradition when I was born to always give me a Valentine’s Day gift from my parents and have a Valentine’s Day dinner for our family. She made it more about the love of our family and our support system, rather than a romantic love that required some fancy date. I have to say that this tradition has helped make Valentine’s Day less of a Hallmark card occasion for me and more of a day to reflect on all of the beautiful, loving relationships in my life that shape who I am everyday.
In honor of my mom’s tradition, here are 14 people on Twitter that I admire, and think you should admire, too:
Rachel is one of the most incredible human beings in the world. She is currently fighting brain cancer, and you would never know it. The integrity, hope and inspiration that she faces life with is contagious.
Roman was one of my first connections on Twitter because I was drawn to the inspirational content he shared. Since then, our Twitter friendship has blossomed and he’s been an essential part of creating my new website and helping me whenever I have a new question about changing something on my site.
Lara is lovely. She shares thoughtful, kind messages that just make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. She’s also very responsive, always responding to those who reach out to her on Twitter.
Ace is all over the place with what she shares, in the most beautiful way. She shares content ranging from motivating quotes to heartwarming true stories that all of us need to read after a shitty day. A must follow.
I have to admit, Gala caught my attention when she started writing the sweetest messages to me about my writing. There was this moment where I thought, ‘Okay, here is someone who actually just read that article and isn’t just trying to ‘schmooze’ me’. Let me tell you something, having the quality Gala does, which is to genuinely be interested in the people you are tweeting, is one of the most important qualities to have on social media.
John is a self-proclaimed “Retired Fire Chief, Disaster Management Consultant, Travel Experience Gatherer”. You can imagine from that description what amusing, inspirational content you can find on his feed. He’s great to have conversations with, and, if you are ever in South Florida, he has some pretty spot-on recommendations for food and drinks!
Sunita’s feed is a hodgepodge of all of the best motivational, energetic content on Twitter. She has a skill for curating content from the best out there. You will never miss a thing in the world of inspiration when you follow Sunita.
Gary is incredibly close to my heart because we grew up together in Wyoming! He was that friend that always happened to catch my incredibly awkward Marji-moments. Over the past few years, Gary has carefully crafted a Twitter feed that shares valuable information for social media pros, business leaders and soon-to-be lawyers. He’s come a long way since our times in Wyo.
Stephie is a nurse, mom, cancer survivor, heart transplant recipient, documentary film producer, and #AllThingsCancer co-host. As if that was not enough, she keeps up a vibrant Twitter account that touches on all of these areas of her life. You will never have a boring day following her.
Chelsea and I used to work together and were immediately besties. Her Twitter feed is full of informational articles about the cancer industry and she is a must-follow for anyone interested in keeping up with new cancer treatment advancements.
You feel like you are a part of Melissa’s life (in the best way) when you follow her on Twitter. She has a way of authentically sharing personal tweets amidst her inspirational quotes without making you feel like she is oversharing.
I love Leslie IRL so she is an obvious choice for this list. She bring so much passion and energy to everything she does, including her Twitter account. She is an avid biker, so if you are in the world of bike racing, she is your gal.
Mark hits the indie heartstring in my life. He is an expert in the area of indie music and is connected to a great deal of indie artists. His feed is full of new music, fun sayings and musings about his life in Kenosha, WI.
I love Suzi because every morning there is usually a very inspirational, thoughtful quote from her waiting on my newsfeed. She is full of life and love and her Twitter account reflects it. She returns the love, as well, making sure to have relevant, engaging conversations with her followers.
Hopefully you can find some extra love and admiration this Valentine’s Day by following this list of incredible people that I adore. Share your own Valentine Twitter followers in the comments below!
– Marji J. Sherman