Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Oprah Tribute

May 25, 2011 marked the end of an era.  It was the day Ms. Winfrey decided that I was now grown-up and didn't need her daily whispers to my soul any longer, that I was ready to take everything I've been taught and let the voice in my head be my own.  That's my take on why she left anyway.  You may have heard something different.

The week her show went off the air was the week after graduation and the week bar prep classes started, so I was a tad busy and let her leave me without comment (technically, the tears silently falling down my face during the last episode and the weeping in my head for several days thereafter is not a comment).  But, then I thought about the fact that I might reread all these little life musings years from now to remember who I was and what I was doing during this time in my life and I might remember that Oprah went off the air sometime around now and I would think it odd of me to have had nothing to say about that, so I figured maybe I should go ahead and write something so future me can have one less question about her 20s.  I'm looking out for ya, future me.  I've also started using anti-aging products and taking a multi-vitamin everyday for you too.  All I ask in return is that you stay away from dress pants with an elastic waist and never touch a bottle of Aqua Net.

So as you may know, Oprah was on the air for 25 of my 27 years.  My mother watched her and so I watched her.  My mother is kind and gentle and wise and thoughtful and very aware of the world and other people and how we all fit together, so in watching Oprah, I saw my mom.  That's probably why I felt so connected to her, why I felt I could trust her, and I why I felt she had something to teach me.  So for most of my life, I have watched, listened, and taken it in.  Here are the biggest things I have learned, things I got without having to learn the hard way, and that have made my life infinitely better:

1) When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.  There should be about 20 exclamation points after that, because it is that true.  If you tell me or show me that you are crazy, or thoughtless, or mean, or a bad friend, I have absolutely no need for you to show me twice.  I got it, and I believe you.  This has saved me a lot of time and pain.

2) When a dream comes true, the only thing to do is dream a bigger dream.  This goes hand in hand with God has a plan for you far greater than anything you can imagine.  I don't think I could function as a person if I didn't believe completely that there is a plan for me, and for each of us.  She helped me realize that way sooner than I might have otherwise.

3)  You teach others how to treat you.  Yep.

4)  Across the board, no matter the person, culture, background, etc. what every person wants is to be seen, to be heard, to know that they matter.  I know this to be true for myself, and I'm working at getting better at making sure the people I encounter know that I know this.

5)  When your child walks into the room, they are looking to see if your eyes light up.  This one is tucked away in my back pocket.

6)  The only person responsible for your life is you.  No matter the background, the difficulties, the obstacles, the challenges, the choice to make it better or different is completely up to you and completely within your power.  Because God has a plan for you greater than anything you can imagine but whether you believe that or not is up to you.

7)  You are here because you matter.  You matter because you are here.

8)  God speaks to you in a whisper.  Then he says it louder.  Then he shouts.  Then he hits you upside the back of your head.  Life has a way of trying to teach you the same lesson until you really get it.  It's the same reason you will continuously randomly run into that girl you have issues with until you either resolve it or move.

9)  The right bra will change your life.  Totally.

10)  What you put into the world is what you get back.  Obviously, Oprah didn't write the Golden Rule, but she has hit this home for me so many times, that I find myself thinking about it quite often.

11)  When you know better, do better.  You can't hold people or yourself responsible for what they or you didn't know.  But once you know, you can't act like you don't.

There are many, many more, but you get the idea.  I am living a better, more-informed, more aware, bigger life than I would be otherwise thanks to her and her show.  She has undeniably shaped the woman I have become and set an example of the woman I strive to be.  I am grateful that the lessons had a voice for 25 years.

I hope future me is happy now.


chickster said...

Those pants with elastic waists are totally going to be calling your name sooner than you know it! Plus don't you think they'll have more fashionable options when we're older? I hope so.

D&D said...

whats wrong with elastic waistbands?

i watched the last episode in the dark. i didnt cry as much as i thought i would.