Be The Heroine Of Your Own Life

Sweater c/o SheIn
Don’t let the number of women in the work force trick you — there are still lots of magazines devoted almost exclusively to making perfect casseroles and turning various things into tents.

Don’t underestimate how much antagonism there is toward women and how many people wish we could turn the clock back. One of the things people always say to you if you get upset is, don’t take it personally, but listen hard to what’s going on and, please, I beg you, take it personally. Understand: every attack on Hillary Clinton for not knowing her place is an attack on you. Underneath almost all those attacks are the words: get back, get back to where you once belonged. When Elizabeth Dole pretends that she isn’t serious about her career, that is an attack on you. The acquittal of O.J. Simpson is an attack on you. Any move to limit abortion rights is an attack on you — whether or not you believe in abortion. The fact that Clarence Thomas is sitting on the Supreme Court today is an attack on you. 

Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.
- Nora Ephron
I think about this quote a lot - tt's from a speech she said at a commencement in 1996 and it is as relevant then as it is today. When she was in college, Ephron felt that they were teaching them to be in the middle of everything - to not be too extreme. Don't question too much. Don't go against the norm. But this didn't interest Nora. She believed that women can be whoever we want to be, whether that's a businesswoman or a mother or a writer or an eternal student. The only thing that we can't do is regret our pasts or our decisions. It reminded me of Marina Keegan's essay, The Opposite of Loneliness. I struggle with the fear that the choices I make are going to impact the rest of my life, whether it's a positive or negative impact. The terrifying nightmare that I could wake up one morning and be stuck in a life I don't love.

But that will never be the case. Life is complicated and messy but, as Nora suggests, embrace the mess and rejoice in the complications. We are too young to be scared of being too extreme, too complicated, or too messy. We have time. Nora Ephron believes that we can change our minds at any moment. We aren't tied down to any idea, any person, or any specific thing. We can move forward from hardships, we can decide when things or people aren't right for us anymore. We even more forward from our own selves. We are continuously changing and adapting and morphing into new versions of ourselves. We aren't behind, we just have so many different paths to take and we are getting there whenever we feel like it.

So now, with the knowledge and guidance by both Nora Ephron and Marina Keegan, I'm trying to live my life in such a way that if something feels wrong I'll weigh two options:

I could fix it
I can quit it,

because I am too young to be scared of complications and mess. I am too young (and stubborn) to be stuck in a life, in a relationship, or with a decision that doesn't serve me. I can change my mind and my path whenever I wish. I have the time to learn to create the life I want, regardless of how long it takes or how young - or old - I am. I have the power to enact change in my life, and I have the power and ability to be my own heroine.

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