Often people make “moving on” to be this super performative thing. You cut your hair, drink Merlot in the bathtub for the sake of “self care,” and say things like “I can do better.” The ego is funny when it’s hurt.
The thing that nobody tells you about moving on is that it’s not about mourning the ruins, it’s about building a new city. People judge their exes for having quick turnarounds, but sometimes that’s the best thing you can do. As long as you’re going about life as it was – trying to make the old habits and routines feel normal again – you’re still revolving your life around an empty space.
Moving on is not a statement to the world about how okay you are. It isn’t unleashing your inner “young and wild and free” to make a point. It’s not about pitting your worth against your ex’s, or trying to figure out who lost.
Moving on is accepting that you’re not okay when you see them, but you’re going to keep moving anyway. It’s knowing that you’re not “better” than them, but you weren’t unworthy either. You were just mismatched. It’s realizing that the only thing you’re mourning right now was one idea you had about what your future could be. It’s understanding that everybody has a story about heartbreak, and most people come around on the other end to say that in retrospect, it was somehow the best thing that ever happened to them.
You have an opportunity right now that you may not ever get again in your entire life – and that is to use all of the energy you were expending on someone else, and put it toward becoming the person you know you are meant to be.
When there’s nothing in your life requiring you remain the person you once were, you’re free to be the person you really are.
This is truly the only way we ever get over anything: to refocus ourselves so much that it just simply fades from view. Trying to fight the pain only strengthens it. Trying to resist the heartache only cements it in deeper. Trying to pretend like everything is okay with girl’s nights that culminate in you crying in the bathroom and stalking your ex online to satiate some mysterious need to still feel close to them aren’t helping.
Moving on, like most important things, is not fun. It won’t fit on your Pinterest board. It won’t make for a cute story at holiday parties. But if you can think back to all the other things in your life you swore you’d never get over, and realize that eventually, one day, you just did – you’ll know that you don’t need to try to justify your pain, or make sense of your split, or force your heart not to race when you hear a friend say their name.
You just only have to keep moving, and you get to choose where you’re going. You can keep circling back around the empty space, or slowly walk forward.