the art of being a woman

Meghan Markle Shares Why ‘Being Enough’ Changed Everything

As Meghan Markle’s happiness with Prince Harry radiates, given their recent engagement announcement, we can’t help but think back to the article she wrote for us in Darling Issue 12.

In it she shared about when her life changed in a completely different way, in a way that has less to do with her relationship status and more about how she chooses to see herself — the great tug-of-war between striving and releasing — and, ultimately, realizing that being “more you” can truly unlock the best in life.

May we all find our “enough” today. Enjoy.

It’s All Enough

By Meghan Markle

It wasn’t that long ago that I was crawling into my car through the trunk after an audition for “Girl #2.” I had a beat up Ford Explorer Sport that rattled like a steamboat engine in the morning, and had decided it didn’t want to open from the front doors anymore. It was burning out. It had started to give up. It was tired and running on empty going from audition to audition, just as I was.

But, unlike my car, I didn’t have the luxury to cave; I had invested so much in this dream of being an actress, and I promised myself “not to give it five minutes if I wasn’t going to give it five years.” So I would drive to auditions and park at the back of the parking lot, far from the eyes of anyone who could see me unlocking the trunk and crawling into my car through its only feasible entry point. I would play it off—obviously—as though I was looking for something, reaching so deep for something that my car almost sucked me in to get it—much like my experience with Hollywood, to be honest. Struggling, climbing hurdles, searching for something that I couldn’t even see—and just reaching for it.

Every single day.

The analogy never struck me then—frankly, it just felt soul sucking at the time—but now it resonates in the most poignant way. I was in my early 20s, still figuring so much out, and trying to find my value in an industry that judges you on everything that you’re not versus everything that you are. Not thin enough, not pretty enough, not ethnic enough, while also being too thin, too ethnic, too pretty the very next day.

It felt unapologetically impossible, and I spent my evenings eating my feelings with grilled cheese sandwiches and cheap wine. There was a casting director named April Webster who has basically casted everything of note from TV to film for close to two decades (think “Lost” and “Mission Impossible”). I had never met her before, and at my very first audition for her, she stopped me mid-scene and said so simply, “You need to know that you’re enough.”

I was breathless. No one had ever seen it, or perhaps no one had ever called me out, but there in that small box of a room in Burbank, this woman I had never met saw me. My gut reaction was to smile. To smile hard. Maybe that would keep the tears tucked behind my draping eyes.

… there in that small box of a room in Burbank, this woman I had never met saw me.

It wouldn’t have mattered if I cried, because she saw me. She saw all that self-doubt beaming through the self-tanner and excessive blush. “You need to know that you’re enough,” she said. “Less makeup, more Meghan.” She went on to say that I was like a “shrinking violet,” wilted joy and energy and exuberance behind this shroud of insecurity. You couldn’t pay for a therapy session this good. And that moment, for me, was a wake-up call.

I wrote about this experience on my website The Tig, a lifestyle site I launched about a year ago that explores travel, food and fashion (the rigmarole of lifestyle sites du jour), but also aims to redefine what beauty is. That’s the heart of the site for me—the “think pieces” I can write to the girl I was 10 years ago and for the woman I strive to be in another 10. I want to make her proud. I want to remind her of her worth, just as that casting director did for me many moons ago.

As an actress, you spend your days believably saying someone else’s words for a living. Bringing life to someone else’s thoughts. The Tig has given me a space to share my own words, to have my own voice.

It was six years ago that I booked the role of Rachel on “Suits.” It was called “A Legal Mind” at the time; it was the fifth pilot I would have filmed. I remember hoping this one would see the light of day. Never would I have imagined that this show would not just change my career, but also change my life—that on my journey of trying to get what I wanted, of trying to see my dream come to fruition, I would learn who I am.

That I would discover that I am enough.

Like this? There’s more to love in Issue 12. Become a Darling subscriber HERE to immediately gain access to all of our digital versions, plus get our latest issue delivered right to your doorstep.

Images via Sarah Kehoe for Darling Issue 12