Monday, September 29, 2008

Finding Herself

I grew up in the UK, where my grandmother was a big fan of the Royal Family. She had a wonderful collection of hats, and she was in her glory when people would comment on how like the Queen Mother she was. So this week when I had the opportunity to hear the Duchess of York, I thought of my grandmother and her fascination with the Royal Family.

Fergie shared that her early childhood was happy, but that all changed when her mother left. She was 13 at the time and always thought her naughty antics were the cause of the marriage break-up. She believed that if she’d been a good girl, the split would never have happened. So for years, she tried to be perfect, she tried to please and as a result, lost the essence of who she was in her search for approval.

As she talked about her marriage to Andrew and the love they still shared with each other and for their daughters, it struck me as sad that their marriage didn’t work out. But he was at sea, and she saw him for 40 days/year for the first five years. It must have been pretty hard to maintain a strong, intimate relationship and as she said, at 24, they did not have the maturity or courage to take a stand for what they wanted.

As she talked about her journey to find herself, you got the sense that some of the negative media still hurts but she has found her purpose through the different charities she has started to support children around the world. This is her passion and she feels she is putting her celebrity status to good use.

Her talk was honest and real. The organizers kept saying she had to leave because of another engagement, but she stayed on, telling one story after another. It almost seemed as if she didn’t want to leave, maybe because she knew that the women in the audience understood her struggles and she felt validated.

Whatever the reason, she made an impact and I just wish my grandmother had been there to enjoy the moment.

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