Carrie Bradshaw EYHO! ~ My IdeaLife

Saturday 27 July 2013

Carrie Bradshaw EYHO!

The last person I ever imagined as overly-inspiring was Candace Bushnell, author of Sex and the City. So when I saw that she was speaking at a Business Chicks event I was a little perplexed given the types that we normally see (think Richard Branson, Brene Brown, Bob Geldof). Nonetheless I was looking forward to it, I had been, like most of my age group, obsessed with SATC and I was insanely curious to hear what this nympho, party girl with a shoe fetish would say in real life. 

So I came prepared, I did what every "informed" person does, I read about her on Wikipedia. As I skimmed through the article learning about the real Mr Big and her whirlwind marriage (and subsequent divorce) to a principle ballet dancer ten years her junior, my suspicions about what to expect from the event the next day were being confirmed. I started to brace myself for some squirming and hoped the food would get me through what I thought would be quite a vacuous and superficial experience. I continued reading and a small jagged fact tore slightly at my preconceptions. At one point Bushnell, a then struggling writer, had been so impoverished that she had to sleep on a piece of foam some friends gave her as she couldn't afford a bed. "Hmmm that doesn't fit" I thought, maybe there's something more than an unhealthy knowledge of Manolo Blahniks here.

Upon arriving the next day, in my most outlandish coat (had to pay some sort of homage and I can't stand Jimmy Choos), I was greeted by a Cosmopolitan, a designer goodie bag, and a slim, tanned blonde in a shimmering pink strapless mini. My worst fears were materialising, as I smiled on the outside and took advantage of Candace's offer to sign my complimentary copy of Sex and the city. The Cosmo and the shirtless man who was happy to hug me for a photo was making this all at least fun, so I relaxed and lowered my expectations as we made our way in to the ballroom packed with 1000 seemingly giggling women. 

The shirtless man appeared again to escort Ms. Bushnell to the stage and it was only a few short moments later that I realised how wrong I had been. Candace's warmth, sense of humour and gorgeous sense of self shone through and obliterated all my misconceptions. I sat ashamed as her strength and knowledge about how women and the world work made me look like an imbecile. 

I loved how she articulated the mistake so many of us make, that is we look for love to validate us, to make us feel important and special, to fill the "gaps". Conversely the best relationships are those where you don't NEED the other person for that. Giving love is what makes a relationship work and you can't really do that when you are incomplete. In the end she told us she eventually worked out she didn't want Mr Big, she wanted to be Mr Big herself. 

And my glimmer of hope from last night turned into a shining floodlight when she talked about sticking at writing, despite being so poor she sometimes went to parties just to eat. "Most of us have an epiphany about our lives but we try to ignore it, or just dismiss it. I didn't, I knew I had to write or I would die and so I kept writing". 

And her humour about men and their ugly "hoohoos": "oh my god, what are you showing me that for, you've ruined everything, put it away!". That and "the rabbit" which still surprises her, had the room in stitches. Not to mention the real Miranda's late phone call to her once: "you have to come here now and have sex in this rich guy's cedar closet!" 

And her wisdom... Wow. The genuine support she has for other women is palpable. You can really see that the way the four characters in SATC look out for each other is a life lesson from her. She talked of girlfriends that have kept her going at her lowest points with the simple phrase "you're fabulous". And her wisest friend who's advice she left us with says "Never stop doing you. Being you is the reason you are where you are, so keep doing your thing like only you can do it." 

Gorgeous, funny, sensitive, highly successful, wise and sharp as a tack... She has it wonder she's single! So Candace Bushnell, I apologise, I expected Carrie, and despite Natasha Belling calling you that once during proceedings today, we got SO much more... and some. 

And I hope the misjudgements of this world do nothing but drive your beautiful success even further. You deserve every bit of it!

Thank you, Mwaaahh! Mwaaah!
(Had to be a double kiss, I know... Don't worry it's only for special occasions)


  1. Wow. I was there and had a totally different experience (which I blogged about). I found her quite uninspiring! I thought the 'write or die' comment was pretty ridiculous (and she took it back a moment later) and I didn't really get anything else out of it. Yes, I liked the idea that she said she wanted to be Mr Big, but her relationship advice rang a bit hollow for me. Ultimately I thought she just wrote one good book that was turned into a great TV show. But hey, I'm just one person and it's great you got so much out of it!

  2. I just read yours and yes we did have a different experience! Maybe my expectations were just so different? or you were lucky enough not to relate really well to some of the stuff she was saying... (I was fixated on relationships in my 20s tragically so!) I suppose I liked that despite almost going hungry she stayed the course... that self-belief just got me. And one good book is one more than I've ever written so I suppose I was in awe of the courage she had to back herself... so many of us give up on ourselves even before the world does. Thanks for sharing your take though and hopefully we'll get to meet at one of these things one day! Nx

  3. Definitely!
    And I really enjoyed reading about your experience. Made me see things a bit differently! xxx

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