Jell-O Shots

So yesterday I posted a story I wrote during my senior year that I found while going through an old computer. I found another story while going through it, although this one has quite a different tone. Girl In The Tight Black Dress was my favorite story that I wrote in that class, but Jell-O Shots would have to be my second favorite. I especially enjoy it because it’s based on a true story. Keep in mind, this was for a Creative Writing: Fiction class, so there are fictional elements in it. But those are for me to know and you to guess at and enjoy 😀

Elliott Ness

ENGL 302-01


Jell-O Shots

                My mom and dad are, what many would term, older parents. For my mother’s sake (and because I value my life) I won’t tell you exactly how old they are. The point is, if you met them now, you’d never believe the story I’m about to tell you. They’re middle-aged, my mom a manager at a cardiac cath lab, and my dad just passed his 30th anniversary at the hardware store he’s been working at for seemingly his whole life. They’ve raised two incredibly handsome boys who are in college now, allowing them to spend their nights catching up on shows they’ve recorded and falling asleep on the couch at 8:30. This is not the way things have always been, however.

                They are not older parents because they had been struggling with love and met late in life, or because they had divorced and met after a previous marriage. Both of them had grown up in Minnesota, and by different twists of fate wound up in Arizona. It was there that they met and fell in love in their mid-twenty’s. Now I don’t know if my dad was afraid of commitment, or if my parents just weren’t ready to settle down, but they dated for 7 years before finally getting married. They spent those years doing what most twenty year-olds want to do: party and go on a lot of vacations. This continued into their early 30’s until it all had to come to an abrupt, unplanned stop. My parents were married on the steps of the house I’ve grown up in my entire life, surrounded by close friends and family. Three months later, a healthy 8-and-a-half pound Elliott Ness was born and they were suddenly parents.

                As a college student now, I know that urge to party does not just magically leave your system one day. Although my parents were now married and had a child, the lifestyles of their unmarried friends had not changed. In order to keep healthy relationships in both their family and home lives, they had to make some sacrifices. Every once in a while, they had to go out with their friends and party. And to make sure their family life tied in well with their friends life, the whole family had to be there. Yes, that included me. Baby Elliott wore a number of costumes at themed parties in his early life, but most of them revolved around being some sort of hippie. Being the first child in my parents’ friends circle, I was a spoiled little hippie. On one noteworthy night before a trip to San Diego, my dad (having lived through the actual hippie era), along with the aid of alcohol, decided to walk across a pile of burning bras. Unfortunately for him, some of the women had forgotten that their bras had underwire in them and my mom spent the entire next day pushing him around in a wheelchair at Sea World.

                Yeah, my parents and I had some crazy times when I was very young and they adjusted to parenthood for the first time. They began to settle down, and instead of going out to parties, they would occasionally have their friends over for some subdued fun. The nights would generally consist of some drinks, music, telling stories, laughter, and hanging out on the porch.

Now I was only about 3 years old at the time, so the details are fuzzy, but from my mom’s retelling of the story they had made Jell-O shots one evening. Like most youngsters, I was quite fond of Jell-O. It’s the perfect children’s food: It comes in all sorts of colors; it is bouncy and jiggly and can be molded into many sorts of shapes, making it the perfect food for playing with; and very importantly, it is sweet and delicious. There was one quality that I was unaware of that makes Jell-O the perfect adult food as well: it has a remarkable ability to retain alcohol to serve as a delicious, drunken treat. I reached for one of the small paper cups and promptly had my hand smacked away.

Baffled, I pulled my hand away and shot a sad look towards my attacker. My mom looked at me and said “Those aren’t for you sweetie”.

“But why can’t I have some Jell-O?”

                “Because they have alcohol in them Honey”. Little did my mom know that those words would stick with me. I had no idea what alcohol was. All I knew was that it was apparently for grown-ups, and it kept me from being able to eat Jello.

