For the times you’re thinking of him when you shouldn’t, rent Lady Bird and pour yourself a glass of Chardonnay, and then another. Cry more than you thought you would when Lady Bird realizes she’s merely another body to the guy she just slept with. Remember what it’s like to feel so small and insignificant and unseen, and realize that’s kind of how you feel right now too. Swallow the feeling.
For the times you’re thinking of him when you shouldn’t, read theories about alternate universes and outer space and wonder if there’s someplace that exists where things ended up working out. Roll your eyes at yourself. Close the tabs and lay down on your bed and just breathe. Deeply. Sink into a sleep that couldn’t be described as anything other than restless and realize the only dreams that visited you that evening were nightmares about him.
For the times you’re thinking of him when you shouldn’t, listen to Radiohead and wonder who Thom was singing about in “Fake Plastic Trees.” Resonate with the lyrics more than you’d like to admit. After all, you’re trying so hard to push thoughts of him away but you can’t help but see his eyes when the lyrics “I wish I could be who you wanted all the time” sift through the speakers. Turn the song.
For the times you’re thinking of him when you shouldn’t, put your phone somewhere you can’t reach and try and find out who you are without him, without anyone. Start writing in journals and sketching hands in charcoal and reading Looking For Alaska. Find yourself alone more and more often, and start to realize you don’t hate it like you used to.
For the times you’re thinking of him when you shouldn’t, slowly come to terms with the fact that maybe you can’t control what you remember or who resides in your heart. Come up with your own theory that maybe some people are meant to leave their marks on us and that maybe not all scars are caused by pain but rather deep, all-encompassing love that wasn’t meant to stay in a place other than our minds and maybe we were simply lucky to have known them at all.
The next time you’re thinking of him when you feel like you shouldn’t, allow yourself remember. Let yourself think about the time you sat alone together on a bench by the water on a cool summer night and his birthday and the margaritas and laughing so hard at a stupid YouTube video you both couldn’t breathe.
Remember it all and know it’ll all be okay anyway.