By Ananya Panchal

If I had a quarter for every time someone told me “it’s time to move on,” I wouldn’t have spent the past week trying to acquire 16 quarters for just one load of laundry. In other words, I’d be rich. 

Side note — can someone explain to me how we are in an economic coin shortage? Where did the coins go? What does this mean? Also, why is laundry so expensive to do?

A year ago I went through a serious breakup and six months ago I relapsed with my drug of choice: my ex. Let’s just say it was not one of my best decisions and it pretty much obliterated the friendship I was unnecessarily trying to salvage.

That was the moment I finally told myself it was time to move on. I said the words to myself in the mirror between tears and a shaky voice. It was cathartic.

At that moment, to me, moving on did not mean finding a new partner the way it stereotypically does. It meant moving on from memories and habits of my past self, no longer settling for any less than I deserve and treating myself with all the attention and affection I was giving another person — evidently the wrong person. Moving on meant embracing the single life, which I hadn’t had in almost three years. 

This whole idea of “winning a breakup” is bulls—. 

Who cares? Who’s counting? And who the hell defines “winning”?

Moving on cannot be measured by the amount of time it takes to find a new “boo.” It doesn’t erase the past or make your pain any less valid. Moving on is simply an unquantifiable process that allows you to let go of something or someone who no longer deserves to take up space in your mind.

And just like moving on doesn’t have to mean entering a new relationship, it also doesn’t always mean leaving an old relationship. You can — and should — move on from toxic friends, sh—y jobs, racist family members, bad habits and pretty much anything that doesn’t add positivity into your life. You knew life before those people, places and things you are now moving on from. And trust me, you will know — and love — life without them.

I guess somewhere between landing my dream internship, moving into my first apartment with my two best friends and saving Saturdays for the girls, my heart had mended on its own. Without a status update, the spontaneous creation of an online dating profile and adding a heart next to a new contact in my phone, I altogether forgot I “needed” another person in my life. I moved on without hearing the explanation I deserved or getting the closure that I needed. Or should I say, thought I needed.

Here I am, a year after my heartbreak, living — and quite enjoying — the single life at a safe distance. I exercise every day, read the news every day and I write every day. 

One day, I will conform to the traditional connotation of moving on and commit to a new person. But for now, I’ve moved on to me. And I’m having fun.