I wasn’t planning to blog about Oprah today. I’m sitting here watching her after, admittedly, not really tuning in regularly for many years now. Although, she’s been a force and inspiration in my life for a long while. I grew up with her, it seems. Not always on my TV, but always a presence… on billboards, in commercials (remember those “Oprah’s On!” ones?). Really, there aren’t many who can say they haven’t been impacted by her in at least some small way.
I fell head over heels under her inspirational trance, though, in high school. I actually used to rush home on days I didn’t have a practice or rehearsal so I could watch. At that age, I dreamed of becoming her. Come on, who didn’t? I saw bits of who I wanted to be in her, from her passion for speaking to her charitable spirit. I went on to get my degree in broadcast journalism, and be sure I was most certainly inspired to do so, in part, because of Oprah.
Of course, I did not grow up to be Oprah… at least I haven’t yet. I don’t even technically use that degree I worked so hard to earn. I’m a stay at home mom who writes a blog in between avoiding dishes and making messes with my kids and husband.
That doesn’t mean I’m not sitting here, crying like a baby that this is her last regularly scheduled appearance on my TV, or that my daughter won’t know what it’s like to grow up with such a positive female influence on her TV every day- a powerful woman woven into her culture so deeply that she actually has an official term named after how her influence can impact a global economy, the Oprah Effect.
No, I didn’t expect to blog about Oprah today, but I found myself at nap time with a quiet house and a laptop near me just as her show started. And then she started to speak… and I just started typing everything out.
Because, once again, she is speaking to me. She is speaking about me. And, maybe more than any other moment in my life, she is inspiring me.
“Each one of you have your own platform.”
No, I’m not a TV show host. I’m not even on your nightly newscast as I used to dream so hard, so passionately of doing. I have a relatively small platform here, but it’s one I’m incredibly grateful for, one I try to grow and tend to each and every day. The people who comment, lurk, email, tweet, talk to me on Facebook or find me in grocery stores and introduce themselves, you are all important to me and teach me more than I could ever learn on my own. You validate me, and I hope, in the best way I can, I validate you.
“When you learn better, you do better.”
I’m not saying I’m proud of every word I’ve typed on here or other places online. There are posts I’ve considered erasing, but then I know that wouldn’t be honest. You can’t erase your history, but you can learn from it, and you can hope that others will forgive you and watch you grow.
“You are responsible for your life… You are responsible for the energy you create for yourself and responsible for the energy you create for others.”
If Oprah were a blogger, she wouldn’t need to create drama for page views. If Oprah were a blogger, she’d bring up the other bloggers around her, not cut them down. She’d shower them in praise and support. She wouldn’t be perfect, but she’d grow, evolve and learn from her mistakes. She wouldn’t let trolls take over her space with negativity, she would be a positive force to be inspired by. She would always look both inside herself, and out to the world to challenge the norm and spark genuine conversation. No one would care if she was a “mommy” or not.
“There is a difference between thinking you deserve to be happy and knowing you are worthy of happiness.”
“We often block our own blessings because we don’t feel… worthy enough.”
For years, I’ve struggled with the emotions this blogging bit can stir up, knowing there are always people out there, lurking, waiting to pounce on something I’ve said or done, looking for ways to cut me down. Criticism is hard to take. But, on the other hand, sometimes it’s even harder to receive praise. When people tell me I’m doing something good here, that what I write (despite the grammar slips and run on sentences) is good, I laugh them off.
Oh, this old thing? It’s just a silly blog.
No, it’s more. It’s me. It’s nearly every piece of me. What started as my inane ramblings about charting and BABIES and OMG cervical mucus! has splintered and grown into an entire tree of who I’m all about. Some of my branches are bigger than others, some are budding and new. It’s taking off in directions I never dreamed, and I’m finding I’m surrounded by a whole forest of trees growing up all around me. I am not alone in this parenting thing, in this blogging thing, or in this blogging about parenting thing. And that is awesome. I’m ready to feel worthy of the opportunities and praise this place and my hours of work that go into it brings, and I want every single one of my friends in this space to feel the same way. Please.
“You, alone, are enough.”
“What are the whispers in your life and will you hear it? Your life is speaking to you. What is it saying?”
I’m still trying to figure that out, but as I’ve said on here before, I feel at peace and happy with my path in life now more than I ever have. Obviously, my family has a huge part in that, but I can’t deny that this blog is also a factor. I feel like this path is more my calling than anything I ever dreamed of doing in college, and though I may never be famous for it or paid large sums of money for it, it makes me happy.
15 years ago, I used to watch Oprah and dream of being just. like. her. on TV. I had no idea what a blog was, I had never been on a message board, I’m pretty sure my head would have exploded if someone tried to explain Twitter to me, and all I can say is THANK GOD THERE WAS NO FACEBOOK WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL. I could never have imagined that I would hear her farewell speech from this couch with a napping baby at my feet and feel validated by her for doing what I do today, something so different from the dreams I had then.
Thank you, Oprah. Thank you for that one last shove in the direction of the dreams I’ve yet to dream.
(Seriously, I’m crazy sappy right now. Odd, I know. And I don’t even think it’s because my period is about to make it’s return… I hope.)
Kendall is 3, Leyna is just nearly 5 months, and I’m a 30 year old SAHM/blogger who never made it as a TV anchor and proud of it