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Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Life Tips from Nora Ephron

English: Nicholas Pileggi and Nora Ephron at t...
English: Nicholas Pileggi and Nora Ephron at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“[Life] will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications. It will not be anything like what you think it will be like, but surprises are good for you. And don’t be frightened. You can always change your mind.” Nora Ephron (Wellesley Commencement Speech 1996)

Nora Ephron died this week. She was a screenwriter and director. She directed blockbusters like “When Harry Met Sally”, “Sleepless in Seattle” and “Julie and Julia”. To call her courageous, creative, and brilliant is an understatement.  

Nora Ephron gave women courage to tell the truth...

Because of her women everywhere could proudly admit, “Sometimes I fake it.”
She was courageous. She had insight. She had talent. And through her work she helped us better understand the human condition and she made us laugh.
Through the above quote she gave great advice to young women about the meaning of life. For much of my life I felt like an utter failure because my life wasn’t always neat, organized and orderly. I have loved and lost, a lot. I have had career starts and stops. I have succeeded and I have failed. I believed that somehow I hadn’t gotten the memo or the training that everyone else received—the one that explained how life works. 
Over time I realized the truth.  Life is an exercise in living and we are all figuring it out as we go along. It’s a process of trial and error.  
It's a friggin' clown show, but nobody told me.

Life, with all of its mess and splendor is the greatest gift there is...

When I was younger and even now during my unenlightened moments, I ran away from the messy parts of life. I was ashamed. I was afraid, especially of failure.  Now I know that sometimes the messy things are the really good stuff.
During pregnancy and childbirth, I embraced the mess and I was rewarded for it. Now, as a mother, every day is an opportunity to experience throw up, tantrums, and poop.  And the truth is, I revel in it. Being delivered from the quest for perfection gave me permission to live!
It would be great to attribute my epiphany to Nora Ephron and this quote. However, the truth is, I discovered this quote after I learned of her death the other day. Still, it resonated with me. Reading her speech from the 1996 Wellesley graduation made me wish that I had discovered it sooner.  It would have saved me a lot of wasted time. Nora understood what women go through. And even though she never met me. She got me.
So, I bid her adieu. Good bye Nora. Thank you for giving us the permission to be human.

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