1. The Taylor Swift Song
…at least until you start listening to the lyrics.
Even more self-explanatory.
4. Baby llamas
You think llamas aren’t cute? How dare you? THEY ARE MAJESTIC FUCKING CREATURES, AND THEY WILL BLIND ANYBODY WHO SAYS OTHERWISE WITH THEIR SPIT!
5. Cooking whatever you damn want for dinner
Lest somebody accuse me of making a list comprising only of cute animals and Taylor Swift: Behold, the joys of not having to cater to anybody but yourself! Burn your bras!
6. New lingerie
Or don’t. You’re right, darling, it’s a work of art, and no jerk dictates how much you spend on nice things anymore.
7. In fact, freedom, in general, to do whatever you please
Chop your hair off! Or bleach it until it’s a fugly shade of canary! Hang out in your underwear, or wear tails and a white tie to the game! Who says top hats are not appropriate apparel for the World Cup? YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME ANYMORE, SUSAN!
8. NOT wasting any time posturing
However fun it is to put together the perfect vengeful outfit, it’s more than whoever you’re trying to intimidate is worth. Trust me.
9. NOT wasting any money for posturing
Repeat after me: My funds are my own now. I will only spend them on things that please me.
10. Recognizing that revenge does NOT please you
Oh sure, you might think it’ll make you feel good, the same way you think a giant bag of crisps is a decent substitute for dinner. It’ll be nice while you’re having it, but then you’ll be done and still be hungry.
11. Rediscovering a love for your career
Accounting, my love!
12. Rediscovering how awesome your friends actually are
Every pub night feels like a date night, and the best part is, you can do that as much as you like.
13. Getting rid of social connections you dislike
No better time to unfollow some people than when a toxic relationship dissolves. Oh, I’m sorry, did you think I was just talking about the partner who treated you badly? Naaaaaw, hon, their entire social circle can go, too. Along with any other hangers-on who think you don’t deserve any better.
14. Rediscovering how awesome YOU are
Shitty friends, shitty life partners, and shitty jobs have one thing in common – they have a stake in making you feel worthless. How else would you put up with them for as long as you did?
15. Realizing there is something better out there
On a similar note, you know that yarn they span about how they were the best you were going to get and weren’t you GLAD they still put up with you? Yeah – finding out they were wrong feels very, very sweet.
16. Being the boss of your own body
You will eat what you want, when you want it, and however you want it. If you want to cut down your meat and dairy intake, there is no sanctimonious asshole telling you how he appreciated you are “not one of those girls who had to be vegetarian”.
17. Accepting that in the end, you can only control yourself
And by control yourself, I don’t mean NOT airing your dirty laundry as soon as they change their Facebook status. Whatever happened is over. Time to move on.
18. Having your dignity
Funny thing about revenge plots: they tend to backfire spectacularly. If not immediately, then in five, ten, fifty years. The karmatic blowback is rarely pretty.
19. Smug satisfaction at having been the bigger person
If fear of karma doesn’t help, think of all the smug points you’ll get from not taking revenge. The only downside is that you can’t really ever talk about it.
20. Not worrying about any ties you have severed
When a bad relationship or job implodes, nobody will blame you for getting out of the fire as fast as possible. What they will hold against you is if you come back with gasoline and kindling and make an inferno that burns the entire state down.
21. Embracing all of your possibilities
You may have been able to explore every whim and fantasy before, but there are fewer things holding you down now.
22. Building better, stronger foundations
When we are in a bad place, it’s really hard to pick ourselves back up. But we can. And we build on stronger ground because of that.
23. Knowing what we want from a relationship
Self-explanatory. And speaking of self-explanatory…
24. Baby bats
No, I don’t care that they are mice with wings. Baby bats are adorable and you cannot convince me otherwise.
25. Celeb crushes are free game again
No, Susan, I am not comparing you to Natalie Portman; I just say I liked her in Thor, Jeez!
26. Freedom to cry at a drop of a hat
“Mr. Stark… I don’t feel so good.”
27. Freedom to like whatever I please
Is Game of Thrones problematic? Yes. Do I want to hear a lecture on that every time a new episode airs? No.
28. NOT having to argue whose record is cooler
Some arguments make for a good spar. Some arguments get tedious quickly. If something is over, I’m putting money on the fact that the tedious arguments became more frequent than the good ones.
29. The knowledge that your life is moving on, and you’re moving with it, rather than against it
At its core, revenge is being stuck in the past. It’s giving a bad person or situation your energy. You can move thousands of miles away and it will still kill you if you keep focused on it. Let karma do its job – it’s a lot less hassle for you.
30. Knowing that they made their choices, too
You are no an omnipotent god, to make the puny humans in your orbit only do your own bidding. Whoever you want revenge on had choices, and they chose to hurt you. That’s on them – you have no business addressing, redressing, or window dressing it.
31. All the good you will do, because you would treat others better than this
Sad state of affairs is that the strongest people became this way because someone else broke them; or because someone failed to protect them. You may be tempted to lump yourself in with the bad people in your life – trust me, the fact that you survived this will mean you will be the staunchest supporter of victims instead.
32. The creativity which will burst forward from you
There is no better time for reinvention. You may start with redesigning the wheel!
33. All the books you will read and songs you will dance to…
…that will be untarnished by the experience.
34. The hobbies you will take up to spite your ex
And which will revive you again
35. The kindness you will show others in your old shoes
Because you know EXACTLY where they are coming from and why they are stuck.
36. The knowledge that the other person has not traded up
They call it the “Lola doctrine” on Chump Lady. I strongly recommend a read – seriously, everyone, they are already punished. Their punishment is that you have left.
37. Knowing where the truth lies
No more gaslighting. No more trying to unpick your truth from the heap of lies they pile on you. There is no more weight on your shoulders because you only have to answer to yourself, and your moral compass needs no adjusting.
38. Trusting in time
To heal. To surprise. To delight. To deal in karmatic blowback. It’s very nice to let go and let it do its work.
39. Trusting in yourself
You ARE free. This is a huge accomplishment. Nothing else will stand in your way.
40. Letting your actions speak louder than your words
Or your inactions, I suppose is another way of looking at it. Look, I’m not saying any of it’s easy. When we are hurt, we want to retaliate. But there is one thing that can spell “done” BETTER than any scheme. It’s acting done and done for good.
There is no stronger message than silence.
(Which I guess just made this entire list redundant. Damn…)