14 Mar 2016

Are You The Woman You Wanted To Be?

Diane Von Furstenberg, Are you The Woman You Want To Be, vickiarcher.com

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I always knew the woman I wanted to be.”


diane von furstenberg

“I always knew the woman I wanted to be.”

I admire Diane von Furstenberg’s strength of words and strong sense of self; smart enough to know where she wanted to finish but not sure how she would run the race.

I cannot credit myself with such clarity.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do (when I grew up) and nor did I know what kind of woman I wanted to be. I never thought it through and was only too happy to follow life’s journey and adapt along the way. Not necessarily the blueprint I would follow today or the advice I would share with my daughters if I had my time over. I attribute a whole lot of chance, good fortune and a few right decisions to ending up in a happy place.

Today I am the woman I want to be but it’s more through good luck than good management.

If a fortune teller had shown me the future I would have laughed and most likely said, “nonsense.” I’m not one for predictions or seeing far into the distance; I don’t know if this is a blessing or a fault. I believe in an open mind and welcoming opportunities. I don’t fear change, enjoy challenge and I understand mistakes are how we learn and grow. I am convinced of serendipity and I adhere to the principle that timing is everything.

When I was younger I envied girlfriends who knew where they were headed and who were steadfast in their direction. I saw this self-assured nature as a positive and a quality to be admired.  I think I may have confused security with confidence.

Confidence is something I have developed over the years and this has made all the difference.

Diane Von Furstenberg, Are you The Woman You Want To Be, vickiarcher.comDiane Von Furstenberg, Are you The Woman You Want To Be, vickiarcher.com

I could never have imagined I am the woman I am. Do you feel like that?

My life has been so full of surprises, mostly welcome ones and I hope it continues this way. My “job” is a constant inspiration and not a day passes without thinking about this destination. Yes, I can track the steps and the developments but I still find it wondrous. Never in a million lifetimes would I have predicted my destiny as this.

I do have a vague memory of loving to read and write as a child, as having a vivid imagination and I have never been lost for a word, that’s for sure. I put this down to the practicalities of my day-to-day childhood. Now I question whether these qualities were inescapable, forever preserved in the DNA and it has simply taken me time and experience to get back where I started.

Whatever the answer, this is one very fascinating question. xv

images diane von furstenberg, peter lindbergh and bob stone for vogue


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In This Post:



Anita Rivera

I think it is GOOD to not always know what you want to be. Even for some who do not dare to act do DREAM as they observe the world, and it is then when the magic happens. Sometimes the world just happens to us, but for others like say Diane, PEOPLE just happen to the world. Together however, we make up this race of beings that are constantly on the move to a better self. Fascinating. AND, what a beauty!

May our journeys Vicki shape us into who we were meant to be!

Susan Davies

I will be in Paris for two weeks on Wednesday. Would love tmeet you. I am a new woman and on a space in my 60s that I never dreamed of during my life thus far.

I am staying in Le Levoisier. Would you like a coffee together. Susan


Like you, I could never have imagined the woman I am today. I always thought I would be a wife and mother, but my work is a total surprise. I am beyond grateful for all the ups and downs so far, they have made me who I am today. That I have work selling antiques and writing about them for magazines is an amazing, wondrous development for which I praise God every day. I am excited to see what each day brings!

david terry

Well, Vicki…..
what a provocative (in the good way) posting.

Perhaps I should admit that I’ve probably spent less time, over the years, considering Diane Von Furstenberg’s life than I might ought to have done……for one reason or another, I’ve always assumed that she and Lee Radziwall were pretty much the same product in different wrappings. That said, I’ll also admit that my first thought, looking at this posting, was “What sort of person lives in a place with with a 6’x9′, enormous blow-up of her own portrait and ashtrays emblazoned with her own initials?”.

It is, all done and said, distinctly odd to do so…….very 18th century, Spanish Bourbon, in a phrase. I also just thought “What would it be like to try to have a conversation with a woman (unless she’s Angela Merkel, Hilary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher…and you happen to be a reporter who’s interviewing her at one of her political rallies) while she’s sitting in front of an enormous photograph of herself?”. It’s an interesting question…..

