WHATEVER YOU DO:

  • Do not Facebook your ex-lover.
  • Do not fall in love in one weekend.
  • Do not stay heartbroken for months afterwards.
  • Do not allow yourself to steep in your loneliness (for 5-7 minutes; enjoy with honey and lemon).
  • Don’t think about leaving them a Facebook message: encrypted code, words missing, piquing interest.

WHATEVER YOU DO:

  • Love yourself more than you love someone who doesn’t care about you.
  • Validate your experience and your feelings.
  • This is the first step towards grief, because every heartbreak that ends in abandonment, in loss, is a renewal of the overarching grieving process. Don’t you see? You’re a character trapped in one of your own short stories. 
  • But you’re the author, you think. Why am I trapped in this?
  • Are you the author?
  • Take your medication, go to sleep at a reasonable hour, eat three square meals a day, talk to your Friends, talk to your Dad, talk to your Therapist, talk to your Cousin, talk to Yourself, do your assignments, do your readings, write, draw, photograph, buy a 10-pass for the Metro-North, sit in Washington Square Park with people that love you and that you love and make new memories to replace the old ones, stop thinking about Her, stop thinking about “Reconnecting” with Her, read for fun, smoke a bowl (for fun), put on make up and a nice outfit and go out dancing or at least drinking with your friends, get a piercing, get a tattoo, go to concerts in the city, pay attention in class, listen to new music that doesn’t remind you of her, go to more protests and wear your heart on your sleeve as you move in time with the collective and feel that you are more than just yourself and scream at the top of your lungs, injecting anger and love into every word, and then, finally, finally, when you go home, buy a bouquet of red roses, go to your mother’s grave, and put them at the headstone, and, FINALLY, you can move on, move on, move on, move on…from her…
  • Am I on anti-psychotics for bipolar or major depression?
  • Listen, you know that this isn’t about her. You know that. It’s not about her. It’s about death. You know what I’m talking about. The sooner you can admit that to yourself without the veil of prose then the sooner you can be free from yourself (from your stories). The thing is, Do you want to be free?

Penguin

Saul Leiter

Theodore Gericault’s Last Self Portrait as a Dying Man, 1824

Saul Leiter