My friend says “I’ve gained weight” as if she is warning me “Don’t say anything”. We are just arriving and haven’t taken our coats yet. I have my camera and my little son with me. “But I am so happy and in love”. So we will be talking about relationships. My friend recently got divorced, but she found someone later and it seems now like the perfect match with all the little complications around it, but they are both working on it. That’s the thing when you become forty and it’s your second time around. You realise love is love, but to turn it into a relationship is something else – a little work, several compromises and quite some efforts and sacrifices.
Daniela has an amazing wardrobe with lots of Isabel Marant and Stella McCartney (we share a passion here), plus she loves wearing heels with jeans Gained or not, to me she looks utterly sexy. She is Italiana, it must be in her DNA.
She has just baked a chocolate cake and another pie, which seems quite complicated to me. I am not a baker and I know Daniela only from our fashion fiestas, so now this looks totally new to me. She says she tries, she’s got three kids and she loves to bake for them and her boyfriend.
She looks at me and tells me how much she tries in everything, including to understand how her ex- feels, feeling for what her boyfriend is going through, being there for all her kids. At the end she tells me with a sigh: “You know Tsitaliya, I am really such a boring woman, I just want to live the same life over and over again every day. This is what makes me happy. I hear people say: Oh, I can’t imagine waking up and having to go through the same boring things, but this is what I long for…”.
I look at her and I know this is not true. She is not boring and what she wants and makes her feel good, doesn’t make her boring. I understand her. In the past 2-3 years, both of us had life-changing experiences, our lives have been shattered to pieces and then we still found the strength to collect all these pieces and try to put them together as they were. What happened came without a single warning and this is what makes us say we want the boring life now. We want the normality, we crave the simplicity. We both know it wasn’t always like that, but right now it feels good to have home and family and little happiness and love.
Daniela says it’s amazing that no matter how much we talk about being independent of men, we are always dependent on their love or just having someone to love. She sounds like Samantha from Sex and the city: “I can’t believe my life revolves around a man. On what planet did I let this to happen…”
The thing is so many women want to prove to the world how strong and independent they are but what they don’t realise is that we will always be dependent on something or someone. The moment we think we are independent, we trick ourselves into thinking we are untouchable, but that’s when life interferes and proves us wrong.
Back to Daniela’s kitchen and losing that Christmas weight. She will do a week of Ayurveda retreat to boost her motivation levels and her confidence. In the meantime, she pulls out the one thing every woman needs to feel confident: a set of dresses. “You know, she says, a woman’s best friend is her selection of dresses. They can save you on any occasion and no matter if you’ve put on or lost a few kilos. Dresses are feminine, they are so chic, versatile and easy to wear. I love them”.
Then Daniela poses for me on her kitchen counter just beside her chocolate cake and a string of red peppers, wearing an Isabel Marant dress and a pair of burgundy Valentino ankle boots. She doesn’t even bother to put any makeup….and she is glowing. Her smile radiates warmth and feminine allure.
This woman to me is ageless and the most optimistic and self-confident girl I’ve ever met.