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Thanks, But No Thanks : A Birthday Letter To My Ex

Posted: October 21, 2014

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The end of some relationships are the start of another. Here is a story of how travel helps in finding yourself and leaving misery behind.

It is weird how a day once so important to you becomes just another random day later. You meet some people, share a phase of life together, and then separate. Life moves on, you move on, and one fine day, that date takes you back down memory lane. But now, this date is just another day of your life.

Last year, it was around this time that I left you without giving any explanation. Things were getting messy – arguments, blame games and too much interference in each other’s lives had made the love between us vanish. I left you saying “I want to see you happy”. It was a tough decision, but a firm mind.

I left my job, my home in Mumbai, blocked you out of my life – just to figure out later that it was not your happiness that I was bothered about, but the loss of me. You were right when you said that I had changed in the past 2 years. I was looking for “me” in us – that bubbly, cheerful, pampered, and mischievous girl. The girl who had an aim – to create an identity of her own.

Caring for you, loving you, and getting nothing in return apart from criticism and dominance made me submissive in the relationship. Over time, this impacted my self-confidence too. Every time you went for any adventure trip, I wished I could join, but all I heard from you was – “you aren’t fit for it”. Frankly, it killed me. Your perception is what I envisioned myself as, but somewhere deep within me, that strong-willed dreamer  was still alive, calling me to let her out.

Every time you went for any adventure trip, I wished I could join, but all I heard from you was – “you aren’t fit for it”. Frankly, it killed me.

My train journeys from Mumbai to Pune were the only times I allowed her to overtake me. That seven-hour journey (to and fro) became the only motivation for me to come and visit you. Amidst those strangers, usually at a window seat, I would recline my head at the window, listen to some music, and talk to myself – at times, with tears flowing down my cheeks.  The questions that I confronted every time were “What have you become? Are you happy doing this?”

Every time I thought of a break-up, the thought of life without you made me feel helpless. I was so used to you. Then I realised it was not love but this dependence that made me slog to keep our relationship alive. It took me 2 years to make my mind strong enough to say goodbye to you, and then, I became my best friend.

When I was at home doing nothing, amidst all that arguments for marriage and career, all I could hear from within was “there is something you need to figure out, and that is yourself”. My home, my family, did not give me the peace of mind that I was looking for. My heart said – runaway to some lonely place where it is just you. Explore yourself.

This went on for three months, and then I got a DSLR, a random thought and an impulsive purchase. But the camera instigated me to explore it more, and I planned my road trip to Kutch. While on the way from Surat to Ahmedabad, on the wide expressway, I was looking out of the widow that night and just gazing at the cars we left behind. I was thoughtless; a pin-drop silence in my mind.

Nothing bothered me, nothing made me worried, it was just that moment. I felt calm after ages. My mind and heart were suddenly speaking the same thing, “It feels wonderful to just move on”. I found peace on the road. I found peace in travel. This is how travel got into me. People, culture, places, and roads inspired me.

I felt calm after ages. My mind and heart were suddenly speaking the same thing, “It feels wonderful to just move on”

It was during my recent trip to Ladakh that I realised I am a nomad, a wanderer, crazy for experiences. Every day I crave a new life, new people, new places and most importantly, new experiences just because it makes me explore more and find a new me. Travel bought me close to me and I finally got me back – the bubbly me.

Frankly, all this was possible because of you. Hence, I write this letter, just to express my gratitude, to say “Thank You”. Whatever you gave me, or didn’t, in those six years, inspires me to explore myself to figure out my strengths and passions. I wake up with a new challenge for me each day.

I could not have been here if it was not for you. So today, on your birthday, I take this opportunity to wish me, as it is on this day last year that I came across the new me; that I made that firm decision to end “us”and explore “me”. I am single, strong, and happy.

Happy Birthday, baby.

Pic credit: Image of a woman traveller via Shutterstock


A social media marketer by profession and a hobbits writer, traveler and photographer. My motto

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