Hillary Clinton's Lena Dunham Interview Offered Up Some Sage Advice About Being In Your 20s & What The Hell To Do When You're There
On Tuesday, Lena Dunham and her co-showrunner, Jenni Konner, released their weekly newsletter, Lenny, with quite a bang. The first issue features an exclusive interview with Hillary Clinton, who sat down with Dunham to talk college years, feminism, and Sandra Bland. But since Dunham is one of the most relevant and poignant — if not the most — voices of her generation (she created a little show you might have heard of called Girls), she also asked the presidential hopeful to dispense some wisdom to all the 20-somethings out there who are navigating their way through one of the most uncertain times in life. Never one to disappoint, Hillary Clinton's advice on being in your 20s was absolutely brilliant.
Anyone who's familiar with Girls knows that it centers around four girls living in New York City trying to figure out who they are and what they want to do after college. Dunham's characters, who are flawed and realistic, deal with everyday issues — job hunting, relationship conflict, tested friendships, etc. — that nearly every 20-something can relate to. Girls is such an authentic experience that viewers often feel like voyeurs. That's what makes Dunham a walking, breathing representation of her generation.
So when Dunham meets a woman like Hillary, who obviously has a lot more road behind her, it's practically her duty to seek advice for her generation. Besides her always-valuable insight on politics and social equality, here is the optimistic wisdom Hillary offers for everyone out there stumbling through their 20s.
Your 20s Are For Establishing Your Personal Foundation
When speaking about her own college experience at Wellesley, Hillary recounted how it shaped her personal set of beliefs and encouraged others to do the same.
Then I got to Wellesley, and I began to meet many different kinds of people, and we continued to talk about what we cared about and what we thought the country should be like and the world should be like. I found myself really evolving, moving toward a different set of beliefs. I think that's part of what your late teens and 20s are all about. You have to decide what you really believe. You can certainly carry with you some of the values that you've inherited, but you have to make them your own or you have to add or subtract from them. And that's what I did.
It's Absolutely Natural To Struggle In Your 20s
If you're feeling lost in your post-graduate years, Hillary wants you to know you're not alone.
I don't trust anybody who says that they didn't have some questions in their 20s. That's a period of such exploration and often torment in people's lives. ... My 20s were very formative but by no means a clear path.
You'll Be Faced With Tough Decisions
Choosing between your career and your personal life is a conundrum most women will experience at some point in their lives.
So, then I did go to law school. And it was a very tumultuous time. We had a lot of very serious concern in the school about what was happening in the world, and there were demonstrations of all kinds and protests. It was confusing. It was a tough time. And I met my future husband in law school. I started dating him, but I wasn't sure that that was the right decision. Because he was definitely going home to Arkansas.
But Sometimes It's OK To Just Follow Your Heart
Not everyone has to make the decision she did, but Hillary proves that sometimes following your heart doesn't have to mean sacrificing your career or compromising your own goals.
Then I went to work for the impeachment staff that was investigating Richard Nixon. Then when he resigned, I had to decide what to do, and that's when I took this big leap and said, "Okay, I'm gonna go try to find out what Arkansas is like and what it's like to live there." So I got a job teaching at the law school, and I just picked up and I moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas.
If somebody had said when I was 20 or 21, "Are you gonna marry somebody from Arkansas? And you're gonna teach law school at the university there, and you're gonna move there, and, you know, that's where your daughter's gonna be born..." It would have never been in my mind. It's just not something that I had ever imagined.
Images: Lenny Letter/Politico