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The Simple Secret to a Happier Life

How I learned to let go continued...

"For 20 years, I tried to create a happy marriage. Then I realized I had a decision to make between living the rest of my life in an unhappy relationship or salvaging what little bit of youth I still had, so I left. I let go of making my marriage work, but I'm holding on to the hope of having another one that is happy and fulfilling. Sometimes it's not about letting go of the dream, but changing the way to get there." —Angie Foley, 43, Princeton, WV

"I've always dreamed of being a famous novelist. But since my career path swerved in a totally different direction — I became a legal assistant — I began journaling and learned to use my writing skills for my own therapeutic benefit and enjoyment. Even though I never became a novel writer, expressing my life through words still gives me that same feeling of escape." —Rebecca G. Swavely, 50, Pottstown, PA

"I wanted to be a lawyer since I was a child, but I got sick during the law school–admission test and had to leave mid-exam. I was diagnosed with a rare sinus condition that caused me to stop breathing. Every time I rescheduled the exam, I had an episode. My doctor told me that stress was aggravating my condition and that I should change my career focus. After unsuccessfully trying to take the test five times, I realized that if I couldn't handle the stress of the exam, I couldn't become a successful attorney. I haven't had an anxiety attack since. Now I'm a commercial bread baker, and I could not be happier with my career choice. Sometimes there's something good to be said about unanswered prayers." - Ida McCarty, 41, Chicago

"I have always wanted to move out of the town I was born and raised in. It's a small town, and by the time I was a teenager, I knew every inch of it. But as I've watched my two daughters grow up here, I've realized how much the town continues to change: New generations bring their individual personalities to the city. I feel nostalgic as I watch my daughters enjoy the same things I enjoyed as a child. They are happy where they are, and seeing them grow up changed my perspective. It helped me realize what a special place this is." —Phoebe P. Sortet, 39, Rock Hill, SC


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