Small Life, Slow Life: I need your help! {Comments OPEN!}

mountain

Let me back up.

I was having breakfast with a dear friend this morning who has known me a long, long time. She knows all about this blog and about all of you, of course.

We were talking about our lives, relationships, careers and the future. And suddenly, I just said out loud what I’ve been thinking for months…maybe even years.

“I think I’m supposed to do something with the breakups,” I said.

She raised an eyebrow.

“You know, like with the heartbroken. I keep wanting to push it away, because it’s dark work. It’s not fun, it gets to me, their pain becomes my pain. I want to push it away. And I feel like I’ve said, you know, everything I could possibly say on the blog…regarding breakups.”

I paused. “But my gut feeling keeps telling me there’s something more, something I haven’t said, because they keep coming. They find my email address or a post I’m still answering comments on and they ask me what to do. Or girls at work hear I’m the ‘breakup whisperer’ and come to me. Friends have sent their friends the blog. So I feel like I’m supposed to be working with this still. Like, you know, maybe writing an eBook that I wouldn’t charge very much for, or something like that. Something more in depth that could help them, beyond just short blog posts.”

This friend, who knows me very well, said, “You know I’ve been reading back through your blog recently. And I meant to tell you about a month ago that you really need to keep writing. There’s really something there. I think you should do something with it.”

It was the ding I needed to make me finally willing to pull the trigger.

So I guess what I’m asking you guys, is this:

  • If I wrote an eBook that was pretty lengthy, about breakups and how to heal from them, would you read it?
  • Would you be willing to pay between $1-$5 for it? (I would absolutely provide a money back guarantee. If you don’t get anything from it, you don’t have to pay for it, period.) And if you couldn’t afford the $1-$5 amount because of circumstances, you could message me and we could work something out.
  • If I were to start to work on this, what have I not already answered in this blog would you want to know? Or what topics have I merely skimmed over that you would want a deeper perspective on? 

To clarify, this won’t be a book about getting your ex back. This will be a book about how to heal yourself after a breakup. If your ex comes back as a result of that (which usually happens, more often than not), GREAT. But that will not be the intention behind the book.

Why an eBook and not a real book?

I like the idea that this conversation is between me and you; not between me, you, the publisher, the editor, and book critics. I used to dream (since I was a kid, actually) about having a book in print (and maybe someday that’ll still happen), but this book is meant to help you, and that means I’d want it in your hands as fast as possible. So no waiting for shipping or driving to a book store. Literally, I want you just to be able to click “download.”

Also, I can think of two times that eBooks really helped me in the past: once was when I was going through the breakup with C and he was beginning to maybe/sort of/starting to come back and I didn’t know what the EFF to do, and I didn’t want to screw it up. I read an eBook (it was $11, I think) from one of those breakup sites (don’t kid around — I know you’ve been on them too) and actually, some of the author’s advice really helped me and it was WAY worth the $11.

The other time is when I was having a lot of trouble getting V to gain weight when I was still exclusively breastfeeding her. I ended up on a website dedicated to increasing your supply using a breast pump and I bought it ($19, I think). And again, it was absolutely well worth it and I’ve referred back to it during my journey with her and recommended it to friends.

So that being said, I need your help. Tell me if this is something you’d actually read (or would have read when you were suffering), and tell me what you’d want me to delve deeper into.

I hope you all had amazing holidays + a bright new year. Here’s a pic of my little munchkin who takes up all of my time!

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23 thoughts on “Small Life, Slow Life: I need your help! {Comments OPEN!}

  1. I’d absolutely buy your ebook! Even though I’m way past my break up and about to get married to someone new, I still come back to your blog from time to time to reflect on that time. I absolutely think you should do it!

  2. I would absolutely buy your e-book! I loved your posts and still refer to them and the responding comments from time to time. I think I still have tons more to learn and think this would be a great resource 🙂

  3. Hi, Jen!

    I would, without a doubt, buy and read the ebook. What a wonderful idea! When I was suffering, I ran to the dollar store, bought a binder and a TON of stickers. Then, I went to your blog and printed nearly all of your responses in the comments. I cut them out, put them on pretty paper and decorated the heck out of them with stickers. It was one of the only things I did to keep my mind off the pain. There were times when I was crying as I was putting down the stickers, other times I was so angry and even more times when I felt so empty and lifeless inside, but I kept putting down those stickers and making sure every last corner was secure. I brought that binder everywhere with me for a while- work, school, out to dinner (lol). I found it so comforting to flip through the pages, read your beautiful advice and trace my fingers along the stickers. I still have that binder, nearly 3 years later, tucked away in a special place. It has become something I could never part with.

