Kim Wilde: 'Honesty is the key to happiness'

Date
Published in
Hitkrant (Netherlands)
Written by
Serge Vanhellemont

Kim Wilde (33) feels like a reborn woman. You notice that when you're talking with her and it shows in the songs on her new album 'Love is'. The time that she lived exclusively for her career and ended up from one depression to another because of that is over. In her new home on the British countryside, in the midst of nature, she discovered who she is and what gives her life colour. Since then she is no longer interested in being a celebrated popstar. 'Being famous is a ridiculous lie', she says about this. 'From now on I only want the truth'.

The Kim Wilde from 1992 is truly different from the slightly disappointed woman I spoke with a year ago. You were visibly taking your flopped cd hard - or am I wrong?
Until recently I was less selfconfident than I am today. When people say I look like I'm reborn, I have to admit I feel like that. The change in my mood has a couple of reasons that are all connected. Some time ago I moved away from London forgood. Since then I live in Hertfordshire. That move was the happiest decision I ever made. My life changed in more ways than one. I learned horseriding and started to do fitness again. Decorating my home was a good therapy to drive away the sombre moods I had at the time. After the flop of my previous record I felt written off and unhappy. Since I have a beautiful home with a big garden and a lovely white cat to keep me company, I like going home in the evening again. Suddenly the inspiration comes and the funny thing is my new songs all sound much more optimistic than the songs I made in the past seven years.

To look beautiful, you have to feel good on the inside as well. Is that so in your case as well?
Absolutely. To come across positively with others you need to want to see yourself gladly and have selfconfidence. During a long time I lost the belief in myself. After my tour with Michael Jackson I suddenly started thinking negatively about myself and I didn't see things clearly. I had one problem: I started to realise I had nothing outside of my career. Of course I had friends, family and boyfriends who meant well, but I didn't have a real home and no goal in life. The flat I had in London was like a private hotel room. I felt lonely there. I am glad that has changed. My garden literally saved me.

When you turned thirty you said in an interview that you were still looking for you real identity and a goal in your life. Have you found it by now?
There were years of ups and downs to come to that point. Even now that I feel good, I am still afraid that I will lose control over myself again. To avoid that happening, I take care of myself. From now on I only speak the truth. That's for myself as well as for people in my environment. Honesty is the key to happiness. In the past I tried to push away that knowledge. Fortunately I came true to myself just in time. Since then I am finally happy.

One says that happiness comes in small doses. Do you go along with that?
Absolutely. The fact that there are plants growing out of the seeds I have sown a couple of months ago, I think is one of the highlights of the past few months. Maybe this doesn't sound like a popstar, but I don't care. Since I have realised there are more important things than charts or material possessions, I feel better as a person.

Was your life rhythm too high? Did you lose attention because of your busy agenda?
I have always felt connected to nature. In periods when the pressure was on, I sometimes fled to the coast or to the countryside to find some peace. Long walks with the dog or listing to the birds singing was always a good therapy to find new strength. In London I didn't have enough possibilities to enjoy the beauty of nature. You only have some parks there where the city looks far away for a moment. In fact I only did one thing wrong: instead of taking necessary breaks by resting from time to time, I let things come my way. I said to myself that I was strong enough to overcome my difficulties all alone.

When did you come to realise that you were on the wrong path?
When I turned thirty, I suddenly had some time to think. I didn't have so much work anymore and spent a lot of time alone. One day I made a list for myself of the things I find important and the dreams I wanted to realise one day. In the mirror I saw the image of a woman who had become a stranger even for me. I caught myself out as a person who behaves like a star who expect everyone to grovel for her. The Kim Wilde in me had somehow taken over and was dominating my life. I felt I had to change course completely. Otherwise my life would soon be ruined. In a moment of intuition I bought a house on the countryside, started losing weight and started writing songs again. I overcame my personal crisis that way.

Is it a coincidence, you think, that this started around your thirtieth birthday? Are these the years of wisdom?
I don't know whether my change of mood and the new course I gave to my life are really caused by my age or that they are rather the result of the way life resolves itself. In any case my thirtieth birthday was a doorway to a new, better life.

Any youthful indiscretions you are sorry about?
Except for a few minor details there's nothing I regret. I learned a lot from my good, but also my bad experiences. I just hope that this new period will be less turbulent than the past twelve years. I was 21 when I recorded my first record. Since then I've had lots of great moments, but also suffered in silence a lot. Life has had its effect on me, but all things considered I'm glad I have paid my price for all the happiness I have now.

Have you found out by now what gives your life colour?
Happiness is the result of many different factors. I am more concerned with my family than I used to. My sister Roxanne who is 13, who can be heard on my new cd, and my youngest brother I consider to be more and more like my own children. The feeling I contribute to their upbringing gives me a bigger sense of responsability. I know now that happiness is not something you have to seek in other countries or with other people, but just to grab it in every day life. Since I live in the village, I have a feeling of taking part in it. I know all the farmers and dealers in Hertfordshire. When I breathe in the country air or hear the church bells ring, I've got the feeling that I've finally come home.

Is there something that would make your happiness even bigger?
One day I would like to become a mother. Having children was always my dream. I know I can't wait for eternity but I have postponed the decision for a little while yet. Although... there is a man in my life now whom I love very much and I trust enough to want to start a family with. Now I know what real love is, the time may be ripe for a child. We've been together for 18 months and things are really good between us. His love, sympathy and consideration have been a factor in my happiness as well. When you have the feeling that people love you, it gives you courage and optimism. A baby wouldn't just seal our love but would also incarnate my happiness.