It wasn’t easy.
When things started getting bumpy in the relationship, I walked out. I tried being tolerant, tried ignoring the bumpy ride, but it had been too long. An aunt asked me why I didn’t stay back and fight. I said I didn’t want to because it was pointless.
I imagined a whole new world, everything looked bright and cheerful on the other side. The first few months were exciting and scary. But over time, reality hit. This was different. It came with its own set of challenges.
I found myself thinking more and more about my ex-relationship. I hadn’t said good bye properly. I hadn’t said and did what I should have before leaving. I had all these unresolved emotions. So, I went back – after 3.5 years.
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m not talking about Andy.
This is my story of my relationship with India – one I’ve had for 33 years. A relationship that was great for most of my life, but politics, crime and the education system made me re-think everything. We left with four suitcases to start a new relationship with Australia.
In the last year, I found myself romanticizing India again. My friends in Melbourne told me that I had to make that first trip back to ‘get India out of my system’. They said I’d hate the dirt and the pollution. They said I wouldn’t ever want to go back after that first visit – much like the ex you never want to see again. But India didn’t upset or disgust me like they said it would.
I spent 12 days in India this October and loved every single day. While India remains India, it is an ex who I want to be friends with because of my family and friends who live there. I will enjoy the friendship I share with India, it just won’t be an intimate relationship anymore.
When my flight landed in Melbourne, I remember thinking that nothing was better than home. I think this was the first time I genuinely called Australia ‘home’ because I had a chance to say goodbye to my ex. I now have closure.
Don’t under estimate how home sick you may feel in a new country, don’t ignore, avoid or be embarrassed by it. Acknowledge it and identify how you can deal with it.
After all, India was your first and longest relationship.