                Sometime the following week, my mom took my baby brother and I to McDonald’s to get me a Happy Meal. She took us inside so that I could play in the play area. When it was our turn to order our food, my mom gave the cashier my order and ordered a sandwich for herself. Before she could finish, I blurted out, “What are you going to get to drink Mom?” and I really emphasized this next part: “Alcohol?”

                I don’t think it’s humanly possible to count how fast Mom’s jaw hit the floor. Astonished and embarrassed, she looked around at the shocked faces surrounding her and quickly grabbed my hand and we left the McDonald’s before our order was even complete. It’s safe to say that we never went to that McDonald’s again.

                She wasn’t really mad at me, how could she be? I was making a joke, but she made it clear that I could never make that joke again. From then on, she always made sure to have a batch of virgin Jell-O shots just for me. 




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Girl In The Tight Black Dress

So I’ve been on a little hiatus from my blog, because as a teacher in my real estate class (Oh yeah, I’ve had a career change, but that’s a story for another day) says, “Life got in the way”. A lot has happened in the ~6 weeks since I last posted, and maybe I’ll post a blog soon catching everyone up. Or maybe I’ll just keep that chunk of life to myself, haven’t decided yet 😉

Anyway, I was using an old laptop earlier and I came across some stories that I wrote for a creative writing class last year in the final semester of my senior year at Cal Lu. One of them- my final paper for that class- really stirred up some feelings in me again, as it’s my favorite story that I wrote for that class, and the best in my opinion (as it should be, since it was my final paper after all). It’s called Girl In The Tight Black Dress. I don’t want to say too much more about it, just read and hopefully enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it and then re-reading it today 🙂

Elliott Ness

Creative Writing: Fiction


 Girl in The Tight Black Dress

                You would know who I’m describing the second you laid eyes on her. There are few women in the world with whom she can be compared. At first glance, she’s a knockout. At second glance, you can’t believe she looks as good as she did with the first glance. She’s sexy and she knows it. She’s also broken. Long ago, some fool who didn’t realize what he had broke her heart. So now, almost every night, she goes out and tries to numb the pain, trying to fill the bottomless pit where her heart used to be with booze and meaningless sex. And every night, she fails.

                When she walks into a bar, all eyes fixate on her. The men look at her with lust, while the women look at her with envy. She doesn’t mind; she craves the attention. She longs for the longing that she sees in their eyes. She struts to the bar slowly, in her 4-inch high heels and tight black dress that just barely covers her ample derrière. Those long, smooth legs seem to stretch for miles. Her silky black hair blows subtly as the breeze rushes in from the open door behind her. As she takes a seat at the bar, it’s like feeding time in the lions’ den. She is swarmed by men who know she is way out of their league, but they swing for the fences anyway. She ignores them and orders a drink, instructing the bartender to ignore all of the poor schlubs offering to pay for it. These were not the men she was looking to go home with. She knew exactly what she was looking for before she even got to the bar. She would get him by the end of the night, of that she was certain. But for now, she would bide her time and sip on her Cosmopolitan.

                As the night grew older, more men would approach her trying to buy her drinks and hit on her, and one by one they all got turned away. She had a very subtle way of doing so. Instead of looking directly at them and shooing them away, she would simply turn on her barstool and face the other direction. Some got the hint right away. Others waited for quite some time before realizing that she would not turn back around while they were still there.

                100 rejections later, around midnight, a man sat down on the stool next to her. Using her peripheral vision, she could tell that this wasn’t just another schmo trying to work up the courage to talk to her. In fact, he didn’t even seem to realize she was there. She heard him order a scotch on the rocks and slowly turned her head to get a better look at who was sitting to her left. He seemed exhausted, his dress shirt unbuttoned at the top and his tie undone. Surely this would not be his last scotch of the night. Then she got a peak at his face and discovered that this was the one: this was the guy she’d be going home with. She couldn’t believe how much he looked like him. He was ruggedly handsome, 3 days worth of dark stubble covering his face, and his hair done up but messy just how she liked it. He was fit, that much she could tell, and her heart began pounding at the thought of testing his cardio later.

