Hello (After All These Years)

“Hello” By Adele



Hello, it’s me

I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet

To go over everything

They say that time’s supposed to heal you

But I ain’t done much healing

Hello, can you hear me

I’m in California, dreaming about who we used to be

When we were younger, and free

I’d forgotten how it felt before the world fell at our feet

There’s such a difference between us

And a million miles


Hello from the other side

I must have called a thousand times

To tell you I’m sorry for everything that I’ve done

But when I call you never seem to be home

Hello from the outside

At least I can say that I tried

To tell you I’m sorry for breaking your heart

But it don’t matter, it clearly doesn’t tear you apart anymore


Hello, how are you?

It’s so typical of me to talk about myself, I’m sorry

I hope that you’re well

Did you ever make it out of that town where nothing ever happened?

It’s no secret that the both of us are running out of time

Hello from the outside

At least I can say that I tried

To tell you I’m sorry for breaking your heart

But it don’t matter, it clearly doesn’t tear you apart anymore…



Well, thanks to Adele, I don’t think I’ll be getting this song out of my head any time soon. I mean, these lyrics…can we just talk about them for a minute, or five, or ten?!?! Ummm…Yes, please…


So (ladies)…we’ve all got our relationship hang-ups. You know…that one ex/should’ve-would’ve-could’ve-been-soulmate guy (or gal, if that’s your thing) that for the rest of your life will forever reside in the back of your mind as the one that either loved and/or hurt and/or wrecked and/or taught you the most. That sore subject…the bitter memory. The one that you-albeit unconsciously–compare any man you meet after him to. It’s the the mistakes you made with him that you now know not to make…and his character flaws that you know to look for and to avoid. Yes, that guy.


But there’s hope, if you just give it time. Years will pass. You’ll both move on. You’ll find someone new, someone who loves you for the real you…something he just never would, or let’s face it–never could. You’ll learn to love again…a man who’s twice the man he is. You’ll find yourself wondering how it’s even possible to love more than one person like that in one lifetime–hell, you didn’t even think it was possible–but you’ll find that it will be…that it is. Slowly, but surely, you’ll start to heal all your broken parts. You’ll learn to smile again. To laugh. You’ll feel joy again…without feeling guilty for it. You’ll get those butterflies when he walks in the room or his hand goes to the small of your back and with just a knowing look, a single touch, you’ll feel safe—like nothing in the world will ever hurt you again. You’ll slowly start to get back pieces of that girl you’d thought was gone forever when he left you there,  heart in pieces and your world turned inside out. You’ll start to feel whole again. Right now, I know it seems unlikely. Impossible, even. But trust me, it WILL happen.


That’s not to say that you won’t have your bad days. For sure, there will be moments now and then when it hits you…those painful, little flashbacks from seemingly a lifetime ago that’ll come out of nowhere, rob your breath for a half minute or two, and maybe take with them a few stolen tears on their way out. But if there’s one thing you can trust, it’s that with time, those days and those moments WILL get very few and farther in between. The only downside is that you’ll be cautious–because you’re conditioned now to build up walls and be on the alert when it comes to protecting yourself against love and heartbreak and smooth-talking guys with twinkling green eyes that tempt you with their delicious world of sin. You’ll hate that you’re so guarded now, but you have to be–as it’s better to be safe than sorry. Which is why you’ll go back and visit your family in your hometown, but you’ll skip the usual hotspots to avoid running into or seeing him out and about…because godknows you’ll take an uneventful week-long visit with family over the drama from him and/or anyone connected to your past, each and every time. And when the week is over, you’ll say your goodbyes and board the plane. You’ll fly to a home 900 miles away, contemplative and confident as you come to the realization that at some point in the past 6 years you managed to truly move on and grow up–and you’ll smile. It’ll be bittersweet. Admittedly, less bitter and far more sweet.


You’ll find happiness in the arms of another, take vows and make a commitment before God and all your loved ones. You’ll start a life together, take out a mortgage…and settle down. You’ll be happy, complete…whole. You’ll have the life you’ve always dreamed of…you’ll have everything…and so much more.


But moving on and letting go…doesn’t necessarily mean you forget that person. You never forget. Sure, you can try. Best of luck to you with that. You can shut yourself away; shut the world out for days, no contact with the outside world, nothing. You can try running and moving hundreds of miles away from everyone and everything. But distance doesn’t change the past or what’s been done. The hurt and the scars remain indefinitely. You never forget.

This song and these lyrics—for me anyhow—speak symbolic of closure, yet at the same time, they don’t. Closure—there’s that word again. So many want it—yet so many have no idea what it means. Or how to go about getting it, for that matter. There’s probably a good way and a bad way to go about it, I’m sure. Rebounding—while physically satisfying, I’ll concede, doesn’t help all that much. Okay—I take that back. It does for a little while, at first…while you’re still in the “hurt and angry as hell and I’ll do just about anything to lash out” phase…but once you move past that…yeah, all the rebound sex in the world isn’t going to help that broken heart of yours feel any less broken. It just doesn’t. Trust me, I’ve been there, I know. Some people find closure from an apology…and I understand the rationale behind it, I do. In fact, there was even a time when I would have given anything to hear one myself…a time when I actually believed that an explanation and an apology would somehow negate all the hurt that he caused…and that it’d give me closure. It was a ridiculous, naïve notion–for all the “sorrys” in the world couldn’t possibly make up for what was done. My life was irrevocably changed in ways that he will never understand or even know because of his actions and the choices that he made. He’s always going to be that bitter memory because of that. That hang-up that my mind always goes back to when songs like this come on the radio. He’s going to be the kind of man I warn my daughter to stay away from and the kind of man I can only hope my son never becomes. That’s not something an apology can fix. As for closure, I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s really no such thing. Granted, time goes on and you move on and ultimately it gets harder to recall the face and the name and the memories are fading from color to black and white, but you never really close the book…you just store it away. I guess if you want to call that closure, then call it that…even though it’s really not. I mean, it’s still there, available whenever to sift through should you ever have the urge, so it’s not really gone for good.


It’s easy to be bitter towards the person that hurt you the most—the one that lifted you up so high, just to break you down as cruelly and as destructively as possible—so easy. I’ve entertained the emotion on more than one occasional bout over the past several years myself…until I realized my energy was much more productive being used for something else. But that one hang-up—that exclusive ex that took our hearts for a bumpy ride—they’re always going to be there. We can choose to either let their background presence restrict our success and future happiness…or we can use him/her to find exactly who we’re meant to find and be happy with and to have everything we ever wanted with. The choice is ours. Personally, I choose the latter…




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