I posted my first article on Let Go Blog on September 27 last year. A year ago this time, I almost finished my first book LET GO. It became crystal clear to me that writing would become an integral part of the rest of my life. One day I saw this African woman on the “What Not to Wear” reality show. She is a blogger who went through an incredible appearance transformation by the end of the show. I checked out her site www.parentingbydummies.com and was inspired to add the title of ‘blogger’ to my personal resume.

I’ve been writing on average three posts every week, adding up to about 100,000 words over the past year! In the beginning it took me over eight hours to compose one post. And I constantly worried about running out of ideas as well as others’ reactions to my point of view or personal stories. So I kept on reading and my mind was constantly churning. What I’ve learned is that writing is something you can only get better at by keep writing. Over time, I’ve experienced more and more ‘aha moments’ and it’s becoming easier to organize thoughts and turn them into words. I am writing much faster and better (hopefully). Through writing I’ve found my voice and am getting more comfortable and confident with making it heard.

The readership of my blog has increased three fold since the beginning of 2013. All the pieces on the science of happiness have grown into the building blocks of my second book. Most of them are still being read long after they were posted. The series of “The Secrets of Staying in Love” helped me realize how many mistakes Joe and I had made as a couple and how very fortunate that we’ve arrived at where we are today. Humans love stories and therefore my personal and family tales have been well received. Sending both Jane and Michelle off to college triggered stronger emotions than I had expected. By verbalizing and sharing the sentiments as they occurred, I was able to localize the intense feelings so that it didn’t spill all over the place to impact the relationships with my other precious family members. Shortly after “Bittersweet Family Reunion” was posted, I finally stopped crying. A week after the departure of my girls, I went to my hairdresser’s home for a trim. Her only daughter had just left for college too. We shared an invaluable mother-to-mother moment.

Writing has pulled me through a difficult period at work and also opened doors for me to meet new people. I’ve been a part of the Naperville Writers and Poets’ Group for a year and have built friendships with its core team members. Most of them are sci-fi writers, poets or fiction writers. For a while I didn’t have a sense of belonging. But I kept going and in time these aspiring authors began to grow on me. One day I jokingly said to them, “I don’t know why I am here. I’ve little in common with you guys.”

“We are all here because we are writers!” The ‘cowboy’ boomed followed by his signature laughter.

He is absolutely right. Even though we tell our stories from different angles, the underlying desire is more similar than different: to have a voice, to share, to heal, to love and be loved.

The group leader Len had read my memoir LET GO and commented that I am a different person today from who I was a year ago when I first walked into the group. He was right about that too! While I don’t believe that the core of who I am has changed that much over time, I am more confident, motivated and comfortable living in my own skin than ever before. There is a song in my head every morning when I wake up!

It’s been a rewarding year of reflection, learning, revelation and bonding. I hope my journey will inspire you to take a hard look at yourself and your life in order to make the necessary changes so that you can live a happier and healthier life with those your care deeply about.

Image Credit to http://www.brainleadersandlearners.com/ellen-weber/a-brain-on-celebration/