                She sparked up a conversation with the man and they began to hit it off immediately. She could tell that the man liked her and she had him right where she wanted him. As they continued to talk, she couldn’t help but notice how much this man reminded her of the heart breaker. That would not happen to her this time, though. This time, it was her turn to break this young man’s heart, just as she had done to many men since hers had been broken several years ago. It may not be the direct payback she had dreamed of for so long, but passing along the heart break to a look-alike would be almost as sweet. The distraught look on his face as she walks out the door and never returns would be nearly the same as that on the heart-breaker’s face.

                They stayed at the bar and drank and talked until 2 am rolled around. Closing time. She whispered something in the man’s ear, inaudible to anyone but him, and he responded with a nod and a look of approval. Her plan was working. They hailed a cab and went back to his apartment. Little did she know that it would be the greatest night of her life. The sex was incredible, and instead of getting out of bed and leaving immediately after as she had planned, she curled up next to him and slept through the night.

                She awoke to the rising sun peering through the blinds, the happiest she had been in a long time. Still half asleep, she reached her arm out and felt around the bed, but it was empty. Nobody else was in bed with her. She began to panic. No. No no no this couldn’t happen again! She had started falling for this guy and he abandoned her just like the heart breaker did. She got out of bed, tied the sheet above her breasts, and frantically searched the bedroom for a note, money he left for a cab, anything to indicate that he at least left with some dignity and didn’t leave her high and dry. She left the bedroom and planned to look for anything he may have left when she saw him in the kitchen, in his boxers and a tank top, with his back to her standing over the stove. He heard her walk into the room and turned around, a smile spreading across his face.

“Good morning” he said. “I made you some breakfast” and he nodded toward the pan of scrambled eggs and bacon his hand.

“I… I thought you left” she blurted out, holding back tears.

“Why would I leave? It’s Saturday, and I happen to really like you. If you’re up for it, I’d love for you to stay and join me for breakfast”.

“You… you want me to stay?” she asked, and she smiled as her panic turned to relief.

“Of course. I don’t take just anyone home with me you know. I thought this could be the start of something special” he told her, setting the kitchen table. She took a seat beside him, and as fate would have it, it was.



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Being a good fr…

Being a good friend comes with a territory, like being good at anything. Sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do. You have to be there when other people aren’t. Clean up messes that you didn’t make. I already know I’m a damn good friend. I just hope that I’ve made enough that will be there when it’s my turn to need them. — Elliott Ness

This is another post where I’m quoting myself, but hey it’s my blog so you obviously came here to hear my opinions and feelings anyway. This is just referring to how in life we have friends, and then we have friends. The distinction is this: friends are someone you like to hang out with and have fun being around. But friends (a good friend) are those that you know you can go to them with anything and they’ll be there for you and help you out of whatever jam you’re in. I think there are a lot of people in my life who look at me as a friend because I have received a lot of late night calls asking me for help, as they knew I was someone they could count on no matter what. I take pride in being that person in people’s lives, although it’s definitely not easy at times.

So, ask yourself, what kind of friend are you?

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There are times…

There are times in life when the decision you don’t want to make and the decision you need to make coincide. These are usually the toughest decisions you’ll have to make in life, and often ones that will shape and change your life in one way or another. Give them the time and consideration they deserve, there’s no telling how much of an impact they’ll have until they are already made. — Elliott Ness

I hope it’s not bad form to quote yourself. Sometimes I just think of something and say to myself, “Damn, that’s good!” I hope to one day be quoted often, far and wide. Hopefully someone, somewhere will see this from earlier in my life and be inspired by it. 

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Beer League Softball

Beer League Softball

I know a lot of my posts are about heavy or deep, personal stuff. But I like to keep it light sometimes too. I’m on a beer league softball team with some of my best buds, most of them I’ve known since high school or before that. We play every Sunday night, and honestly it’s one of the highlights of my week. This is the first softball league I’ve been in and the first time we’ve all been on a team together. It took us a little while to mesh, but now we are clicking pretty well and I think we have a shot at the championship if we keep improving like we have. Regardless, we’re all in it for the fun, and it’s been way more fun than I imagined, so mission accomplished. I’m addicted. And I have some pretty awesome friends.

