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*Warning—salty language ahead!
What would you say to your friend who has recently had a breakup?
If I am being honest here, which of course I am, I would say, “Fuck off! Just get the hell outta here! And don’t call me!”
Now, before you throw a narrow-eyed look at my article, hear me out first. This is piece-of-gold advice, and I bet that even before you scroll down to the end, you would want to join my circle to keep receiving such terrific words of advice.
So, why would I unabashedly be so unkind to someone with a fresh heartache? Asking my folks to fuck off? Well, all said and done, there is no better scheme to quick-fix your broken heart than to actually fuck off—to a place miles away. Take that backpack out, throw in some basics, buy the ticket, and leave.
Just like that? Yes!
My mind-reading notes tell me what you are all thinking right now. Why would I set my newly heartbroken friend off travelling, especially at a time when he needs his people by his side the most? Wouldn’t it be best for them to stay within the walls of comfort, so the heart can heal quickly?
“Well, what do you know about heart and healing?” asks the heart.
The idea of travelling right after a breakup might seem ludicrous. Who said it would be easy to just leave like that? But also, who said it wouldn’t be if you tried?
The narrow city lane you haven’t walked into before, the never-heard-of country music from the corner of the street, the smiles from the faces you haven’t seen before, the unfamiliarity of each moment spent away from home, and finally, that sudden shift in life’s perspective that you didn’t see coming—all these episodes and more will make you one with your heart.
This hidden-gem phenomenon of travelling right after a breakup, which I simply call “Breakup Tourism,” is guaranteed to piece together that 1000-jigsaw-puzzle-pieces heart of yours.
So I bring in, from my tryst with breakup tourism, some tips to go by:
Free Wi-Fi? Turn around.
The farthest you get from the Wi-Fi zone, the closest you get to yourself.
If Buddha were sitting next to me, he would pat me on the shoulder for saying this.
So here is the thing: you will always find happy people on the internet, but the internet itself is not a happy place, and so, the on-camera happiness of “the people of the internet” should not be confused with how miserable your post-breakup life is. The world is not waiting for you to catch up.
Take your time off from that constant checking up on the world and do some catching up with yourself—walk on the beach, go for a hike, watch the sunset, try writing a haiku, or do what I did—go deep into the woods, lie down on the grass, look up at the sky and just breathe.
That stranger on the next table? Go, say “Hi.”
Strike a conversation with that stranger who looks sober, trade stories you otherwise won’t tell anyone—and in no time you’ll reckon that your life is so much more than just a failed relationship.
The best part about meeting people for the first time, whom we also probably won’t ever meet again, is that it gives you the freedom to choose whoever you want to be. You can start your story from wherever you want and draw to a close when you so desire. Your life choices and decisions will not be put to the test.
So, turn around, smile, and just say, “Hi.”
“Food is the only beautiful thing that truly nourishes.”
Says Richard Gere to Winona Ryder in the Hollywood movie “Autumn in New York.” If only the Academy Awards had a category for Best Dialogue, this would be the winning entry.
The grieving heart does not suffer alone; it takes down with it the organs it neighbours. The good food delivers back the nourishment to your body that your heart took away in grief. So, ditch breakfast in bed and step into that quirky café. Try out that local curry and you would be amazed to find out that even before you reach out for that second bite, the newness of the flavours and that teasing aroma will have won your heart back, along with the pure goodness of the food.
Love thyself. Really?
Everyone will tell you to “love yourself” but nobody will tell you how to.
I’ll tell you how to. Don’t.
Do we ever unlove ourselves after we break up from our partner? Can we ever unlove ourselves? Isn’t just keeping up with ourselves during those lonely times enough? Isn’t this acceptance, an expression of self-love, too? Somewhere in the course of your travel, amidst all these happenings, an epiphany will meet you—your heart had no exclusive desire to suffer, yet it did. And it is then the knot that grappled your heart would start unpretzeling itself.
Life, for some time, might feel like an abandoned yacht in the middle of an ocean on the worst night, but sometimes all we have to do is keep sailing.
So, if you are a brand new broken-hearted singleton of town, get the hell outta the city you are currently in, fuck off to somewhere far away, and don’t call me. Well, not unless you are hiking and a grizzly bear is running after you, in which case I wouldn’t be of much help anyway.
But rest assured, in the heart of my hearts, I know you would be all right. Just all right.
…unless of course, the bear catches you first.