The Woman I Wanted To Be

That’s the title of Diane von Furstenberg’s new book: The Woman I Wanted To Be. I saw her at a book-signing in NYC and she’s still gorgeous and compelling. I haven’t read the book yet, but she has had an amazing life as a designer, businesswoman, Princess, wife, mother and more.

As for me, the woman I wanted to be was always non-traditional, as far back as I can remember. I cannot recall a time when I wanted to have children, for example. I know now, and I must have known back then, that it wasn’t a good choice for me.

I wanted to have a partner, and I love being married now. I wasn’t very good at it in my twenties. I’ve never cared for cooking, and haven’t hosted a Christmas dinner in my life. I don’t decorate for the holidays. I have complete respect and awe for the women who have done, and continue to do these things.

Work and academics were central to me. Like many of my generation I was the first in my family to graduate college. I loved being a Bachelor Girl in Boston and Washington D.C., and doing all the things BG’s do on the regular.

I’ve worked in big cities, traveled, gone to graduate school, opened a therapy practice, and rescued cats, and lived by the sea. New York City will be my next big adventure, I hope. As I recount this life, it sounds self-absorbed. I hope it hasn’t been. I’ve tried to do well by my patients. I have an egalitarian marriage that gets better all the time. I look forward to volunteering for the Red Cross and the Cat Thrift and more.

Hold on, I’m coming. Map of Greenwich Village.

All in all, I have become the woman I wanted to be. The journey isn’t over, but I’m just six months from age 60, and I am who I am. I know I have missed out on many joys (and some heartache) by staying child-free. I won’t have any grandchildren to cuddle, or a big table around me at Christmas. I’ll have memories and peace all the same, lots of memories and peace.

Have you taken a road less traveled? I would love to hear.

Stay fabulous,

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  1. I'm also childless by choice (never ever wanted kids), and like you, I think now about what my life is going to be like without all those familial trappings. I'm working on my internal life, right now, trying to figure out who the next version will be…

  2. I never wanted children but it happened, i never had regrets, but children are not a guarantee of a bib table at Christmas, that, i can tell you – I guess you have to become what you want whatever the situation you are in not always easy – I'm like you i have a great hubby who supports me no matter what, it gets better all the time with him .

  3. I, like you, also chose the road less travelled. It is refreshing to communicate with someone that has also made that choice as it often isn't a popular one and can be viewed as selfish by many of those that don't agree with it. I too sometimes wonder if I've missed out on things by choosing not to procreate. I don't dwell on it too much though because I'm busy enjoying the life I've chosen for myself. I haven't forgotten how fleeting health can be. I want to enjoy each moment while I have it.

    I'm so excited for your possible adventures in NYC! It is wonderful that you are continuing to experiment and challenge yourself. Not too many people nearing 60 would be excited by all that change. Embracing it is probably what keeps you looking 20 years younger than your "real" age.


  4. Sounds like we have a lot in common Patti! So great that you have become the woman you wanted to be. Isn't that just so rewarding? I for one cannot believe you are almost 60. I always feel your are more my age…. As for myself I have achieved a lot of things that I wanted to, but as you say, the journey is not over and there is still so much more to do. One thing on the bucket list is to come to New York and meet up with you there (you seem to go on a regular basis!)

  5. I've been thinking about this post, Patti, and how to comment. I wonder if other followers have also found it hard to know quite what to say about their own journeys? You sound as though you are at peace with your choices, and that you like where, and who, you are. I'm not at all where I thought I would be – I never imagined my trained-for and well-practiced career would disappear, or that I would have a child with a disability, or that I would find myself unable to afford certain things which I used to take for granted (like holidays). But hey, it's all relative, and there are plenty of positives, not least my kids, and I can live with the freedom from wage slavery! xxx

  6. It sounds like you have created a wonderfully fulfilling life for yourself. I think what you choose to do isn't nearly as important as the fact that you make choices. It's also not necessary to have children to create a family. We gather loved ones around us regardless of whether they're blood relatives or not. The choices you've made and the path you've forged has opened up so many possibilities for those of us who have followed you. To you and all the older women out there who pushed the boundaries and chosen the unexpected, I say , "thank-you!" You've made my path possible.

  7. You have such good insight into yourself, and it shows in that you now have a life you love. I'm pretty close to that, although I do wish I could have done some things differently. Like being a princess. 😀

  8. I admire you for knowing who you are and what you wanted. It sounds to me like you've had a wonderful life, with more to come. I enjoy following your journey!

  9. She sounds like a woman after my own heart! No kids, no seasonal decorating or Xmas dinners. Here's me dismissing her as just making wraparound dresses for rich ladies of a certain age. I take it all back! xxx

  10. I am about halfway through the book and so far I have been surprised by many things about her that I did not know. I am the woman I want to be and still a work in progress at the same time. I will never know the wealth of DVF but I have a deep, deep joy inside!

  11. We all take different paths, and your life sounds like a life well lived and something to be proud of. Thanks for sharing this.

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