Perhaps most of all, though, you deserve to be okay. You deserve to know that a day in which you can just barely get out of bed because you are sad, or sick, or simply not ready to see the outside is not the end of the world. You deserve to know that moments of weakness do not make you fundamentally weak, only fundamentally human, and that sometimes we’re not going to be effusively happy, and that is okay.
This is what love does: It makes you want to rewrite the world. It makes you want to choose the characters, build the scenery, guide the plot. The person you love sits across from you, and you want to do everything in your power to make it possible, endlessly possible. And when it’s just the two of you, alone in a room, you can pretend that this is how it is, this is how it will be.
I’m going to find a way to be happy, and I’d really love to be happy with you, but if I can’t be happy with you, then I’ll find a way to be happy without you.
Moving on is when you think about him and don’t punish yourself for it, when he begins to evoke more of a scientific response than an emotional one, like “This is a 6’0” blonde-haired person who exists,” and not “This is a person I wish I’d never met; this is a person who has made me less of one.” Moving on is not to destroy or to combust or to set ablaze, it is simply to move, to advance through space and time, to leave behind the familiar dull of heartbreak for the unknown, the new, the strange.
As I get older, I recognize just how important it is to be surrounded by people who deeply believe in our value and goodness even when we lose our footing. It took me years to rid myself of the lite-dimmers and it has been much clearer sailing since. Not that there isn’t value in having difficult people to overcome, but eventually it becomes essential to be surrounded by those who lift and wish us higher. If they don’t see you in your highest light, wish them well and cut the cord.
That’s it, I guess. Just go on living, whether you feel like it or not.
I wrote a poem about it, and then threw it away, because that’s the last thing I need right now: More words dedicated to people who will never dedicate a single thing to me.
Justine, twenty-one, design student, living in Seattle
She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future.