â€œWrite about how much you love her work,â€ she said. â€œTell her what she means to you,â€ mother said. â€œBefore itâ€™s too late,â€ she stated. And now, her infamous words have become a reality: Nora Ephron has passed.
For those of you who do not know who this extraordinary human being was, Nora was a femininst writer, screenplayer, director and humorist who left her mark in this world for all of us who wished to see the world in a comedic light. She wrote the screenplays When Harry Met Sally, Youâ€™ve got Mail,Â Sleepless In Seattle and Julie and Julia--amongst other things. She also published books full of essaysÂ which were New York Times bestsellers.
She truly paved the way for women who wish to excel in their careers. And now after almost a month after her passing, I still Â cannot get effing over her death. Why her? Why now? She was young! This is so unfair!
â€œThe tragedies of your life one day have to potential to be the comic stories the next.â€ This goes hand in hand with something that struck a chord with me hard-- â€œabove all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.â€
Always making herself the butt of her own jokes, Ephron used the tragic material of her life and converted it into box office gold.
She was once married to Carl Bernstein (use your US History 101 knowledge--one of the people who discovered Nixon in the Watergate scandal?) and was seriously screwed over by him. She was a well-known editor in the sixties, back when women were not considered smart and only taken as sexual objects (youâ€™ve seen Mad Men) and dropped everything to marry him. Seven months into her second pregnancy, Bernstein stated he is in love with someone else, the bastard! Ephron rallied; she moved back to New York and quickly picked up her life again as a writer.
She wrote hit after hit and in 2006 she published her book I feel Bad about my Neck. Little sophomore me was given the book by my mother and, in a marvelous epiphany, she became my idol.
How could this woman be so brilliant? Unabashedly speaking about sex and how her mother was crazy and just turning everything into a joke. I instantly knew I had to take on this lifestyle.
Exactly a week before her death, I had the chance to buy her second book I Remember Nothing,Â and since then I had been having recurring dreams about her. In them she would tell me what an amazing writer I was and how much I reminded her of me.Â Alas, that will never happen. So now all I can do is write this for an audience who will listen and I will share what I learned from Nora:
- Get over yourself,Â and just laugh at it. Nora went through some pretty effed up situations and all she did was laugh at it. Your baby daddy being in love with someone else? Pfff sit down and make it an acclaimed novelÂ and film.
- Don't ever shut out the voice inside your head. I know, this seems like schizophrenia but Noraâ€™s writing seems to be a stream of thoughts which would make only sense in your head. She manages to convert these thoughts into writing and has thus become famous.
- Donâ€™t ever rule out any possibility. Nora was a journalist and later a screen writer. She did it because she took advantage of every situation and turned out to excel in all of them. She learned by every opportunity taken. She even spoke about it in her graduation speech to Wellesly in 1996:Â â€œMaybe young women donâ€™t wonder whether they can have it all any longer, but in case any of you are wondering, of course you can have it all. What are you going to do? Everything, is my guess. It 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 donâ€™t be frightened: you can always change your mind. I know: Iâ€™ve had four careers and three husbands."
- Men do not define you. Nora interned at the White House at the time that JFK was president. She declares he never hit on her and since then she had no ties to his presidency, except well, making fun of how she never got hit on. I am telling you this woman is brilliant.
So it is with a heavy heart that I bid Nora adieu. My mentor from afar, my idol, my inspiration in life, everything one could hope to become was all concentrated in this magnificent woman.Â May she rest in peace.