I've written it in my head as I fall asleep at night. I've composed witticisms to include while I do dishes or mow the grass or ride my motorcycle.
I've debated and chewed on it. Spit it out. Walked away.
All to figure out how to say it.
That post where I explain where I've been, the reason for going "dark" for months--I've scaled WAY back on my social media time of late, or haven't you been refreshing your screen for the awe-inspiring prose that is my status updates???--and an all-around explanation of the stuff that makes up my personal life. In my head, it all sounds too revealing or too boring or too drama. It depends on my mood as to which.
You all know I am not an over-sharer. I tend to err toward the less-is-more school of thought. But then a couple of years ago, something monumentally tragic happened to me when I lost my baby boy, Tyler, at the age of five days old. And then I blogged about it and you guys were so fracking AWESOME in your response that I am still, to this day, smiling as I remember the flood of love and support and strength I received--and then in turn gave back to my readers. Thank you guys for stepping up and being real with me when I got real with you. I am so much more grateful for you guys after connecting that way.
So. with that warm fuzzy feeling in mind, I'm going to tell you what's been up with me. Mostly because I feel like there's this whole taboo mindset that I shouldn't say it publicly. And if you know me, you know I hate secrets. Which is the exact reason I will, after a year of shutting up, tell you: I am getting divorced.
It's so weird how simple the sentence is to write when I could barely say it aloud a year ago. And not because I'm ashamed or sad or broken up or worried what people think. I haven't said it because I have this nonsense ingrained into me that you don't share your problems with the world. But over the past year or two, my world has become so built up with people who welcome the opportunity to support me and so this is me letting go--and letting them.
In A Risk Worth Taking, my NA that just released (ohmygod I wrote sex!!!!!! my tagline is now: "Heather Hildenbrand, not just for YA anymore."), Summer's parents get divorced and it hits her hard. A lot of her emotions and anxieties were inspired by the events in my own life. I always find real-life emotions are best for funneling into my work and this was no exception. I won't say mych more than that about the book because I don't want to give it away. BTW, A Risk Worth Taking or #ARWT is now available in ebook so go grab yours!
AND enter the giveaway for the "country beauty basket and gift card here
But before everyone gets sad and comments below with how sorry you are, DON'T.
I am happy with my choice and I am living such a full and purposeful and successful life now, and I don't want sympathy or pity or sadness. I want everyone to know that while it was SCARY as hell, it was my choice. And I don't apologize for it (there was a time that I did) and I don't care what people think of it because it was the right thing for me. It has freed me. And while I wish my (ex)husband well, I know I've done what I needed for me, for the first time in so long I can't remember.
This past year has been tough and sad and lonely sometimes but also so amazing and full of the biggest adventures I never would have had otherwise. I learned how to ride motorcycles and I've owned a total of 3 in the past year. Currently still have 2 of them. Traveled more. Discovered I actually do like tent camping--under the right conditions, gotten to know my kids better, stood on stage at a Zac Brown Band concert to a sold out crowd, met Plain White T's, released three books, lived off my writer income as a full-time work-from-home mom, rented my own house in MY own name, visited CO--a lifelong dream of mine, stood front row-center at a Rocket to the Moon/Andy Grammer concert, learned how to hang and twist on silks (you know that aerial ribbon at the circus???), went swimming on horseback, fallen in the kind of love I thought only existed in stories, and SO MANY MORE AMAZING THINGS!!!!
And right now, I have a special project in the works that is the next building block in my dream of being a successful entrepreneur and a mom who is always home to get her kids off the bus. And it includes giving back to the very people who have helped put me where I am today. I can't wait to tell you more about it. (Look for an announcement in November!!)
I honestly wake up every morning loving my life. Thank you for that. Readers, Fans, Friends--you are the best part of me.
So, this is not a "Woe is Me" post. This is a, "Be strong and claim your happiness" post. And a post to say: Just like Summer in A Risk Worth Taking, let go of the struggle, let go of a past you couldn't control and can't change, and face forward.
Take a Risk. Seize the Day. Create a purposeful life filled with things that make you smile.
"Set your life on fire. Seek those that fan your flames." -Rumi