    An idea for what else to include in the book may be a deeper look at how to forgive yourself. That’s probably what I struggled with the most during my suffering and find myself struggling with this still in other situations. Or better yet, how do you forgive yourself for a mistake when others won’t? As a part of my breakup 3 years ago, I had a falling out with 2 mutual friends. Though I feel like the situation was not entirely my fault, I offered to apologize for what happened and was ignored by both. That took a while for me to get over because I kept asking myself- “If they can’t forgive me, why should I forgive myself?” I never heard from these people again. I feel like self forgiveness is such a huge part in the healing process.

    I wish you the best of luck as you discover your calling with this. It will be great to have all of your advice and wisdom organized in one consolidated place. Sending you so much love and happiness, Jen!!

    • Isabella,

      That’s so touching about your binder! I’d love to see that one day. 😍 Maybe it’d be a good idea to have a section on the best Q&A from the blog too. Searching through all of those comments can be a lot!

      That is such a good callout. I did not like how I acted throughout my breakup and really struggled with forgiving myself too. I didn’t lose any friendships over it (sounds like they weren’t your true friends anyway), but that must have been really difficult.

      Thanks so much for you input; I really appreciate it! ❤️

  4. I can’t say exactly when it was, but I remember a few months back when I came here more frequently, thinking to myself, “I wonder why she hasn’t written a book yet.” Although it has been over a year since the break up that brought me here in the first place, I still visit this blog on occasion. Often I am looking for insight, advice, and support on living my life well. Like any one of us, I am guilty of getting caught up in the rush of life, and I want to remember how to slow down, simplify, and focus on what really matters.

    Yes, I would read the e-book, I would pay for it, and I would probably share it. I think you have a lot to say, and it’s not just about exes and break-ups. It has to do with facing the pain and suffering and loss that life inevitably hands you and making it matter– growing from it, letting it teach you how to love well and love deeper.

    One topic that came to my mind upon reading this post was your comments what the ‘law of attraction’ really looks like: life gives you the ingredients and you need to figure out how to make it work. Whether or not someone believes in LOA, I think this is a truth that warrants reflection. You need to learn to create your happiness out of what life has given you.

    You should do it. Are you looking for co-authors? Ha! Honestly, the comments from your readers were often helpful along with the original posts. Maybe you could incorporate the experiences and wisdom of others in some way. I still trust that you have enough wisdom to fill a book on your own.

    • You’re totally right. Without the commenters, this blog wouldn’t be half as helpful. It’s really their willingness to be open and vulnerable that has made that one post what it is. I should probably follow up with some of the heavy commenters and see where they are now!

      Totally spot on about LOA.

      Thank you. What you have said is so kind. I haven’t written a book because I can take on too much of the pain of talking about this sometimes, and it stays with me. But I think it’s time. ❤️

  5. Even though my breakup is behind me, I still visit your site for updates on your thoughts on life and relationships. I would definitely buy your ebook. What helped me the most when I was dealing with the breakup was the emphasis you put on healing oneself and letting go, not necessarily about getting the guy back. It was empowering to put the focus on me and moving on with my life. And he did come back. But by then I truly was over it and could see that it was not what was best for me. Thanks for all of your help!

    • That’s so sweet! And so good to hear.

      Yeah, I think more often than not, by the time you’ve done to work to heal yourself, the ex coming back doesn’t even matter, because you have your peace of mind. And in many cases, you’ve actually outgrown your ex, and so the relationship doesn’t work anymore.

      Thank you for your feedback! ❤️

  6. Hi Jennifer,

    I would definitely read your Ebook. I’m 4 weeks post break up and I’m so sad. He ended things because he said that he needed time to himself and he felt pressure to get married etc and he wasn’t sure if that’s what he wanted. He’s 35 and I’m 34. Before that we were together for a year and there was no indication that things weren’t good. We were so happy. He just sprung it on me one day out of the blue.

