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Like her four famous heroines, Terry McMillan has been on a journey to happiness.
In Waiting to Exhale, Terry McMillan introduced readers to four young African-American women trying to negotiate life and love. In her new book, her eighth, she reveals, in her characteristic don't-you-dare-feel-sorry-for-yourself way, how the women have fared over the past 15 years. The book is called Getting to Happy (Viking)—a journey McMillan, a single mother who weathered a bruising divorce from a younger man, knows plenty well. We asked her to give us some insight into how she got herself on the right road.
1. At one time, my anger felt like a termite eating away at my best self. So whenever I started clenching my teeth or thinking ugly things, I put the brakes on.
2. I made a conscious decision to start exercising, writing, meditating, and spending time with friends—and slowly my morale changed colors. I had been living like I was navy blue and started feeling pastels again.
3. I realized I am just as good standing alone as I am standing next to someone. No one can make you happier than you make yourself.
4. I began jumping up early in the morning to write so I could live inside my characters and not think about my own problems.
5. I remind myself that I am the architect of my life. To renovate my heart I have to go back to the drafting table.
Next: 10 ways to increase your happiness
From the September 2010 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
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