Lena Dunham has some great advice for her early-20s self

Lena Dunham, creator of Girls, author of Not That Kind of Girl, and host of the podcast Women of the Hour, has accomplished so much in the past 10 years, but there’s still another milestone ahead: turning 30. Her work has captured the quintessential 20s experience, but now that that time of her life is behind her, she spoke to Refinery29 about just how much she’s learned.

Having made her name representing our 20s in every crazy, romantic, and awkward way imaginable, she’s still somewhat the authority on that time in our lives when we’re still figuring things out. Now, however, as someone who’s lived it, she knows the advice she needed to hear:

Our 20s, for many people, mean insecurity. It’s the time in our lives when we’re allowed to fail even though we firmly believe we shouldn’t, and we spend so much of it comparing ourselves to other people, wondering what was going on in their heads rather that focusing on ourselves. But, as she explained in an interview for Rookie, it gets better:

There definitely will be hardships, but Lena took her insecurities and channeled them into her work, which is why sex and body image play such important roles in Girls. “My early 20s were very much defined by sexual encounters that were often ill-advised and didn’t always make me feel that great about myself,” she says. “That was something I wanted to look at in the show, because I know I’m not the only woman who feels that way.”

While Lena is happy to be leaving her 20s behind, we’re grateful for all the lessons she’s learned (and therefore, we’ve learned) along the way. We’re looking forward to even more adventures in the next decade of life.

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