Tips for Channeling Your Inner Meg Ryan

From planning your Halloween costume to being able to order pumpkin-flavored anything, the changing of the seasons signals the start of so many beloved traditions and activities. For me, the drop in the weather is the perfect excuse to curl up and watch my favorite movies on a loop. Among the extensive list of movies that I consider to be my personal cult classics are When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail. Both films include gorgeous scenes that take place during the fall in New York City, tall dark and handsome leads, and actress Meg Ryan, who every time I watch, I aspire to be a little bit more like. From her perfect outfits, meaningful relationships, and her tenacity in accomplishing her goals, I’ve more than done my research (having seen each film over a hundred times, respectively) to help us all emanate Meg Ryan in our lives.

Courtesy: Giphy

Ryan’s style in both films can best be described as classic. The girl simply can’t look bad. She utilizes staple pieces from her wardrobe in all her outfits, and they serve her well for strutting the streets of NYC. Whether it be a tried and true pair of high-waisted jeans, a neutral-colored cable knit, or a classic pea coat, it’s her skillful pairing of these pieces that we can all take some notes from. Chances are we all have the basics in our closet, but it’s how we utilize them that will elevate our style and help us conquer the fall season looking our cutest. Don’t be afraid to wear the same pair of pants twice in one week or use a blazer with something other than the skirt you bought it with - you’ll find that your closet is much bigger than you originally thought. Bonus points for dressing up your basics with accessories that’ll make the outfit all your own. Pictured below is some inspiration from her character Sally Albright in When Harry Met Sally.

Courtesy: Tormarie

Courtesy: Cliqueinc

Courtesy: Cliqueinc

I’ve always envied the idyllic relationships Ryan’s characters have in their lives. Hashing out their life problems over dinner, staying up on the phone to debrief about the day, or simply shopping the street market together never looked cuter. While you and your friends may not have the gorgeous backdrop that is autumn in New York while you tackle all of life’s problems, don’t write yourself off for being able to create bonds as special as the ones Ryan’s character does. Remember that to have a friend, you need to be a friend. Be honest with those you care about – this may look like Sally constantly reminding her friend Marie that “he’s never going to leave her.” Saying the truth can be difficult in the moment, but trust that having someone’s best interest at heart is worth much more than hyping them up over what won’t last. Also, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable with your friends. It can be uncomfortable, it can be awkward, and it can look a lot like Sally sobbing so hard that she gets snot all over her friend Harry’s favorite sweater. When you get real with people, you’ll find that a lot of times, they appreciate that you trust them with whatever you’re saying and that apart from your telling them otherwise, they just assumed that you have it all together. It is better to open yourself up to a support system, someone to relate with, or someone who can listen than to keep it all bottled up for the sake of being put together. Find out how your friends are really doing, be there for them, or take a chance on the person you want to get to know better. Real relationships don’t look like ‘put together’ – they look like intentional conversation, shared meals, and strolls down the prettiest streets. Geographical location and Nora Ephron’s direction do not determine how sweet your relationships can be.

Courtesy: Imagozone

It is not in Meg Ryan’s skill set to play a character who isn’t simultaneously the cutest person ever and a total goal-getter. It is a trademark of her personality to be ambitious and fight for what she knows she deserves. Whether it’s the confidence she exudes when she moves to New York to be a journalist in When Harry Met Sally or the passion with which she owns and manages her small bookshop in You’ve Got Mail, Meg Ryan is a girl boss and I think we can all take after her work ethic – especially in the midst of midterms. If you need to tell yourself that doing well on all your upcoming coursework is what will determine your meeting a Tom Hanks, Billy Crystal, or the likes, then so be it (I know that’s why I’m on the grind). But remember that apart from the tall dark and handsome lead that you not only deserve but undoubtedly will have someday, you are your own person with your own goals, and you owe it to yourself to work hard while in school so that you have every opportunity to succeed when you’re older. Log off and focus up, because it’s what Meg Ryan would do.

Courtesy: Giphy

If you’re anything like me and you’re planning on spending the fall season cuddled up quoting lines like “Don’t cry, shopgirl” and “I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out,” remember that Meg Ryan’s characters are not some unrealistic ideal. Channel all the sweetness, intentionality, and ambition of Sally Albright or Kathleen Kelly in your own life this autumn. Bonus points if you do so while walking down a long New York sidewalk as the leaves fall from the trees – but that’s not required.

Courtesy: Giphy

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