By Laurie Maemura

When a relationship ends, it’s very difficult to pick up the pieces. When someone has been a part of your life for so long, then suddenly isn’t in your life at all, it’s very easy to question everything. Being single again can be a confusing mess! It doesn’t feel real and this new fact may be unacceptable.

It’s human condition to go through many stages and moods in the months of grieving a break up. Everyone grieves differently, and at varying paces. Just when you think you’re doing better, certain things like the time of year or songs bring up memories and an overwhelming sentimental shadow clings to you. So you’re back at square one, reminiscing and staring down into what seems like an empty abyss.

But the process of moving on doesn’t have to be bleak! During times of withdrawal or moments that set you back, it is crucial to remember what made you feel angry and unhappy, and hold onto that. When we start to use those moods to channel growth, we can learn how to progress towards a new beginning. Our powerful selves can accept the past and adapt it into a proactive lifestyle.

Looking towards the future with a new mindset helps you to realize that this is the perfect time to work on you. Dating yourself is taking care of yourself! It’s important to remember to maintain a routine every day. In the morning, make a schedule of goals or maybe your bucket list that you want to accomplish and try to cross each of them off by the end of the week!

You may find yourself alone in the beginning of your self-growth journey; which can feel awkward at first. Hanging out by yourself and especially eating alone in public is a huge step for those who normally prefer to be around another person or group; however, it’s important to acknowledge the baby steps. You can also fill your time with a new hobby such as planting succulents; joining a book club and finding new authors, or going to a group exercise and meeting like-minded friends. 

By keeping yourself busy and pivoting away from negative thinking, you are allowing yourself to be submerged in new territories, bringing challenges to your life and polishing your finest qualities. With time and patience, soon you won’t feel as lonely anymore. Soon, you will see that you are growing into a self-sufficient and grounded friend. And when you’re ready to hang out with friends, allow yourself to be open to creating new memories and overriding the old ones.

When you finally understand you are your number one priority, the only dependency that should exist is on your new outlook towards a positive, healthy lifestyle.

Laurie Maemura is a UC Riverside business alumni, staff reporter for CCSF’s “The Guardsman,” music curator for “hightide SF,” musician, concert go-er, and photographer.

This article was originally published on VINAZINE.