When we're young, it's easy to look at the glass as half empty. The world back then was scary -- uncharted territory that likely felt impossible to navigate. But as we got older, we soon realized that the world we knew then and the world we know now just aren't the same -- which is why the open letter Victoria Beckham wrote to her 18-year-old self for British Vogue is so perfect and so relevant for us all. Aside from being a heartfelt piece from the former Spice Girl-turned-fashion mogul (that's kind of a big deal, right?), it's a beautiful reminder of how far we've come, what we've accomplished, and where we're going.
Victoria's open letter, published on the British Vogue website this month (it was originally released last September), is a breath of fresh air. The 42-year-old wife and mother of four (Victoria and David have sons Brooklyn, 17, Romeo, 14, and Cruz, 11, and daughter Harper, 5) gets candid about her life. She opens up about the struggles she experienced -- body image and self-confidence among other issues -- and how "you will look at your life and think, 'Wow! I was never the one who was supposed to get all this.'"
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I never thought I would have much in common with someone like Victoria Beckham, but I found myself so inspired by her words. Granted, I never sold millions of records and inspired people to "spice up your life," never married a man who looks like David Beckham (my husband is still fine, though), and never created a multimillion-dollar fashion empire.
... And still, there are takeaways from Victoria's open letter that make me thankful for life and how far I've come on my journey.
One of the greatest food-for-thought moments that Victoria served is the importance of being a woman who builds up and doesn't tear down other women. Because truth be told, we have enough of that sh*t happening in this world, and it needs to stop.
She writes, "You will learn how mean other women can be. (And it will teach you always to support the women around you, to take them on a journey with you.)"
Amen, Victoria. Amen.
As for the man in her life, Victoria -- who affirms that "love at first sight does exist" -- and her hunky hubby have been married for a pretty long time (almost 16 years). That's ages, if we're counting in Hollywood years. While I'm sure they've had their ups and downs, somehow they've found a way to make it work.
"Always make time for each other," Victoria mentions. "Because if you don't, everything will revolve around the children and I'm not sure how sexy that is!"
As a wife (my husband and I have almost five years in the marital game) and mom of 3- and 1½-year-old boys, I will say my marriage has evolved since my husband and I had our kids. And as much as we believe in family time, Victoria's words to her younger self about her life with David Beckham -- and the reminder to keep the flames burning -- are so true, and it's sometimes a notion many of us put on the back burner. (Hey, parenting is no joke.)
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In addition to taking time to date your mate, Victoria also throws in some recommendations that could be the secret to her long-lasting marriage.
Have patience. Bite your tongue. Be supportive. And preserve a bit of mystique. Never let yourself go completely (at least brush your hair, clean your teeth, have a bit of a brow going on because you will always want him to look at you and feel attracted).
Well okay, girl!
Speaking of kids, lady Beckham took some time in her open letter to discuss life as a mom and whether or not we can truly have it all as parents and women pursuing careers and personal passions.
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"Your children will always come first, but never forget who you are and what you want to achieve," Victoria notes in her open letter. She continues:
Is it possible to have it all? To be a successful working mother? You will hear this question asked by many women as you grow older. What you will realise is that by working hard, yet always putting family first, it will be possible to achieve that balance. Nothing will be perfect, but it is only now that I have learnt to appreciate all I have and all I have been blessed with. I am happy.
I love this.
Reading Victoria Beckham's open letter to her 18-year-old self reminded me of two things: To remember that we don't know the struggles people deal with behind closed doors (no matter how "perfect" said people appear), and to reflect on your journey and the person you've become today.
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Just thinking back to my late teens makes me chuckle. I was so dramatic and often thought in extremes, as if I was in some Shakespearean melodrama. And yet, no matter the obstacles at that time -- obstacles that I thought I would never overcome -- life found a way to go on.
I might not have it all together, but I'm a work-from-home mom (constantly trying to find the balance and not lose my sanity), wife, and pursuer of hobbies. (Is anyone else a fan of MMA?)
... But most of all, like Victoria, I'm happy.
Life has a funny way of providing a few "The More You Know" nuggets along the road. I guess wisdom and perspective come with age and going through a few uncomfortable experiences in order to make you the sharp, badass person you are today.
Thank you, Victoria, for the reminder.