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How To Move On (Even If You Don’t Think You’re Ready)

Leave your house for the first time in three days to go on a walk. Keep your phone and headphones on the table so you can spend some quality time with just yourself, your thoughts, and the empty space that has settled into your heart.

Open your door. Take one step forward, and then a few dozen more. Begin to quicken your pace, steadily moving faster and faster and faster as if you’re preparing to jump out of your skin and into a new life, a life where you never even learned their middle name or the only movie that ever made them cry or the fact they exist at all.

Stop. Take a second. Breathe in. Reach for your breath. Look around you. Watch the sky. Hear the birds. Feel the wind. Feel your pulse. Feel the urge to sob as you realize you already are living a new life because they’re no longer here and not coming back.

Rush home. Close the door. Sink to the floor and into a full-body cry. Doubt you’ll ever be able to move on at all because you sense them everywhere.

They’re still all around you.

Contemplate who the person who once meant everything to you becomes when they no longer wake up next to you or are the first person you call with news, both good and bad. Wonder what went wrong and what you could have done differently. Shame yourself for not trying harder, doing better.

Delete their number from your phone. The texts. The photos. Notice their absence in the passenger seat, at the bar, and one more from your mind for the first time in weeks. Consider that maybe this is the beginning of letting go. Get out of bed, trip over the shoes they left behind, and break down again.

Rinse and repeat the aforementioned steps until you become nauseated by your own misery and regret. Decide you must try harder to move forward. Try harder. Step back into yourself. Dismiss the idea that “readiness” is what you must feel in order to do something necessary. Understand that un-loving someone is not a prerequisite for letting go. Realize that maybe un-loving someone is not something you can really do at all.

Learn to live without them. Give yourself space to feel. Give yourself breaks from thinking. Give yourself the closure you wish they gave you.