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“The grass ain’…

“The grass ain’t always greener on the other side, it’s green where you water it” — Big Sean in As Long As You Love Me

So many people just want the green grass without having to put any effort into caring for it. People with the nicest lawns are those that water it, seed it, etc. consistently. And honestly, those people are the proudest of their lawns, and rightfully so. They worked hard for what they have. The same applies to relationships and other things you work for in life. Just because you fight with someone you’re involved with doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with what you have. That fight, assuming it is a productive one, is like watering your lawn. Sure it takes effort, but you’re putting in work to become a better couple by talking about differences, and understanding the other side. Your lawn (the relationship) will be greener because of it. If you just give up on watering it and look for an already green lawn instead, you’ll never have green grass that you can be proud of. Now, that’s not to say some lawns aren’t a lost cause and should be walked away from. Some absolutely are, and no matter how much you water them they won’t get any greener. But when you find that one with great potential that just needs a little TLC, don’t let it go. Put in the work, and one day you’ll be very thankful you did. Trust me.

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So Close, Yet So Far Away

Have you ever wanted something or someone so badly, more than anything else in the world, and it’s literally within arm’s reach, but you know you can’t grab it? No matter how hard you grasp at it, it always evades you? Even if you caught it, you knew it wouldn’t be yours? The fact that it’s so close makes it seem so attainable, and you wish it were a million miles away instead so you wouldn’t get your hopes up? I have, and I’m going through something similar lately. You can only reach for it for so long before you have to walk away and accept that you’re not meant to have it right now. You can’t kill yourself mentally and emotionally trying to grab it over and over to no avail. Maybe one day I’ll be able to grab for it and I’ll catch it and it will be mine. Maybe not. I will almost certainly try again at some point, for if it weren’t worth it, I wouldn’t have been trying to grab at it so desperately for so long. But right now is just simply not the time. Walking away is one of the hardest things I have ever done, but I know it’s for the best. Wish me luck that I can stay strong guys.


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Don’t miss out …

Don’t miss out on the next great thing to come into your life because you’re dwelling on the last good thing that left it. — Elliott Ness

I thought of this quote today and thought it was a pretty good one. I don’t know if someone has said a similar variation of it, but I know I’ve been one to do this before. Sometimes something good has to leave your life to make way for something better. The longer we spend dwelling on the fact that it’s gone, the more likely we are to miss out on the life-changing thing or person that could be right in front of you. If you’re so focused on what you had, you could miss out on the incredible thing that you could have instead. 

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Last Words

As I mentioned before, I’ve been re-watching every season of How I Met Your Mother in anticipation of  the 9th and final season starting in the fall. This is definitely my favorite show. I’m amazed how well it relates to me, as a young man also looking for that potential future mother of my children. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for her to be the mother of my children soon. I’ve always said that I’d like to settle down, get married and have kids when I turn 30. My 20s are for me. But aren’t we all always looking for that person that we can spend the rest of our life with? It’s funny how when we’re NOT looking is when something or someone usually comes into our lives and completely turns it upside down. Anyhow, recently, I watched an episode that really struck home with me. This was at least my 3rd or 4th time seeing it, but it hits me hard every time. In season 6, Marshall and Lily decide that their ready to start trying to have a baby. Things had not been going well, so Lily and Marshall each went in to get checked to see if they were fertile. In episode 13, “Bad News”, Lily had been declared fertile and so Marshall was really nervous that he was the problem. He had been sweating it most of the episode, so when he found out that he was perfectly sterile and capable of having children, that was the best news he possibly could have gotten at the time. However, later that night, he received the worst news he possibly could have gotten. His dad, who was his best friend, his hero, the man he told everything to (sometimes a little more than he should) and always sought advice from, the guy who was always there for him and always came through, had died of a sudden heart attack. 


