Now when I look in the mirror and think, ‘Oh dear, I’m getting older’, it reminds me that I used to do the same thing when I was 19 and 20. I used to look at myself and think I looked awful. I wish I’d known what I was going to look like thirty years later, because then I might have realized how gorgeous I was then. I looked great but I didn’t appreciate it – what a waste!
I now understand that it’s OK to be successful. When I was 19 I was starring on TV and making loads of money, but most of my friends were university students. I felt embarrassed, and used to walk around with my hands in front of my face so as not to be recognized. I wish I’d known that it’s possible to enjoy the good things about fame, and that you can keep your friendships in spite of it.
I wish I had learned sooner how to listen to people properly. I used to think I had to be intelligent and witty in social situations. If I’d known how much people appreciate being listened to, I wouldn’t have tried so hard to be the life and soul of the party.
Life has taught me that sometimes when people behave badly to you it is because of some unhappiness that they are carrying around with them, a problem that has nothing to do with you. I wish I had been more gentle with people in that situation and not reacted so angrily. Once you find out what’s really going on, the whole relationship can change.
My dad always used to say, ‘learn what you can while you are young and at school, because when you are older you either won’t have enough time or won’t have enough money to pay for lessons.’ That was good advice, and I wish I’d spent more time on my piano lessons.
Finally, I wish I had always said yes to challenges. I’d say to young people today, if you are offered the opportunity to do something you have never done before, go for it. You might feel a little nervous, but say yes anyway.