Refinery29 Asks Women: What Are the Things Every Woman Should Know Before She’s 30?
Thimali, 33: Married and divorced, emigrated from London to New York when she was 23
What she wishes she could go back and tell herself: Don’t do the things you think you should be doing — like be a doctor, get the postgraduate degree, or acquire the high-salary-paying job. Worry about it all less. If you have more fun, you could possibly even accomplish more.
- Your 20s are for defining; your 30s are for refining. Your 20s come with the freedom to explore, the opportunity to push the boundaries of yourself, and the room to discover where all your extremes lie. Your 30s are for refining what you learned and uncovered in your 20s and bringing your dreams to fruition.
- You can’t avoid the bad shit. It will always find its way to you somehow.
- Look fear in the eye, and outsmart it. I wish I’d made this my number-one priority in my 20s. You can and should get advice from friends and strangers on how they do it, but your fears are your own, so the antidote will probably be your own, too. Dig deep and be brave. I know now that it’s impossible to be good at anything if you avoid challenges and never fail. A failure that gets its ass back up off the floor and tries again will not only be better prepared, but will always have the crowd on its feet in raucous applause.
- You haven’t got life figured out yet. Although it may feel like it, because life is hitting you like a thousand epiphanies slapping you in the face. And, you may never. But, if you do somehow find enlightenment, I imagine it will only be in the context of you. So, humble yourself and keep listening and learning. The wisest know they know nothing at all.
- If you don’t know what you want to do with your life yet, do everything you love and do it hard. One of those things will surface as more important than the others. If after you’ve put in time, love, and energy, it still doesn’t feel right, you can always always change your mind.
- I can guarantee there will be haters, but it’s only logic that there’ll be lovers, too.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. People want to help you. But, don’t arrive empty-handed — prove your interest by doing your research first.
- Not everyone you’re friends with are friends worth holding on to. Honor the friends that persist when you’re at your lowest. They are the absolute real deal. The rest aren’t bad people, but they aren’t helping you grow either. Don’t be afraid to let them go, and wish them a wonderful life as they exit yours.
- Other people’s views on life are not more relevant than your own. I don’t care if they’re older than you, better educated than you, wealthier than you, or shouting louder than you. Your perspective on planet Earth is exceptionally unique, and therefore your voice is equally as valid as anyone else’s.
- Have fun learning about yourself, because “winning” is not growth. Not a sexy-looking résumé, not good hair and flawless skin, nor keeping to the same path as your parents. To be accomplished or successful is to be as honest with yourself as you can humanly manage. Getting to know all your flaws and all your attributes alike and accepting it all. From that point on, anything is possible.