As can be expected, Marshall was devastated. To go from such an emotional high to such a low so quickly would be hard on anybody. I’ve experienced the hardship of having someone ripped from your life without any warning when my uncle Pat, my mom’s brother, died of a heart attack about 7 years ago. It absolutely destroyed her. She still tears up anytime she talks about him. So I’ll be honest, I cried quite a bit during this episode, every single time I watched it, because I could somewhat relate to Marshall.


Uncle Pat and my cousins Sean and Eamon. He was an incredible man, and they have turned into some mighty fine young men themselves. He would be proud.


The next episode, episode 14 called “Last Words”, was about just that: Marvin’s (Marshall’s dad) last words to his family members, which they recalled at his funeral service. Everyone else in the family had a really profound, storybook moment when they had last talked to Marvin, and some incredible last words. When talking to his friends, Marshall recalled Marvin’s last words to be “Rent Crocodile Dundee 3, it holds up”. Obviously, that was not what he wanted to share as his father’s last words as when everyone else had such an amazing story to tell about his last words to them. Shortly after his dad’s death, Marshall had discovered that he had left him a voicemail, but couldn’t get himself to listen to it for fear that these last words would be worse than “rent Crocodile Dundee 3”. At the funeral, however, he decided he had to listen to it. So he went outside to listen and the gang followed him, only for him to discover that the call was the result of a pocket dial. He was understandably disappointed, and put the message on speaker phone so his friends could hear what the message was. With the message still playing, the sound of Marvin’s pocket in the background, Marshall lost it. He became upset with God, looking up into the sky and saying things along the lines of “Thanks, thank you so much. You took the greatest man I know from me and this message is the last thing I have of him. I’m sure the sound of his pocket will be really comforting when I miss him and I’m feeling down”. But just as he had all but given up, something amazing happens. “Hello. Marshall?” Marvin had realized his phone was on and had been calling Marshall for 5 minutes. Marvin and Marshall’s mother had just recently stayed with Lily and Marshall during their potency scares, and Marvin was appreciative of their hospitality. “I just wanted to say thank you for letting us stay with you, we had a great time. I’m very proud of you, and I love you.” Marshall was near tears when he realized that his dad’s last words to him were “I love you”, but in true HIMYM style, they find a way to make you laugh even during the sad moments. Marvin’s voice came back, “Oh and if you find my foot cream, could you send it back? I need it for my fungus”. Marshall looked at the group and reiterated, “My father’s last words to me were ‘I love you'”, and they all nodded in agreement. 

Marshall went back inside, ready to take his turn to speak and tell what his father’s last words to him were. That’s when he did something surprising. “My dad’s last words to me were, ‘Rent Crocodile Dundee 3, it holds up'”. His friends were shocked, and the audience all laughed because that seemed so “Marvin”, but Marshall decided to keep his dad’s last words to himself. He wanted that special moment to be between him and his dad (and obviously his friends that had heard). 

My point with telling this story is this: Last words are important. Marshall spent the entire episode trying to convince his friends of that and they finally did at the end. Life is short, and nothing is guaranteed. You never know when it will be someone’s time to leave this earth, and you never know when is the last time you will see someone. But one thing you will remember forever when you lose someone close to you is your last words to them, and theirs to you. 

A long time ago, my mother taught me a lesson that I still try to follow to this day and will one day teach to my kids: Never go to bed angry at someone you love. There’s no guarantee that either of you will wake up. How terrible would you feel if your last words to them were something said in an argument? That’s the kind of stuff that haunts a person forever. That is why I try to always finish an argument or fight when we have it and not leave anything unfinished or carry anger with me (unless I’ve been hurt, then I try to walk away so people don’t get hurt further, but that’s a topic for another day). I probably fight with my brother more than anyone, but he means the world to me, so we get our verbal and sometimes physical blows out of the way and make sure to make up before bed time. In fact, a few months ago, I visited him down at U of A on a weekend. We had gone out and both gotten drunk, and when we returned to his apartment got into an argument, and ended up getting into a fight. Now physically, this was the worst fight we ever had. I broke my finger punching him in the nose (which I think broke his nose), and it’s still messed up to this day. I had bumps on my head from where he had punched me, and a big bruise on my forehead. He had dislocated his shoulder and broke some ribs from me tackling him into the closet (so I think I won, but that’s not important 🙂 ). I woke up the next morning, in obvious pain, but in his bed, tucked in. He let me sleep in his bed and tucked me in just a short while after we had a street style fight. That’s just the kind of bond we have, it’s the way we were raised, and there’s nothing that will ever break that. 