    Your blog has brought me comfort knowing that I’ve done the right thing. After he told me that he couldn’t be with me I cut off contact with him and told him that if he wasn’t choosing me and didn’t want to be with me then I didn’t want to be with him. I’ve remained strong since and he’s been the one to reach out to me a few times. At the moment I’m rebuilding my life like you said. I’m going to the gym, spending time with friends and I’ve even got a puppy on the way 🙂 I want to prove to myself that I can have a fulfilling life without a man. I want to thank you for giving me the strength to do that.

    Natalie

    • Thank you for reaching out Natalie. Four weeks post breakup is a hard place to be because it’s really sinking in. You’re incredibly strong to have done no contact, and he will probably continue to reach out because you haven’t given your power away.

      A puppy is a perfect present to yourself in a time like this. My mini schnauzer was a gift to myself after a breakup I had 10 years ago. 🙂 She still makes me happy and the guy is long gone!

      • Thanks so much for responding 🙂 It’s so hard some days but you’re right; Taylor Swift’s “Red” album is so cathartic. “I Almost Do” is pretty much my anthem at the moment.

        It’s hard to think that with how wonderful things were with my ex that I could find something as good or better but I have to trust that this has happened for a reason.

        I can’t wait for my puppy to arrive!

        Much love,

        Natalie xx

  7. Hi Jen my ex broke up with me six months ago now when I found your blog I screenshot so many pages because what you had to say was just so helpful. I often reread your blog when I’m feeling low so thank you for all you do.
    I really wanted to ask you some questions but I know you said you didn’t want to take comments anymore. Funnily I found myself coming back to your blog tonight because despite that I just wanted to reach out to you and ask your advice anyway and came across this post..
    I still harbor hope for reconciliation with my ex because we have had on and off contact and he’s been very emotional.
    He was so angry at first but he started to calm down and has even started using my name again and texted me a few days ago to apologize for some of his behavior during the breakup (ignoring me etc). Yes I was a bit needy.. I wavered between no contact and trying to be his friend with small innocuous texts (after mixing your advice with that of other blogs).
    Now he tell me he just wants to be friends. But I still feel emotion coming from him and some how I just feel he still loves me even though he is saying that. I don’t know if I’m crazy but I just feel we are meant to be.
    I replied that I wished him the best that I hoped he would find what he’s looking for in life and have a great 2018 and I don’t plan to contact him again.
    He’s currently transitioning from education to looking for a job which is likely a factor in our breakup.
    I feel like he will get in touch at some point, though I do plan to keep looking after myself above all (I’m thoroughly tired after 6 months).
    My real question is, I’ve read your posts and comments and replies to people so many times and you mention not replying when an ex reaches out, so if he is to get in touch with me again is it best to ignore him? What was the point when you stopped ignoring C and gave him a chance? Did he make a big gesture or was it gradual to get to reconciliation?
    I’m trying to imagine how you get from here to reconciliation..
    I’m sorry if you wrote this somewhere. I’ve read your old blog comments a million times but I might have missed it.
    Ps. I would definitely buy your Ebook and thank you for reading. X

    • Six months is a long time, so if he is reaching out again you can respond AS LONG AS you don’t lose your power and become very affected by him by doing so. In other words, if you’re still hoping for a reconciliation and thinking about him in an obsessive way, it’s probably best to give yourself more time and just keep your responses short when he reaches out. If you try to reconcile too soon you will lose him again. To make a second try work, you must be completely over the last relationship and be a different you.

      C made several big gestures that I ignored, but I stopped resisting him once his grandmother died and he was in a great deal of pain. I was there for him as a friend and I could see/hear that something had truly changed for him and that he really did regret our breakup. He was saying things he’d never said before and acting in a way he never had in my 10 years of knowing him.

      I still was very hesitant and I said I wanted him to go to therapy by himself (which he did) and then that I wanted couples counseling (which we did, until we were married). I only saw him once a week and I refused to be intimate for a long time. I held on to all of my power until I was REALLY sure that I was ready and he wasn’t going anywhere.

      Getting back together was very difficult and it took me a really long time to trust him. But with time and a lot of hard work (and a lot of boundaries on my part), we were eventually better than ever before and we’re still great almost five years since reconciling. 🙂

      Hope that helps. Stay strong.

