real life

JAMILA: When I need advice, my first port of call is almost always these two women.

Jamila Rizvi



‘Wisdom’ is one of those words I avoid.

Mainly because it seems so big. Like ’empowerment’, ‘inspiration’ and ‘washing my hair every day’, wisdom is a concept that simply isn’t something I’m going to master in this lifetime. Wisdom is what others strive for and attain but is something that for me, will always be just that little bit out of reach.

Now, all that being said, I’m a sucker for some wisdom. I take pleasure in sharing the wisdom of others with the world through obsessive social media posting. I enjoy watching TED talks and nodding along with the wisdom-filled thoughts of others. I will regularly stop a friend mid-conversation and say “Hold on, that’s gold, I need to write that down’.

So while I myself am not a possessor of great wisdom, I like to think I appreciate it.

Like I appreciate a fine wine. Or any wine, actually.

And when in need of words of wisdom, my first port of call is almost always two women, who I work with every day; Mia Freedman and Rebecca Sparrow. Both of these women are writers; clever, irreverent, and goddamn ferocious with a pen (okay not a pen, a MacBook Pro – who uses pens anymore, eh?) They’re also wives, mothers and friends; kind, generous and defiant in always putting the people they love first.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this series of posts is sponsored by Pandora. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.

I could gush about them for days but I know that’s not what you’re here for. You’re sitting there thinking ‘show me the money Jam, stop with your platitudes and let me in on the Wise Words of Wisdom these ladies imparted to you. Stop keeping them all to yourself you selfish snoot’.

Well, what I lack in wisdom I make up for in generosity. So here you have it friends, two ‘Ahah’ moments that I have had recently courtesy of the most Oprah-esque ladies in my life.

Rebecca Sparrow drops the first Wisdom Bomb: “If this relationship ends it is because it is not right for me. Not because I turned into a crazy person.”

Buckle yourselves in. Prepare for some life changing revelations.

Moment of Wisdom Number 1: About a year or so back, I was embarking on a new relationship. I was excited, a bit jittery, butterflies not so much in the stomach as everywhere – you know the drill.

And I was doing what I tend to always do when I form a new romantic attachment: Overnalyse. Publicly.

My poor housemates, friends, sister, colleagues. I hope your heart is genuinely going out to them because I tell you – they really put up with a lot. Every SMS was scrutinised for hidden emotional subtext. Every phone call was timed, every utterance read into.

Slowly but surely I was committing relationship suicide.

Enter stage left: Rebecca Sparrow. After putting up with another few (painstaking) minutes of my intricate dissection of my own love life – Bec intervened. And thank god this particular character rocked up or my relationship would have gone more Romeo + Juliet than happily ever after.

“Jam”, she said. “I want you to tell yourself this. I want you to say ‘if this relationship ends it will end because it was not right for me. Not because I turned into an utterly crazy person’, alright?”

Wisdom. Now that may sound very obvious to you reading. But for me? That was a wisdom bomb of epic proportions. Having sabotaged countless relationships in the past by becoming an insane, manic version of myself this was the advice I needed.

Moment of Wisdom Number 2: I was having a bit of a tough time mid last year. Not an actual tough time. Just the ordinary Gen Y girl living in the First World kind of tough. Yeah you guessed it, boyfriend troubles again.


I was complaining to Mia that my partner wasn’t emotionally open enough, that he did not talk about his feelings. You know, just like every woman has been doing since we first walked out of prehistoric caves and gave a cute Neanderthal man a cuddle.

I wanted him to talk more about, well, everything. I wanted to dissect our feelings, to celebrate our new love, to unpack the joys of dates for hours and hours using all the adjectives in the English language….

Wisdom Bomb Number 2, c/o Mia Freedman. “Stop expecting one person to be everything for you.”

Enter stage right: Mia Freedman, armed with her own Wisdom Bomb (otherwise known as ‘shut the hell up Jam and go back to work’ type advice but BETTER).

“Babe”, she said in a pitying tone. “Stop expecting one person to be everything for you. You will have different people in your life, at different times and for different reasons. This person sounds like he is your favourite person to spend time with, to make you laugh, to make love to, to talk about politics, to help you understand the world and maybe one day have a family with. Isn’t that enough? Does he have to talk about his feelings too?”

Nail. Head.

Mia didn’t mince her words. Just like Bec’s words of wisdom these weren’t carefully crafted moments of truth that would one day be mass produced as magnets or internet memes. There was no zen like mantra. No incense burning. No grey bearded gentlemen patting my head.

Just Mia, just Bec – two phenomenal women – who’d been there before.

Sharing simple words of wisdom that will stay with me a lifetime.

Which woman in your life has changed it for the better? Leave a comment below for your chance to win.


Leave a comment below for your chance to win.


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The Pandora ESSENCE Collection helps enable women to express their innermost self through 24 hand-finished sterling silver charms with key values such as joy, hope, love, loyalty, passion, balance, compassion and health, and crafted to exacting standards from symbolic materials.

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