In honor of turning 30, Evan Rachel Wood says this is the greatest lesson she learned in her 20s
Listen up, because we’re about to share some serious life knowledge. Evan Rachel Wood turned 30 on Thursday, which means she is now privy to a whole swath of wisdom that comes from aging. She chose to share what she’s learned with the world, and her advice is so applicable to our lives.
The Westworld actress went through a lot in her 20s, including multiple sexual assaults and two suicide attempts. She came out as bi, got engaged a few times (and then broke off said engagements), and made some regrettable fashion faux pas. Not to mention all the soul-searching and confusion that accompanies the decade.
But Wood seems to have an optimistic view of how her 30s will go, according to the emotional, reflective letter she penned for NYLON.
"My brother compares turning 30 with that moment in The Goonies when Sean Astin escapes booby traps and bandits and finds One-Eyed Willy. He walks up to this mythical corpse and the gold treasure he has been searching for and says, 'You’ve been expecting me, haven’t you? Well, I made it. I beat you. I got here in one piece… so far.'"
And that leads us to Wood’s biggest piece of wisdom she learned in her 20s.
"The greatest lesson I have learned is that there is always more to learn."
She has some other inspiring nuggets to share as well.
Learn how to be alone, and get to know yourself.
"Take time for yourself. I cannot stress this enough. If you can’t sit alone with yourself, you will never be fully content sitting with another person. You will feel on edge, insecure, and like an imposter. You will project an image of what you think someone wants rather than just owning who you are."
Fake it till you make it doesn’t always help you learn quicker. Ask when you don’t understand!
"Don’t be afraid of asking questions—any question, anytime, to anyone. Don’t pretend to know things you don’t. Just ask. If people give you shit, it says more about them than it does you. You have nothing to prove. You are smart for asking questions.
Don’t play games with people.
"Say what you mean and mean what you say... Don’t make people guess. Don’t expect them to know what you need, we can’t read minds… yet. Say. How. You. Feel. and actually say, 'I feel...' Not, 'You did...' or something else that puts your emotions on another person."
Get out there and work for what you want.
"Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you. Make your own things. Believe in yourself. Sometimes you gotta be the one to make the move. To quote Almost Famous: 'Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.'"
Honestly, this advice is good at any age. Thanks, Evan Rachel Wood. And happy birthday!