If you're not subscribed to Lenny Letter, what are you waiting for? When our email notified us of Lena Dunham's interview with Hillary Clinton, our hearts skipped a beat. Two very bold, empowering, and passionate women discussing real-life situations meant that we could definitely learn a thing, or two.
Dunham did not shy away from asking questions on opposite ends of the spectrum — from Clinton's job, post-college, to today's current issue with police brutality and racism. Not only did it allow us to understand Clinton's stance on political topics, but had key takeaways that are completely relatable. Below are the six significant life lessons that this epic interview taught us.
Young women can — and should — have a voice
When Clinton was attending Wellesley, she and her friends were passionate about civil rights, women's rights, and racism. They had debates on these topics and she even held a rally to get rid of men's limited visiting hours — all in an effort to challenge the administration and how they operated. Clinton is proof that you don't have to wait until you're a politician to have revolutionary stances on larger topics at hand. As she said, "Turning the personal into the political is sometimes the only way to stay true to the personal."
Every experience you go through matters
It came to our surprise that after Clinton graduated from her university, she decided she was going to go to law school and picked up an odd job on her way to Alaska. She ended up working at a fishery were she gut salmon, washed dishes, and packed the fish away. Not one to remain silent, Clinton had concerns about the health of the fish and who they were delivering it to. After speaking up to the owner of the fishery, the next day the operation disappeared for the assumed fear that the workers would talk to someone about it. She never got paid, but said, "And I've often said it was a great experience for being in politics." So if you feel like what you're doing has no purpose, think again. Everything you do has a lesson to be learned, so put your best foot forward and stand for what you believe in.
It's okay to not have a clear path
Like her job at the fishery, Clinton didn't really have a clear life path in general. She went to law school where she met her future husband former President Bill Clinton. She had some pretty reputable jobs after school, but was torn between moving to Arkansas with Bill or looking for something else to do. She took a leap of faith and made the trek with Bill where she ended up teaching at a law school. This just goes to show that you don't need to have your next year, month, or even day planned out. Life happens when you're living in the moment. So if you're every stressed about not knowing the next direction you're going, take a deep breath, and go with the flow.
Being a feminist doesn't mean you hate men
Feminism has climbed its way into mainstream media this past year, even though it's not a new concept. However, Clinton is obliterating the idea that being a feminist means you hate every last male human in the world. She had a clear message for women, especially young women, when they say that they're not feminists, "Well, a feminist is by definition someone who believes in equal rights! I’m hoping that people will not be afraid to say — that doesn’t mean you hate men. It doesn’t mean that you want to separate out the world so that you’re not part of ordinary life. That’s not what it means at all! It just means that we believe women have the same rights as men, politically, culturally, socially, economically." So if you have ever felt a bit of an oddball for being a feminist or didn't know how to respond to someone who judges your stance, use her response to help guide your conversation.
Don't lose your identity in someone else
You're young, you might be in love but remember to put yourself first. "I was terrified about losing my identity and getting lost in the wake of Bill’s force-of-nature personality. I actually turned him down twice when he asked me to marry him," Clinton told Dunham. She may have married a president, but she's a woman in her own right. In the end all you have is you, so be the best version of yourself and exude that confidence in everything that you do.
Last but not least, let yourself have fun
On a non-serious ending note, Dunham gushes over a photo of Clinton in a Donna Karan, shoulder-exposed, dress back in 1993. It was controversial but Clinton had a message for the fashion police, "You’ve got to still have fun in all of these different roles that you’re in or I’m in or anybody is in their life." Truly the best lesson we can walk away with. Life's too short to be concerned with what people think of you. So yes, have all the fun you want because it's your life to live and no one else's!