Best friends since birth

I have plenty of examples like this with my parents as well (minus the violence obviously). It’s hard nowadays to try and always leave making sure our last ones are good ones, since we are all on very different schedules. My parents work during the day, I work nights, my brother works all sorts of times, and we like to go out and hang out with friends on the weekends. I’ve recently started going to the gym and have gotten very active so I’ve been at home less and less. But usually we try to tell each other that we love the other before we go our separate ways. One thing we want to be sure of is that if, God forbid, one of us is taken too soon, they left on good terms and our last words were good ones. 

I’ve even used this with other people close to me in my life. My ex-girlfriend of 4 years didn’t like it at first, because sometimes it made our fights last longer than she would have liked and led to some nights with only a few hours of sleep. But she soon began to appreciate it and realize how important it was. We never woke up angry at each other. One of us could have passed away during the night, but the other would have had the comfort of knowing that our last words were “I love you”. My best friend Matt, whose daughter I’m the godfather of, and I always tell each other that we love the other before we leave, in a brotherly way of course. We’ve been there for the other  for everything and always will be. He really is like another brother to me. I even try to make sure I always leave on good terms with my other close friends and the girls that I have a crush on and really care about at that point in my life, who even if we may not be dating I would still be completely crushed if something happened to them. It’s just a great thing to get in the habit of, and it’s one less thing to worry about when you go to sleep at night. 


Me, my best friend Matt, and his beautiful daughter, my god daughter Lexi recently after she was born. Not the most attractive picture of us, but I love it

So, next time you get into a fight with someone close to you, make sure to settle it before you part ways or go to bed. Tell that person you love them. Life is a gift, and you never know when that gift will be taken. Make sure every potential last word is a good one, you’ll thank yourself when they truly are your last words.

Until next time,

I love you all, Elliott

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It’s funny, isn’t it? How the human body can withstand so much pain and punishment, yet a feeling that we have for one person can bring us to our knees and make our heart feel like it’s stuck in a trash compactor. I’ve torn ACL’s in both knees, suffered dislocated shoulders and wrists, high ankle sprains, nearly broken my tailbone, broken many bones, had foot surgery while awake, dry socket after having my wisdom teeth removed, shin splints, Osgood Schlatter’s disease, gotten hit in the nuts on a number of occasions, been gouged by a piece of glass that nicked a tendon and just missed an artery, and suffered more concussions than I can count, to name a few things. But I would rather have all of those things happen to me at the same time than to suffer through another soul-crushing heartbreak. What is it that can render even toughest, strongest specimens of our species to a crying, mushy pile of goop?


One of the craziest phenomenons that you will learn in life, at least to me, is that human beings are wired to pair up. Pretty much every specie on the planet earth is designed to pair up at some point, but humans are one of a select few that are monogamous (well, most humans anyway). The Mother Nature Network lists 11 animals that mate for life here: I find the most interesting to be the gibbons, who are the most closely related animal specie to humans that mate for life. Research has shown that they will sometimes philander (fancy word for cheat on) and dump their mate, just like humans. Makes you wonder why that is, doesn’t it? My favorite is the wolves, because they form families just like ours and are loyal to them to the death.


