Being Woman: Lessons From My Leading Ladies

Painting by Amy Judd

Painting by Amy Judd

On persona
  • Being a woman is a process. You’re not born one, you learn and mature into one
  • Take risks but never with your personal safety
  • Laugh more. To die laughing would be a good way to go
  • Humor yourself. Get drunk and do stupid things. Make sure your friends watch all that to embarrass you for the rest of your life. These are the memories you will loose last in the throws of senile dementia. Life will feel bearable, it will seem well lived.
  • Talk to people from different walks of life. Knowing other people and their perspectives gives richness to understanding about life
  • Play games in groups. It will make you competitive without fostering jealousy, as advised James Altucher to his daughters. Also you would know when to bow out with grace.
  • Have girlfriends who love you unconditionally. They will understand you and support you in ways your partner and family can’t.
  • Be an informed feminist (if you want to be one, its a choice). But be careful to not resent being a “lady” or disagreeing with those who are.
  • Travel alone. Your guts will come alive
Painting by Amy Judd

Painting by Amy Judd

On Self
  • You will be hurt, badly so. Defend yourself. But know that hurting back to get even and self-defense (physical and psychological) are not the same thing.
  • You must know to trust yourself. Period. Living with self doubt will make you vulnerable to bad advice and abusive relationships.
  • Nurture self respect. You cannot make others respect you, but you can sure refuse to be disrespected.
  • Take your work seriously, more than your perceived image at workplace.
  • Be with people who remind you of your beauty when you don’t see it. Reciprocate the gesture when you get the chance.
  • Never feel sorry for being a compassionate soul. Some people will always be too frugal to return your kindness. Doesn’t mean you should quit being kindhearted. Just choose wisely whom to offer your affection to.
  • Self respect and ego are similar but not same. Figure the difference to keep yourself humble yet collected.
  • Never let anyone compliment you by belittling another person (man or woman). That’s an unnecessary invitation to unhealthy competition that no one agreed to.
  • Dress to please yourself and feel confident. Avoid doing it for attention. Bagging shallow admiration will leave you empty in long run.
  • Never let your independence and confidence become your arrogance. Yes, you can take care of yourself, yet its a sign of strength to be able to trust others with your well being.
Painting by Amy Judd

Painting by Amy Judd

On love
  • Being lonely and being alone are two entirely different things. Learn to love your own company. Cherish the soulfulness of solitude before stepping into relationship. It would nurture you when you feel disconnected from your partner.
  • Being alienated from the people you love and being unproductive at work often go hand in hand, as mused Anais Nin. It’s okay to prioritize relationships over work sometimes.
  • Never resent heartbreaks. Walking alone will teach your more about friendship than the hollow hugs that leave you cold and confused. Falling out of love will teach you more about love than the shallow promises that crumble like sugar casts and make you wonder if at all any of it was real.
  • Barricading your heart is not the answer, nor is carpeting it down to be trodden over. Find balance. Seek compatibility. 
  • Love to be a better version of yourself, don’t love someone to become a different person through them. That’s always disastrous, that doesn’t end well. 
  • You have to be your own anchor. If you build home inside someone else, you will feel orphaned (instead of displaced) if that relationship were to end. You can be a passionate lover without losing your identity to a relationship, remember that.
  • Adjust but don’t cut your personality to size or mutilate your soul to fit someone else’s list.
  • Love yourself. Believe that you deserve to be loved with the very fiber of your soul, even if you had a difficult childhood or adulthood full of betrayals. Seek help from a therapist, but do learn to love yourself. To love others and to live right, this is very important.
Written by Anushree Bose