1. Collect every photograph, every dusty memory, movie ticket stub, dried out rose petal. Stick them all neatly in a pile in front of you. Play a masochistic game with yourself. See how long before the tears appear.
2. Try to turn an entire relationship into a box full of things. Convince yourself you can stuff it all in a shoebox and never touch it again. Out of sight, out of mind.
3. Cave one night and grab the box and dump everything out. Look at all these things. Remember they are just things. They don’t have power over you. Love, try to remember that.
4. Scroll through your phone for a distraction. Consider the boy from the bar you met a few nights ago. Or the one you know would jump at any chance to be with you. Consider attention from the wrong person better than nothingness. Decide on nothingness. You don’t need to drag anyone else into this.
5. Re-read old text messages and look for warning signs. Hope for some red flags, some evidence that this was coming.
6. Blame yourself.
7. Blame him.
8. Blame completely arbitrary things, like timing. Or distance. Or pretty, shiny girls who must have something you don’t.
9. Call your best friend and request a night out. She has too much work, but promises a raincheck. Go by yourself. Bring a book. When a man asks if he can buy you a drink, say no. Buy one yourself.
10. Create a playlist that makes you cry and ache until you’re convinced something is medically wrong. Title it ‘HE FUCKING BROKE MY HEART’ and send it to your friends. Friends who are happy with their significant other and probably getting married to them within the next few years. Whatever. You make good playlists. They’ll still appreciate it.
11. Watch The Office until 2 in the morning. Get distracted watching videos of John Krasinski and Emily Blunt. Think of tweeting, “If they ever split, love really IS dead.” Don’t. It’s dumb.
12. Grab a journal and write, “We all die. I guess it would make sense love does too.”
13. Rip the page out. Throw it away. Groan at your melodramatic ass.
14. Speaking of your ass, put on that pair of jeans that are always a little too tight. They’re tighter. Swear off potato chips.
15. Bring a bag of Kettle Brand Sea Salt and Vinegar into bed with you.
16. Put on a full face of make up to literally sit inside in front of your computer. Snap some selfies and stick them on Instagram. Maybe if others think you’re doing okay, you’ll trick yourself into thinking it too.
17. Draft a text to him. Delete it.
18. Go to a spin class. Think about Elle Woods and endorphins and make a mental note to do this more often.
19. Never go to another spin class again.
20. Make out with someone you’re only half interested in. Feel gross. Not gross because you kissed someone new. Who bleeping cares? No, gross because your lips remember what magic feels like and this isn’t it.
21. Schedule an impromptu hair appointment. Get bangs again.
22. Immediately regret getting bangs again.
23. Think about getting another tattoo. Look at your bank account. Decide to be responsible for once.
24. Watch the monologue Anya gives in ‘The Body’ episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer over and over again and sob until your eyes hurt. Wake up looking like the Michelin Man.
25. Dance in the shower and practice your award acceptance speech. Not sure of the actual award, give a generic speech. Squeeze the shampoo bottle and squeak out something predictable like, “I can’t believe this is real life!”
26. Organize your closet.
27. Go to bed at 7:30 pm.
28. Tell yourself tomorrow will be better.
29. Wake up. See if it’s true.