That said (and quite aside from Ms. Furstenberg’s self-involvement) your posting did remind me of that oft-quoted (to the extent that it’s appeared on a thousand refrigerator magnets, t-shirts, coffe mugs, and god knows what else) line supposedly written by George Eliot:

“It is never too late to become the person you might have been”.

I’ve always liked the line, despite its having never actually been written or said by George Eliot….. I particularly admire (no matter who first wrote, said, or thought it) its emphasis on BEING rather than DOING. that’s encouraging and, as we say in America, do-able.

Sincerely, and I hope you’re doing well……thanks for the good posting.

David Terry


I wanted TO BE many things……………none of which came TO BE!
I have had GOOD LUCK too in MY LIFE.
I have been thinking about THE SAME THING TOO THIS WEEK!!!!!!!

Teddee Grace

I’d advise teenagers to take their time and not necessarily listen to their elders about their plans for them! I enjoyed writing little stories when I first could print and my mother’s mantra was “you should be a journalist.” She didn’t know the difference between journalism and creative writing. I got a degree in journalism. I wish, in that very rural corner of Missouri, I had known about interior design.

Our French Oasis

Hi Teddee, As the mother of 3 teenagers and another two girls of 11 and 9, I so agree with you. Daughter number 1 is 19 and happily at Univesity, she is doing what she loves and is totally motivated. Daughter number 2 is 16 and has no idea what she wants to do. I have said to her and to all of them, the most important thing is to do what you want to do, not what others say you are good at, because if you are going to spend many years working, some may say the best years of your life, then make sure you are working at something that you enjoy, that is the best advice I can offer my children, that and the fact that I will support them in their choice.


I agree with Teddee. I knew exactly what I wanted to be/do when I finished high school at almost 18, but my parents had totally different plans for me. To make a long story short, time was spent taking courses I despised at a University I did not want to attend – only to quit too many years later with nothing to show for. In the end NO ONE was/ is happy. Even after that ordeal, they continued to control my life. Parents need to let their young adults have a voice and let them decide what they are good at, enjoy doing and RESPECT their choice because in the end the child is the one that has to live their own life- to get up every morning to earn their living.

Our French Oasis

Hi Fran, Please see my reply to Teddee above. This is a subject I feel so strongly about. So often I hear parents saying, you must do this, you must go to University, you must become whatever because that is what you are good at. But the best advice I can give my five children is telling them to do what they love. Our eldest daughter is 19, she is brilliant at languages, speaking three fluently, she was offered every scholarship imaginable for college with her high IB results, but she didn’t want to sit behind a desk doing anything to do with languages, she wanted to do design. Her teachers told her she was mad, other parents told us we were mad, but we said “go for it” she is half way through her Graphic Design degree, she is top of the entire course, she has just been offered a great internship in London, she is motivated and loving every second of what she does and she will go far because it is what she loves. She is a complete advert for doing what your heart tells you to do not what others think you should do. She speaks French when she comes home to us in France, she will never lose the languages but she is happy and surely that is what matters.


Hi Our French Oasis – YOU my dear GOT IT RIGHT. Your children are very, VERY lucky. I have young adults of my own now,too, and there is NO WAY I would put them on the wicked ride I was put on growing up. I broke the chain.

Our French Oasis

I had no idea what I wanted to do when I was growing up except ride horses and compete on them. I don’t even know why I eventually stopped and switched to career girl in London instead. I never imagined I would have five children, as little as five years ago I never knew I would write a blog. The only thing I did know in my life was I would live in France as I had visited every summer. Life takes many strange turns, like you, I have been so incredibly lucky, I have married a wonderful man and every day I feel blessed to lead the life I do, but it is certainly not one that was planned; would I do things differently if I started all over again, probably, but I doubt I could be any happier!

Lillian Plummer

As a toddler I used to take high heeled shoes to bed, now if that wasn’t a hint to my mother to steer me into the shoe business I don’t know what else could have been. As a teenager I re arranged my bedroom furniture every other week. Only so much you could do with 4 walks, a window and door. Sometimes my father helped as the furniture was bulky with large stand alone wardrobe. Mostly I dragged it from one side to the other until finally the carpet gave way. So did I pursue a career in either? No! Just continued my lifelong obesession with buying shoes and houses and decorated to my hearts content. xxxlillian


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