The main difference with humans and most animals is the emotional attachment that we form with “The One” that we think we are going to mate for life with. That, my friends, is a powerful thing we like to call LOVE. Love is a strange thing. It’s unlike any other emotion known to man. It can turn normally level-headed people absolutely crazy. Make the healthiest people feel quite unwell. I’m always talking about songs we can relate to. Well Matchbox Twenty, one of my favorite bands of all-time, has a song about the very topic, called Unwell.

Now, the inspiration for the song is not actually about heartbreak or a lost love, but I think it can relate very well to those who have had their hearts broken. The first verse and then the chorus, especially, really gets to me.

All day, staring at the ceiling making

friends with shadows on my wall

All night, hearing voices telling me

that I should get some sleep

because tomorrow might be good for something

Hold on, I’m feeling like I’m headed for a

breakdown, and I don’t know why


But I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell

I know, right now you can’t tell

But stay a while and maybe then you’ll see

a different side of me

I’m not crazy, I’m just a little impaired

I know, right now you don’t care

But soon enough you’re gonna think of me, and how I used to be

Those of us who have gone through a heartbreak, and I’d wager that most of us have, doesn’t that sound like how we feel afterwards? We don’t want to leave the house, don’t want to go out to do anything. We just want to lay in bed and stare up at the ceiling, wishing that the entire world would just go away for a while. At the same time, we can’t sleep, for fear that we will dream about the person we lost and who were all we ever dreamed of being with. We may do things that seem crazy to other people, but we know what’s really wrong. We just don’t feel like ourselves, we know that we’re just a little unwell. We often think it’s because a piece of us is missing. That person left a giant hole in our heart. Really, though, it’s that we have to learn how to live without that other person again. It’s important to remember when going through a heartbreak and the world feels like it’s coming to an end that we survived before that person came into our life and got along just fine, and we can do it again. It’s just up to us to do so. 

There is actually another song (whattttttttt, a double song blog? I know right! It surprised me too) that I wasn’t planning on using but I came across it while searching for Unwell, which I think also describes the process of being in love and then heartbreak perfectly. On top of that, it’s just a beautiful song from another band that I’ve loved since my childhood, The Goo Goo Dolls. The song is called Iris.

And I’d give up forever to touch you

Cause I know that you feel me somehow

You’re the closest to Heaven that I’ll ever be

And I don’t want to go home right now

And all I can taste is this moment

And all I can breathe is your life

Cause sooner or later it’s over

I just don’t want to miss you tonight


And I don’t want the world to see me

Cause I don’t think that they’d understand

When everything’s made to be broken

I just want you to know who I am


And you can’t fight the tears that ain’t coming

Or the moment of truth in your lies

When everything feels like the movies

Yeah you bleed just to know you’re alive


And I don’t want the world to see me

Cause I don’t think that they’d understand

When everything’s made to be broken

I just want you to know who I am

What really captivates me is that after the first chorus, you can really see the mood of the song shift. The first verse seems to be all about being in love and how amazing that feeling of being in the moment is. Then, after the chorus, the singer mentions tears (that ain’t coming), lies, and feeling dead inside. This pretty much sums up a breakup to me. It doesn’t matter what side of the breakup you’re on, whether you’re the breakup-er or the breakup-ee. Everyone is affected. The person who is broken up with wonders what they could have done differently or what someone else has to offer that they don’t. The one who does the breaking up wonders if they’ve made a huge mistake and if they will ever love someone like that again. The thing is, the breakup is almost always a good thing in the end. As I’ve said before, couples who breakup and then get back together almost never work out. There are very rare exceptions, like with anything, but more often than not ends in even more pain and heartbreak, and destroying what was left of the relationship that could possibly lead to being friends down the road. You see, the same problems that were there before are still there. The breakup simply put them on pause. It’s funny because somehow our brain omits the problems we had with that person we loved so much when we are apart from them, but when we are with them again it all comes right back. In fact, chances are that even more problems will be introduced once the two get back together because many people see other people when they are on a breakup, and that’s something that lodges itself in your brain and you can’t get rid of, like a little painful splinter. I can speak from experience on this one. Even though the two of you weren’t together, it still somehow feels like you were cheated on. I can’t explain it except to say that once you get back together, it feels like the relationship has continued on, and it makes you sick to think that the person you’re with has been with someone else since you started dating. Much moreso than thinking about people they were with before you guys ever started seeing each other. So, I will reiterate, DO NOT GET BACK TOGETHER WITH AN EX. All you’re really doing is postponing the inevitable. In almost all scenarios the two of you will end up breaking up again eventually, and you’re really just delaying the healing that you need to do after a breakup to get better. In short, you’re just extending the amount of time it will take to get over them. 

