“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but I knew the woman I wanted to become.”
― Diane Von Furstenberg, The Woman I Wanted to Be
I have always resonated with this quote. It articulates something of the way I have understood the path I was walking through my own life.
Although, like her I have pursued a career and been grateful for the rewards associated with it, I’ve always recognized an “inner journey” as the guiding principle for my life. Recently, as I was thinking about how to celebrate an upcoming “milestone” birthday, I realized—I’m there. This is the woman I became.
The first time I heard this quote was on an American Express commercial, with Diane Von Furstenberg’s voice commenting on her life. I remember asking myself—how will I know when I get there? When I have become her? In response to those early questions three qualities emerged that have shaped my picture of what ‘becoming’ that woman would look like for me—
Recognize the sound of my own voice—in my choices, in my relationships, and be able to tell when that intrinsic authenticity had been compromised
Know how to be heard—in a way that reflected what I valued
Say what is important—independent of approval or consequences.
In the years since I asked and answered those questions, I have come to recognize a subtlety in process of ‘becoming’—which implies working toward an ideal—but also includes getting to a place where you trust yourself, with yourself. No matter where you are on the path to ‘becoming;’ no matter what you have figured out, or still question; what you have mastered or relinquished; you are here, fully present and reliable in the things that matter to you. There is a wisdom in understanding that ‘becoming’ is an invitation to participate in something that is forever unfolding. In this we come to trust that we do not need to be done, to be complete.