Hi there ~ Nice to see you again.
You know how you wonder, “What would [so-and-so] do?”
You know, your “What would” person. I’m sure you have one, whether it's someone you know personally, or someone you’ve always idolized. What would Aunt Jane do? What would Mrs. Smith do? What would Oprah do?
I have a special place in my heart for Audrey Hepburn. I mean, yes, most of us do. But I've always felt like she and I would get along famously, and, let’s be honest, I hoped to find out that we're kindred spirits. I always had a feeling in my bones that we are. I really didn’t know all that much about her, but I’ve always wanted to be her (you know, while still being myself).
Which is why, when I saw a book called What Would Audrey Do? Timeless Lessons for Living with Grace and Style sitting on a bookstore table in Seaside, Florida a few months ago, I almost peed myself.
As it turns out, we have a lot in common:
She recited Rumi.
She was a giver.
She “lined her walkway with lavender”.
She cherished her “me time”.
She loved to write snail mail – and even wrote some poetry.
She never studied acting.
She preferred “an extremely simple meal that’s exquisitely done”.
She never pierced her ears. (*I actually pierced mine twice, but they got infected both times. Therefore, yes, I’m counting that as the same thing. After all, how many women do you know who don’t have pierced ears? That’s right: Not many. It’s special.)
She appreciated simple things, slowing down, and turning off. As she put it, “Today there are so many people, so many things, so many emotions, and the more there is, the less I want.” Right on, sister.
She loved to walk fast – and she walked a lot.
She stood up straight.
She was feisty, yet seemed to be a sensitive soul.
She thought her arms were too skinny.
She kept the faith.
She was “childishly optimistic”.
She was very introspective – but she could make fun of herself.
She loved dark chocolate bark. (Most women love chocolate, but not many women can get on board with baking chocolate, as Audrey did.)
She wore size 10 shoes.
She couldn’t wait to be a mother.
Finally, D and I happen to live just five blocks away from Tiffany’s...Fate.
We’re not the same person, and for that I’m glad. That would be weird. A few things we don’t have in common:
I sometimes multitask. Though I try to catch myself and stop, because it always works against me. Therefore, this point only gets half-credit.
She hated “exercise”. As she said, “There are too many musts in life without adding exercise.” Though I was a personal trainer for a few years recently, exercise is probably less important to me than, well, every single person I ever worked with in that field. This year has pretty much been a no-go, and, though frustrated that my arms are officially chicken wings again, it’s all good. When I read that Audrey preferred just walking, I felt relief, “Freedom! I’ll be okay after all!” Therefore, this point also only gets half-credit. And, finally,
I add a “space cadet” flair. This point gets full-credit, because I’m a hot mess sometimes.
In my own idealistic mind’s eye, you might say I add a bit of Katharine Hepburn. However, deep down, I’m more Team Audrey. During that year when I committed to writing a poem a day, one of my poems to my sister, Leah, included this stanza:
Audrey seems much more my fate,
you are the essential Kate:
cutting-edge, infectious wit,
energy so brightly lit.
I just learned that Audrey was the one who made sure that Moon River stayed in the final cut of Breakfast at Tiffany's. I walked down the aisle to that song.
Now, granted, I definitely can’t corner the market here. Gads of women all over the world claim just as much Audrey-ness, and rightly so. What matters is that most of us could learn a thing or two from her.
When thinking about what Audrey would do, here a few nuggets:
Live your values. Keep a sense of wonder. Always go back to gratitude. Put your mask on first. Go old-school. Make the people you love the most important part of your world. Stay modest. Be yourself, and share vulnerability – but remember the art of not bearing all. Be fully present with whoever you’re with. Never underestimate the power of simplicity. Forgive. Choose optimism. Do the best you can, then let the chips fall where they may.
That last point relates to the book I read just before this one – but that’s for next time.
Thanks for stopping by. And keep sharing your stories, because someone wants to hear them.