While waiting for his flight out of San Francisco, a man noticed a folded note in the empty seat beside him. Penciled on the back was “Read Me.” He tried to resist picking it up for a while, but when no one came to claim the note, he gave in. Then, as he unfolded the sheet, a necklace dropped into his lap.
Clearly well-loved, the gold chain with a heart for a locket sat in the man’s palm as he began reading the note.
Right on top, the very first thing the note said was that the writer had just left an abusive relationship.
She told her story simply: After three years with a man who had controlled every aspect of her life, she felt lost after she left him. She continued to wear this necklace, which was a gift from him, even though it was a daily reminder of something she wanted to forget.
It was a symbol of the many ways she was still stuck in the past.
But as time wore on, his memories began to fade, and she started to rediscover herself. She began to see the world without his opinions coloring every experience and realized “how extraordinary and breathtaking life is.”
She began to find peace and joy in the simple pleasures of the world, through the food she ate and the pictures she took, until she was finally able to close the book on the “final chapter” of her past life.
She explained to the stranger who would pick up her note that by giving away this necklace, she was “letting go of a relic of the past.”
For her this act is a “joyous declaration” that she is moving on with “strength, grace, and deep, lasting peace.”
Finally, the writer who simply signed off as “Jamie” hoped that the finder of the necklace accepts it as a gift and a reminder that everyone deserves happiness in life.
Jamie’s triumph over her the memories of her painful past touched the man, and he decided to share her story with the world in the only way he knew how. An active member on Reddit, he uploaded a picture of the letter with the necklace lying on top.
Underneath, he added a note addressing the woman he only knew through a letter: “I don’t know who you are or where you are, but I wanted to assure you that your message was heard by more than just myself. I wish you strength and love in your future.”
When the Reddit community read Jamie’s words, quite a few commenters were reminded of their own past relationships. Someone even recalled how wearing a gift by an abusive ex had made them feel dirtied, so they sold the jewelry for a few hundred dollars. The commenter then added that she wishes she could have thrown it into the smelting pot herself.
Most took inspiration from the letter writer who had described herself as a “work in progress.” It was clear that Jamie had struggled hard to rise from the ashes of a relationship that had tried to fundamentally change who she was.
At the end of the day, that note in the airport waiting lounge told the story of a woman who had left her failures and fears behind. When people read her letter, they could feel her hopes for her future and more than one person was inspired to think deeply about their own choices. And that’s exactly what Jamie wanted.
The full text is below:
“I recently left an emotionally abusive relationship After months of insults I wont repeat, false accusations, lies, delusions, broken mirrors, nightly battles…. I left. I know that I was being poisoned by each day that I stayed. So with a heavy heart, I left my lover of three years, knowing that I had already put it off too long. At first he begged, then he cursed, but eventually he paced his bags and faded out of my life like a bad dream. For the first few weeks, my body seemed to reject this. For three years I had seen the world through him-colored glasses. I didn’t know who I was without him. Despite the kindness of friends and even strangers. I could not help feeling utterly alone. But it was this sense of aloneness that set me free. Somewhere along the way, I let go. I released all of the painful memories, the names he had called me, the shards of him buried deep in my brain. I stopped believing the things hehad made me think about myself. I began to see how extraordinary, breathtakingly beautiful life is. I meditated, drank too much coffee, talked to strangers, laughed at nothing. I wrote poetry and stopped to smell and photograph every flower. Once I discovered that my happiness depends only on myself, nothing could hurt me anymore. I have found and continue to find peace. Each day I am closer to it than I was yesterday. I am a work in progress but I am full to the brim with gratitude and joy. And so, since I have opened a new chapter in my life, I want to peacefully part with the contents of the last chapter. The end of my relationship was the catalyst for a wealth of positive changes in my life. It was a symbol, most importantly, it was an act of self-love. It was a realization that I deserved to be happy and I could choose to be. And so, in an effort to leave behind the things that do not help me grow, I am letting go of a relic from the painful past. I wore this necklace-a gift from him-every day for over tow years. To me, letting it go is a joyous declaration that I am moving forward with strength and grace and deep, lasting peace. Please accept this girt as a reminder that we all deserve happiness. Whoever you are, and whatever pain you have faced, I hope you find peace.