Author, podcast hostess, and sardonic lady of real talk, Nora McInerny is the type of friend you want when times get tough. She’s a listener, an empathizer and now she’s our latest (and Tallest!!) Woman of Gumption.
Let’s be real, I am always one to be in my feelings.
Not in the sense that I am unable to carry out daily tasks, or retain any semblance of my morning application of concealer but rather that I like to think of myself as an empath, a person who feels it their duty to try and help those when they need it (whether they asked for my assistance or not).
And it’s because of this that I also feel it necessary to champion those who do the same for others. Nora McInerny is one of those people. And with her latest tome, No Happy Endings, she confirms to the world what her fans have long since known; that when it comes to approaching the worries and heartaches of life with a real world sensibility, she is leading the pack.
Nora’s story is not one you would peg as easy for her to tell. Within a six week span, she lost her loving husband and her father to cancer, and also suffered a miscarriage. Singularly each one of those things would take a toll on a human, but combine them all on top of each other and you truly find yourself wondering how in the world could something this devastating happen to one unassuming human.
But Nora turned her grief into power. Her first book, It’s Ok to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too) truly answered the question ‘How are you’ for the first time (and also took the prize for best Book Title of all time). The answer: Terrible, Thanks for Asking. The book chronicles her ever so true younger years playing the Bird Box-esque games of love until she met her first husband Aaron. The book is funny at times, heartbreaking at others but overall, it is real. No pretenses, no misguided advice, just a human who has been burdened with a barrell full of greif propelling her life forward as best she can.
But the conversation didn’t end there. Her podcast Terrible, Thanks for Asking is a haven for those looking to push past the pleasantries of life altering events and to find the truth through human connection and catharsis. It serves as weekly evidence that McInerny isn’t interested in the tied up bow version of life, she wants the big truth.
On a personal note, it gave me one of my favorite quotes of all time (please forgive my paraphrase):
‘I’ve been through too much to know that time heals grief, but rather that time can change grief.’
All of this led to the release of her second Memoir No Happy Endings, which chronicles the next chapter of her life, the unhappily ever after you might say, but for Mcinerny, that is not a bad thing and I have to whole heartedly agree. Too often, words or thoughts are associated with negative connotations that they don’t deserve (and I like to think that Nora would agree with me on that one). In this Memoir you once again see Nora being beautifully broken and authentically herself. She navigates her lonlieness, the finding of new love, THE IMPORTANCE OF THERAPY, and many more subjects with the same self-deprecating humor and earnest honesty that we have come to find connection with.
So, what makes Nora McInerny a woman of Gumption you ask?
To me, she had a choice after the trials of life she went through; she could let them bury her deep or she could use her grief as a platform to connect to those who were also suffering as there is so much truth in the idea that healing, although a personal journey, can be eased by the catharsis of others in life’s similarly designed obstacle courses.
She co-founded the Hot Young Widow’s Club,
(from their website) an online support group for those who have lost their significant others (boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, husband, etc.) that exists to support, encourage and inspire it’s members.
She founded Still Kickin,
(from their website) a non-profit organization inspired by the T-Shirt her husband Aaron was wearing the day he had a seizure that would uncover his brain cancer. It exists to help really good humans who are going through really terrible things through purchasing curated merch*.
*which is legit the bomb btw as evidenced by the photo to your left of this weirdo i.e. yours truly.
Nora is a mother. Nora is fighter. She’s a cryer. She’s hella tall.
And she believes in love.
But mainly, Nora is a good human doing good things for other humans (be they friends, aquaintances or even strangers). She’s the type that would always have your back. She’s the kind of friend I would feel lucky to have.
And lastly, her son Ralph has the coolest hair on the planet.
For more information on Nora, her Books, her Podcast and her organizations, visit her website by clicking the button below.