It’s funny how relevant How I Met Your Mother can be to things I spend a lot of time thinking about, or things that I encounter in my life. I know some of you are probably getting tired of my references to the show. However, something that I can relate so well to just makes it easier for me to get my point across. In the episode Twin Beds, Barney reveals to Ted that he misses Robin and wants to get back together with her. At this point, Ted tells Barney to read “the letter”. With all of his relationships and breakups, Ted had learned to write a letter right after a breakup that explained why he broke up with that girl. I think this is a fantastic idea. We are so emotional and raw right after a breakup, and very honest about why we don’t think things will work with a certain person. Reading that in a time when we are weak can bring back all of the emotions felt at the time it was written, and be a great reminder of why things won’t work again. If there was an area where you just weren’t connecting, you still won’t connect in that area if you get back together. And if that was a big enough problem to be a deal breaker before, it will be again. 

So, how do we get over a breakup? I’d love to tell you that time will make everything better. However, I know that time alone is not enough. As Jay Marshall so eloquently puts it,

“It has been said that time heals all wounds. The truth is that time does not heal anything. It is what we do during the passing of time that helps or hinders the process”. 

Couldn’t have said it better myself. If we stay cooped up in our room all day and never leave the house and refuse to experience anything that life has in store for us, nothing will change. When you finally emerge from your room, you will be in the same state that you were in when you first entered your room. You have to go out and live life. God has great things in store for you, and you just have to give His plan a chance to unfold. You will find The One eventually, even if they’re not the-one-you-want-right-now. You have to distance yourself from the person you broke up with. Stop texting them. Stop checking their Facebook every five minutes. Delete them as a friend if you have to. In today’s world of social media and instant communication, separating yourself from someone else and getting over someone is harder than ever. You don’t know when you might see a picture or something of them that will pop up and just punch you right in the gut. You can’t control that stuff, but just control what you can and do your best to separate yourself from them. If you live close to them, don’t be afraid to go out and live your life and go to your favorite places because you’re afraid to see them there. If you love a place, chances are you went there with that person. It can hurt at first going there because of all the memories you made there. But guess what? It’s time to make some new memories! And if you run into them at that place, at first it will be awkward. Just fight through it. Each time you run into them it will be less and less weird, and eventually you won’t even care. The day that happens, when you see that person or hear their name and it doesn’t hurt (which WILL happen, I promise!), that’s how you know you’re over them. Sure, you will probably start to do better and then might have a relapse. Keep fighting on. All that work you did before still counts, and you will be back to where you were pre-relapse quickly. I have to tell you, that moment when you realize you’re over someone is such an exhilarating feeling that you just want to tell the world. And you know that you came out stronger and wiser than you were before the relationship. You survived what you thought was unsurvivable. 


What’s important to remember when you’re hurting is this: that pain you’re feeling means what you had was real. It means you loved that person with everything you had, and it didn’t work out, and that’s OKAY. One day you will love someone else like that and they will love you back with the same passion and everything will work out because it’s meant to be. If you’re not hurting after a breakup, that means you never really loved the other person in the first place. 

So, my final advice that I will give is this my friends: The night is always darkest before the dawn. Just when things seem like they can’t get any worse, when it feels like you just can’t fight any longer, that’s when you have to fight harder than you ever have, because better things are right out on the horizon. And those better things will be far greater than anything you ever had with the last person. 


I love you all, and if you’re going through something tough you will get through it. Don’t be afraid to keep loving. One day it will all be worth it.



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