Last Saturday, I watched Totally True Love, a Norwegian film. It’s about a ten-year old girl, Anne, who was in love with a boy named Jorgen.

It was freaky.

At the highest point of pre-teen jealousy, Anne cut the hair of her nemesis. This idea was inspired by a folklore she grew up to, of a woman who did the same — cut the hair of her rival for a boy’s love — and got buried alive inside a wall for it.

When she realized she made a terrible mistake, Anne thought she’d get buried alive as well. So she wanted to disappear and hid from everyone.

What her mother told her has stuck with me ever since,

Everyone makes mistakes. It’s what you do afterwards that counts.

I don’t remember when I first encountered this advice. But I’ve heard it a lot of times. As quotes. As essays. As chapters in self-help books.

I thought I “get” it. But I didn’t.

Otherwise, I wouldn’t be afraid to try things and make mistakes. I wouldn’t want to disappear every time I inevitably made one.

But this time, it finally stuck…

  1. Everyone makes mistakes — it’s part of the process.
  2. It’s what you do afterwards that counts.

I also finally understand why stories matter. They download otherwise forgettable life lessons into you heart.