How Terry Got Her Happy Back
Best-selling author Terry McMillan comes to Detroit to talk about bouncing back from tough times and living the “sweet life”
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Sometimes you have to go through some stuff to get to happy. Just ask Terry McMillan. She's the best-selling author, whose "Waiting to Exhale" novel became a literary blockbuster and cinematic success, and opened doors for countless other Black writers. In time, her real-life dramas captured almost as much attention as the characters readers came to know and love like best friends.
McMillan comes to Detroit Nov. 1 as the featured speaker at B.L.A.C.’s event, "Living the Sweet Life" at MGM Grand Detroit. She talked with B.L.A.C. in advance of her visit.
What has life taught you about getting to happy?
I see life as a series of hills and valleys. The valleys are when things are low. We're going to have them. I don't care if it's someone breaks your heart, if it turns out your husband is gay, or your kid does this or that. There are things that are going to happen. It's what you do while you're down there that determines how you're going to get back up. Some people think you have to wait it out. I don't think so. I think you have to do the work. You have to, first of all, acknowledge the problem, and to some extent how you contributed to it. When you're able to do that, you're able to get back up.
I think God puts things in our path intentionally to see how well we get through it...not to skirt it or hop around or slide under it. That to me is what makes us stronger and gives us more resolve.
And, while you're up there, milk it!
What's your message to women, in particular, about how to live the sweet life?
First of all, you have to think about your own wellbeing and what lifts your skirt. And, then you have to do more of it and not feel guilty about doing those things that make you feel good and make you happy.
And stop trying to be everything to everybody. As women, we don't think about ourselves enough. For the most part, we put kids first, husbands first, everybody else, first. Sometimes you have to put yourself first. When you're happy, it permeates and other people get happy too.