(ENSPIRE She Did That) Takenya Mims Published Her Memoir, “Four Marriages Before 40”, Sharing Her Experiences in Hopes to Help Others Heal From Their Marriages
ENSPIRE Contributor: Diana Yafizova & Bella Rothman
Author, Aunt, Godmother, and loyal Golden Girls fan Takenya Mims has written her first memoir, “Four Marriages Before 40”. The memoir discusses love, loss, healing, and the rollercoaster that has come with her romantic commitments. Originally from Memphis, Mims values all her life experience and hopes the transparency about her journey to love opens conversations for her readers.
Mims has had many influences in her life. She credits her grandmother for many of her current values and for teaching her the meaning of strength. She lives by many mottos and notes that’s life has taught her nothing is promised, to keep your circle small, do not do anything you’re not ready for, and stay true to yourself.
ENSPIRE interviewed Takenya Mims to discuss how she came up with the idea for memoir, her journey to self-discovery, advice for people going through a divorce, and much more.
What inspired you to share your story about your marriages, and what do you hope your readers get from the book?
What inspired me to share my story was my healing process, going through therapy, learning so much about myself, and seeing a change in my family and personal life. My sister suggested I tell my story to share with others, and after a few months, I decided to start writing. My hope is for anyone reading my book to understand the importance of healthy relationships, discover that healing is necessary, uncover any hidden feelings or issues, talk to a therapist, and be encouraged that they can change.
With “Four Marriages Before 40” being your first book, what challenges did you face during the writing and publishing process?
Some challenges I faced on the writing side were rehashing old emotions, having days where I was mentally exhausted, writing through tears, and having to regroup before starting again and speaking with my exes about writing about them. Publishing challenges were not being able to get answers when I wanted them.
What advice can you give to someone who is trying to heal from their marriage?
My advice is to communicate your true feelings and be open to other people’s feelings. To involve a third, unbiased party, hopefully, a professional that can assist with communication breakdown. Also, make sure God is included, pray together, and don’t give up.
How did you start your healing and self-discovery journey?
I started my healing journey by listening to my last husband voice his concerns about my actions. Finally, after a few hard months, I decided to do something about myself and speak with someone. So many things were uncovered that explained why I was the way I had become, and I didn’t want to remain the same; it was time for a change.
One of your favorite quotes is “Broken crayons still color,” why does this quote stick out to you?
I like this quote because when crayons break, people/kids tend to throw them away thinking that it is no longer useful, no purpose. This quote applies to humans; it does not mean you cannot make good use of it just because something is broken. Broken does not mean destroyed. As a child, I used to unwrap the broken crayon and keep coloring. The saying reminds us that we can still shine in our broken state; being broken does not mean ineffectual; we still have meaning.
As a new writer, do you have any advice for new writers who want to get published?
My advice would be to be certain of what you want to do (genre, type of publishing) when searching for a publisher. Then, do your homework for who you want to work with. Finally, you have to be dedicated to the process and give it your all.
Do you have any other plans now that your book is published?
I am currently in pursuit of my Masters of Ed. in Counseling and Development to become a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. In interviewing about my book for almost a year now, I have discovered a passion for helping others in those areas. As far as authorship, I do want to write another book in maybe another year or two.
Takenya Mims wants to be remembered as a dedicated woman and an author who did not let her mistakes defeat her. With her passion for helping others, she will continue to give wisdom and advice using her bachelor’s degree in Health Administration and Master’s in Human Resource Development. “Four Marriages Before 40” can be purchased at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. You can also stay connected with Mims on her Website and Instagram.