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I first found out about Nora McInerny through a Facebook video. From the immediate start, she rattles off life events that’d drop anyone to their knees in rapid fire (brain cancer, losing a baby, death) and sets my head spinning trying to process it – and she had to live it all in six weeks. As I’ve said, there’s something about people that voice their hardships like they are matter-of-facts of life that are as easy to spill as “I have brown hair.” Nora’s like that. After I watched the video, I searched to find more about her and then found her book, which I promptly downloaded, called “It’s Okay to Laugh: (Crying Is Cool Too)” and read her story and loved it.

Her writing style is as truthful and funny and serious as her Instagram stories and she holds a torch into the darkness of death and depression and makes it OK. Not better. But ok to deal with what we all have personally gone through and not bury it – but embrace it and carry it with us. She makes it ok to admit that we’ve all had breakdowns behind the steering wheel of a parked car at some point. She also started a nonprofit, StillKickin, which is amazing all around and helps incredible people.

Nora just came out with her second book called No Happy Endings and I’m still in the midst of it – but it’s the next chapter in her life – not just another book, and it’s a great one. So many people don’t know what to do when they lose someone essential in their lives. One piece of advice I’ve learned in this book that I’ll share as a preview, but you all should really go and buy it.

“Don’t should yourself. And don’t let anyone should on you, either.”

She says. “I was paralyzed by the idea of what I should do, always turning to friends, family, and complete strangers…to see what they thought about my potential next steps in life. My own opinion has come last, or not at all.” I’ve should myself a lot (still do), and then haven’t in other moments of my life (thus how I ended up in Italy). It’s a lesson for everyone (and a bigger on in the book, believe me, go read it) – especially going through anything really difficult – when shoulds come from inside your head and from friends and family.

I’m going to go read in bed. I say anyone reading this should too – whatever you want to read, but here are a few suggestions for day one-eleven. 🙂