It’s hard to imagine what it would be like to go from regular American woman to the Duchess of Sussex, but that’s what happened to Meghan Markle this year (well, sort of—she was a successful TV actress, after all, so not exactly “regular”—but stick with us). It definitely couldn’t have been easy for her: we’ve all watched the drama unfold involving her father, Thomas Markle, and some of her other family members, and we also know that people aren’t always the nicest on the internet. But there is someone else who knows what it’s like to go from (mostly) private citizen to having all eyes on you: Michelle Obama. She went through a similar transition when she became first lady in 2008. And now, she’s coming forward to share some of her wisdom.
In a recent interview with Good Housekeeping, Obama offered some advice to Markle on getting through this time, and while it might be too late for Markle to apply it, it’s still pretty spot-on.
Obama told the magazine that she can imagine how Markle must be feeling, but she wanted to advise her that it’s still important to do things on her own terms.
“Like me, Meghan probably never dreamt that she’d have a life like this, and the pressure you feel—from yourself and from others—can sometimes feel like a lot,” Obama said. “So my biggest piece of advice would be to take some time and don’t be in a hurry to do anything. I spent the first few months in the White House mainly worrying about my daughters, making sure they were off to a good start at school and making new friends, before I launched into any more ambitious work. I think it’s okay—it’s good, even—to do that.”
Like we said—it might be too late for Markle to use this advice since she’s already been on a royal tour and announced that she’s pregnant with her first child. But honestly, we could all stand to slow down when we’re making big transitions, just as Obama suggested.
Obama also said that since Markle now has a great platform, she should use it for good.
“What I’d say is that there’s so much opportunity to do good with a platform like that—and I think Meghan can maximize her impact for others, as well her own happiness, if she’s doing something that resonates with her personally,” Obama said.
This is really great advice. So far, Markle seems to be doing a pretty awesome job assimilating into the royal family and a culture so different from the one she grew up in. Maybe there’s hope that we could see these ladies unite some day? Our fingers are crossed.