When I was in high school I developed a crush on Oprah, not in the creepy sorta way, but more woah when I get older I want to age like her, with a sense of calm and poise kinda way. I grew up with the Oprah Show being my secret afternoon indulgence as I’d sit back with a bowl of crackers and nod knowingly at every piece of advise she’d offer to her audience, despite being a pre pubescent teen who had occasional breakdowns over low supplies of Uncle Toby’s Oats in the pantry.
Back in the day (I know I make myself sound like a dinosaur) I used to be a massive book nerd and was a regular visitor at my local library, to the extent that the librarian and I would exchange our ‘hellos’ on a first name basis. Hey! snigger all you want but when it came to completing assignments I always had those bad ass librarians by my side. Either way the other week I decided to follow through on my tradition of borrowing a few books and failing to return them on time, thereby procuring a fine to tick off a few good reads off my summer reading list.
I was searching the shelves for Amy Poehler’s autobiography when the words What I know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey caught my eye. Now I don’t know if it was because I was feeling restless lately or if it was because I had been binge watching the Oprah Show lately in my tiger onsie but something made me reach out for that book.
Later that evening I went to a cosy cafe in Newtown ordered a hazelnut latte and sat down, ready to have a conversation with Oprah. To say I felt enlightened would be an understatement. To say I felt blessed would do her book unjust. Instead her book made me feel centered and at peace, it was almost as though I was able to somehow find my bearings after reading her musings.
After consuming her masterpiece like a starved creature and opening my mind to her views, this is what I learnt:
- Every second, every minute and every hour we are provided with the resources to change our life around. If not drastically then at least one step at a time.
- There is this thing called a little nudge that each individual feels at some point during his or her lives which helps guide your moral compass in the direction of your passion or interest. It is our job to go with it even if we are unable to ‘see’ how the rest of the path unfolds; you have to learn to trust that ‘nudge’.
- Find ways to stay humble. I know its tough. We live in a generation where deception is dressed as a sexy mistress and one that most of us have had one night stands with. However regardless of the situation may it be a promotion where you have your own personal chef and pink hummer picking you up every morning or a new opportunity that suddenly takes you places that once seemed unattainable to you. It is important to stay rooted and centered, to avoid that ego from turning your head into a hot-air balloon.
- You’re in control of the situation even if only to a small extent, it is important to remember you’re in control. Whoever said that after college life got easier because you’d land your ideal grad job and life would be peachy is in denial. In an ideal world where everyone knew how to make logical decisions this would probably be true. But lets face it most of us are a bunch of hot messes waiting to explode. So when we feel stuck in a shitty situation it is important to realise that this too will pass over like a stormy cloud, because change in the only constant thing in life.
- Keep an open mind and a curious heart. As adults it is very easy to get absolved into a routine, a bit like a hoarder. You know that you don’t need three dishwashers that barely work yet you still having them rotting in your backyard. It hard but everyday we should do something that ‘shocks’ us a little. You know that zing? That feeling when your heart does a wheelie when you see your favourite skyline against the backdrop of a sunset. The kinda zing, the kind that makes you feel high without any pingers.
- Finally, Oprah taught me the importance of gratitude. I know corny right? But I know feeling as blessed and spoilt as a 18 year-old with a convertible even if you own a second hand cycle leads to miracles. I don’t know about you but I think that those fundraising events where they hand out free krispy kremes are miracles in themselves.
I feel like we live in a tragic time because although we are surrounded by opportunities that were once deemed impossible by our ancestors we fail to appreciate its existence. So that evening after shamelessly cleaning the plate of any remnants of the apple crumble (my mouth gets hungry when I read. I say mouth because when a book is so good my mind detaches itself from reality therefore I’m essentially a floating piece of meat with no control over my body) I smiled because I knew that this coffee date with Oprah was life changing just like her TV show.
Some people have that kinda effect, a bit like a unicorn. There. Now I’ll leave you to ponder on the existence of this mythical creature.