PS: Most times, people just want to let out all their hurt, but we too scared to let anyone see our drama. We don’t like to be tagged the “Primadonna” so we hide and bottle up all our feelings. However, we can’t afford to be homogenous all the time, so I have somehow come up with a way to let out all our pain when we are going through that heartbreak or when we lose a beloved.
First people, cry as loudly as you need. Be dramatic. Think about your favourite romantic/action movie; the chance meeting, the inevitable conflict, that epic break up/killer scene. Go to that place in your head. Use up as much energy as you can because the more you can get out now the better. Cry your eyes out. Forget about the advice columns that tell you about how to walk away gracefully or how to appear unaffected, because you are so affected. Even Edgar Allan Poe said, “I was never really insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched.” Go there. Give yourself that one moment of absolute insanity. Do this now so you don’t have to stay up at night playing this scenario over and over in your mind, wondering what perfect combination of expletives would have sweetened the moment. Get it all out. Using up all that energy is good for you.
Exhaust yourself, and then Sleep. Activate zombie mode. It is ok. Draw the blinds closed; get under your covers and sleep. Go to bed at 7pm if you need to; wake up at 3 in the afternoon. Unless of course you are a student or have a job, in which case you’re going to have to restrict this behaviour to outside the hours of 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. You get the idea. Turn off your phone. It can wait. Fight the urge to call everyone you know to recount the epic episode and what you did above. We don’t need to go back to that place; we’re so done with crying already. What’s done is done. S/he is gone. Fight the urge to call her/him to remind her/him of the shoes s/he left at your place or her/his jacket still hanging in your closet. Fight the urge to ask her/him to come over to collect it. Do not prepare for her/his arrival. You will not be casually watching TV in your most flattering clothes. You don’t look casual at all. Do not convince yourself that this is okay.
More also, hang up on anyone that tries to tell you it is. Sleep. Get up only to bathe and eat. Who said ice cream and chocolate isn’t food? Order take-out, buy that Amala/fufu/starch you’ve been meaning to eat all the while. Pick up a birthday cake on the way home. It’s not your birthday, but no one needs to know that. Call up your close friends, talk and laugh your heart out. In fact, play Truth or Dare. Make a reservation for 1 at your favorite restaurant if you’re feeling that brave. Put on your hoodie and sunglasses, find a quiet corner and eat, dear. Eat! Your steak will never leave you; that bread will never look at another person. Stuff your face.
Leggings have stretch. Slacks are the best at this moment. Sit in front of that plate. Go all in and write. It doesn’t have to make sense. It doesn’t have to be coherent. Put something on the page to keep your hands busy. Put something on the page so you can read it a few months from now and laugh till you cry. Write because this is all you know for sure right now. Write. Write. Write.
Consequently, breathe. You’ve given yourself some time for high drama. Bravo. It’s time to get outside, you stink. You really could use the fresh air. Maybe you should sign up for that MTN Project fame audition or Nigeria’s Got Talent; you have lots of experience by now. Even if you don’t make it, the videos you’ll get out of it would be so funny. You could even make a funny video and put on instagram or just watch a lot of crazeclown or AfricanApe’s video. Go for a walk, a swim, get your yoga pants on and get back on the mat. Go to the gym, because “the greatest revenge is a killer butt or great muscles/biceps”. Wise words from a funny friend.
After you’ve done that, get clean. Put your clothes away and do some laundry. If ironing is your Zen state, then get to it. Get rid of the clutter. Clean up your space and clean up your heart. Delete, Recycle and delete. Her/his face book, yes. Twitter, yes. Pictures, yes. Instagram, Unfollow. Let go. Keeping track of her/his every update or activity will only remind you that life moves on. It always does. S/he pushed you to eating a birthday cake by yourself, remember that. Save yourself the trouble and get clean. You may have to go back to Crying for this one but do so in the quiet of your own home. No one needs to see your tears again.
Moreover, don’t fail to say yes. When your friends ask you to check out that overpriced new club. Say yes. Put on your favorite outfit. Yes, the one you were fantasizing about wearing during your sleep. Now is a good time. Get pretty/handsome and go out. Go dancing, drink a little too much, and laugh as loud as you can. Turn off your phone and give it to your designated driver with firm instructions not to return it to you till morning, even if you beg or better still, leave it at home. Even if you like, have a two-year old’s tantrum in the middle of the dance floor. You will laugh about it in the morning. Dance. Have a drink or two or ten. You are still beautiful and you should remember that tonight and any other night you need.
Additionally, if you can, do it. Remember that trip you wanted to take? To another city, to another state, to another continent. Do it. Because life is short. Because you are single and you are free and because you can. Go and make a plan. Put some money away. Take your time, then book that ticket or fill up your gas tank and go. Go with a friend or alone. Whichever way you want to, just do it. When you are in a city thousands of miles from your empty bedroom, you will remember that the world is big and you are tiny drop in a big ocean. It is breathtaking to be a part of something so vast and powerful. You are powerful. In ways you hadn’t even imagined. Powerful enough to forgive without expectations, without conditions, without shame. Forgive her/him. Because you must. Because doing anything else would be swallowing poison. Let it go.
And then, when you get back, move on. It’s difficult to remember what it’s like to be single; to smile at someone else, to flirt casually. Take your time on this one. There’s a thin line between a sexy wink and a crazy twitch, but practice makes perfect. Accept that invitation to coffee or ask someone pretty out for lunch. Go for drinks. Go for a movie, eat dinner, talk on the phone, go for a walk, enjoy the company and relax. Just like that, you are moving on. In the very least you are making new friends.
Finally, let your heart Love. The heart like any muscle needs exercise to get stronger. Think of this as one epic work out. You’ve done some heavy lifting. Stay open. There is love everywhere and you are worthy of it. Do not be afraid to try again and to fail again and again. You must fall in love with yourself everyday and leave a little room for anyone brave enough to join you.