My blog has basically been dormant for a year. I’m the first to admit that going radio silent is rarely a good thing, but it’s an especially bad idea for someone who makes her living helping others communicate. Of course, I have excuses for my absence. (I hate the word excuses, so let’s say reasons instead.)

Last year was crazy. It started with me turning 40 and having a mini midlife crisis. A few weeks later, after six months of trying, I found out I was pregnant. I was thrilled…and completely zapped of all energy.

Warning: This is the part where shit gets real…

Two months after getting the best news of our lives, my fiancé and I got the worst. During a routine OB visit at week 10 of the pregnancy, I learned there was no longer a second heart beating inside my body. The news was quickly followed by a DNC, which heaped thousands of dollars of medical debt on top of our mountain of grief.

After growing a baby rather than my business for two months, and after doctor visits and minor surgery, my bank account suddenly felt as empty as my womb and my heart. I panicked and decided to take a full-time writing gig at a weekly community newspaper, which targeted wealthy suburbanites, without even interviewing anywhere else. It didn’t take me long to realize I’d made a huge mistake.

If you take nothing else from this story, let it be this: It’s never a good idea to make major life decisions when you’re depressed and desperate. (One good thing about going through difficult times is all of the lessons learned.)

As the fog of grief began to lift, I shifted my energy to getting my career back on track. I started an awesome mastermind group and got serious about finding new clients and reengaging old ones. These efforts, plus a bit of gumption, allowed me to quit the job after only a three-month detour.

(Gratitude check: The job wasn’t right for me, but I’m still thankful for the experience. It allowed me to pay off the medical debt, which helped me move forward after the miscarriage.)

Two weeks after I righted my course with a return to self-employment, life threw me another curveball. We were pregnant again. That brought a return of exhaustion, followed by the holidays, a vacation, and getting engaged.

lessons learnedSuddenly, it’s a year later. I’m about to turn 41, I’m 20 weeks pregnant with our first child, and I’m riding a roller coaster of emotions (excited one minute and terrified the next). I’m also as committed as ever to making my business successful.

So, now what?

I’ve been doing a lot of awesome work behind the scenes (check out my rad new web design!), but now it’s time to lift the curtain and start sharing with the world here. In the past, I thought I should only blog on topics related directly to the work I do on a daily basis (content strategy, writing, editing, social media, etc.). Being an expert voice for my field was never my calling, however, so I remained uninspired and my blogging was sporadic at best.

Stop worrying about what you should do and instead focus on what you want to do. (Again…tough times=lessons learned.)

That simple idea represented such a big shift in my thinking that it took this long to finally grant myself permission to make the leap. Once I did, however, the ideas began flowing. Moving forward, I’ll be writing here about whatever I damn well please, thankyouverymuch, and on a realistic about-once-a-week schedule.

There will, of course, be posts about writing and marketing, but many more about being your own boss and uncovering your best self. (There could also be a smattering of parenthood-related posts, but never fear—I have zero interest in becoming a mommy blogger.)

So, I ask that you please pardon my lengthy absence, and hope you’ll come back each week to read my latest ramblings. Even more, I’d love for you to participate in the conversation, sharing your experiences and ideas so this site becomes a living (and extremely valuable) resource for others.

QUESTION: What are your lessons learned from tough times?