      • Thank you for your reply Jen.
        I’ve trolled through your posts before and put all the pieces together about your breakup to see what was applicable to me so it’s really great to get another piece of your puzzle so to speak.
        Good luck with the Ebook! I’ll keep my eyes out 🙂
        頑張ろうね! (From one JET alumni to another <3)

          • Nagasaki 2010-2015. I actually stayed in japan longer because of the relationship that brought me to your blog and I’m currently in Fukuoka trying to figure out my next step.
            Fukushima must have been amazing though it’s crazy you were there during 3/11. We watched from the staff room tv and it didn’t seem real!
            It’s such a special country and culture though and i know exactly what you mean by finding beauty in small things after coming here.

  8. Hi Jennifer, I would definitely purchase any e-book you publish. I wrote to you back in 2015 regarding my then ex-boyfriend. We eventually got back together and he asked me to marry him…but after a year of planning, he ended up breaking up with me the day of our wedding. I was heartbroken but at that point I realized this man was not ready and instead of getting upset I was thankful we did not do something we both would regret; however, 5 months later after no contact, no communication and me moving on he came back and said he had been going to counseling, he was in love with me and wanted to marry me (again). He said all the right things and I ended up taking him back into my life and he is now my husband. After a year of marriage, needless to say, he ended up going through a really rough emotional time in his life and he ended up moving out and leaving again. It seems to be his pattern whenever life becomes overwhelming and he does struggle with inner demons from his childhood. I did not get upset with him, did not beg him to stay and I let him leave peacefully. I only ever reached out to him once and never again. It has been 2 months and no contact, in my heart I know he will come back but I feel like he needs therapy for his constant “running” and I guess my dilemma is that this is no longer an ex-boyfriend situation, this is my husband and I feel like its so much harder to navigate. I have honestly been at peace, I got two new puppies, I work out and I have been trying my best to just focus on me. I do not believe in divorce unless its an extreme situation but not sure where else to go from here, I know your book will primarily deal with non-married people but I would love any encouragement.

    • That’s really tough. I wrote my original breakup post almost five years ago now. These days, in my mid thirties with a child, it would be an entirely different kind of devastation if C were to leave. The stakes are just so much higher when it’s your husband. My heart goes out to you.

      All you can do is exactly what you’re doing. Puppies, working out, focusing on you. You clearly can’t control his actions or when/how he gets overwhelmed. Do you at least know where he is and that he’s ok?

      • Jen,

        TY for your response. I do know he is okay, he is with his mother not far from where we live. I do recognize that he has a very co-dependent relationship with his mother, so whenever he is unable to make rational decisions, she comes to his rescue. I guess it’s better than not knowing where he is but I feel like she is an emotional crutch for him. She coddles him and why would he ever have to work on his marriage or deal with life when he has his mom to take care of him? I’ve completely removed myself from that dysfunctional situation. A huge part of me wants to move on and never look back but as I said, marriage for me changes that – for now though I think even if he tried to contact me, it wouldn’t be easy for me to let him back in my life especially since leaving and burying his head in the sand has always been a coping mechanism for him.

  9. Hi Jennifer,

    Yes, I would absolutely read your eBook. My breakup was over 2 years ago and there are moments, such as tonight, where I still find myself in the same pain and longing as when the break up happened. Healing for me has been a long journey and the letting go (as well as attachment to this person) has been the hardest deal with. At this point, any advice or guidance to just become a better me and feel at peace with where I’m st would be amazing. Thank you for all that you have done for your readers 🙂

    • Where you’re at is the hardest part because it’s really setting in that it’s over (potentially for good) and you’re facing a very different future landscape than the one you were envisioning.

      Grief tricks you into thinking it will last forever. Know that whatever you do, it won’t. This passing is inevitable. The return of joy is the same. You can’t skip these dark days but there are ways to help the process — accept the pain when it comes, let it take you over, let yourself cry instead of fighting it, write your feelings out, read uplifting things from people who have been in your situation (even Sheryl Sandberg’s book on the death of her husband could be a good resource; it’s called Plan B), work out and meditate. (And know that meditation can make things feel more painful at first because all of your pain that needs your attention will come rushing in…but with time it will become a place you can go that will heal and restore you.)

      I know how rough it is. Hang in there. You will absolutely make it to the other side of this. ❤️

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