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  • Writer's picturetatum van dam

the art of moving on

Updated: Jul 6, 2019

Memories are some of the best things to make, but they can also be dangerous when it comes to looking back on them. They’re bittersweet, they have the ability to trap you, and they prevent you from moving forward with life - films such as Inception and 500 Days of Summer capture the essence perfectly. I already knew that for this week's article, I wanted to talk about the idea of moving on. Moving on from a past lover, past friend, past memory - whatever that may be - moving on. It’s a hard thing to do, most definitely easier said than done, and to be honest - something I struggle with daily.

I could sit here and type a clickbait-esque article called something like “Five Easy Steps on How to Move On”, but who am I kidding? It would just sound like any other article off of Google with the same five-or-so psychological steps to moving towards a great new lifestyle. While I do agree that these can be good techniques on leaving the past in the past, it’s not as easy as it seems - it simply cannot be done in five steps. Plus, I didn’t want to write something that has already been written and read hundreds of times.

Instead, I chose to reach out to my friends, family, and the trusting people of the internet. My question was simple: How do you move on? I didn’t give any context - no matter how big or how small the situation may seem in the grand scheme of things, the idea of ‘moving on’ is a hard thing to do.

Inspired by the replies I got, I have formulated a master list that I like to call: The Art of Moving On

How do you move on from something or someone who has already moved on from you?

Cry. Cry a lot. Let out every emotion you have. Release all that pent up tension. Watch the grass grow. Look up at the sky and create shapes out of the pastel pink clouds. Listen to “Karma Police” by Radiohead until the melody is embedded into your mind. Grieve. Block them, then unblock them. Reflect. Accept your feelings. Use the past to be better -- learn from it. Reinvent yourself. Make a list. A list of things they kept you from doing. Do everything on the list ​and more​. Wear the dress, say the word, get the haircut. Anytime you feel the urge to reminisce, untie and retie your shoelaces instead. Try something new. Learn the guitar solo from “Stairway to Heaven”. Learn a language they would never understand. Go outside and venture. Get lost. The possibilities are endless, especially when you are on your own. Go to the beach and write their name in the sand and watch as the waves wash it away in one subtle break. Take a shot -- of anything. Water, juice, vodka. Imagine you are sitting at the bar, swirling around your empty shot glass, while Billy Joel is sat in the corner playing “Piano Man”. Remember why it happened. Remember the times that were not actually all that great. Take off the rose tinted glasses. Take that oblivion, wrap it up, and throw it in the recycling bin. Become your own person. Focus on being “somebody” rather than “somebody’s”. Make attainable goals for the future. Put your time and energy towards accomplishing these goals. Continue to focus on other things; talk to a stranger. Make a new friend. Plant a tree. Join an environmentalist support group. Drink a kale smoothie and convince yourself that you are being healthy. Clear your mind by doing yoga. Do something nice. Hold open the door for someone. Tell the guy next to you that you like his shirt. Go to a concert and dance with a stranger. Ask that stranger for their phone number. Become friends with someone older than you. Talk about life. Remind yourself that everything happens for a reason. Pack a suitcase and go to Paris. Eat a crepe under the Eiffel Tower as its magical lights shimmer every hour of the night. Go on a first, and last date with a foreigner. Eat your heart out. Spill your heart out. Walk down the Champs Elysees and close your eyes as you hear a violinist play “La Vie en Rose”. Look at the time on your watch. Run. Nearly miss your flight home. Look out the window as you float through the cotton candy clouds -- the same cotton candy clouds you made shapes out of ​what feels like​ a lifetime ago. Arrive at your doorstep. Catch yourself humming the melody of “Karma Police”. Notice how not only has the grass grown -- but you have, too. Look in the mirror and smile. Be proud. Proud of the person you have become. Proud of yourself for ​moving on​.

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