thank you, Oprah

One thing I don’t talk a lot about on my blog is that I worked for Harpo and The Oprah Winfrey Network just before my current job.

My time there definitely had its ups and downs. Compared to my first job at a publishing house, it was really hard work. I honestly didn’t know if I’d make it six months. But six months turned into almost four of the most challenging, thrilling, inspiring, and unforgettable years of my life. I learned so much. I worked on projects that were meaningful. I shared the stories of people who were influencing and changing the world as we know it, and, in turn, changing me.

And then there was Ms. Winfrey herself. An icon. A change agent. A powerhouse for good. Although I never worked closely with her, her magic was felt at all times. When she spoke, we listened. Just as many did last night to her moving speech during the Golden Globes while she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award.

I happened to turn on the show right before her speech, and listening to Oprah speak brought back so many emotions. Joy. Pride. More than anything, gratitude. For the time when this inspirational woman—and the amazing corporation and its even more amazing employees (read: my lifelong friends)—were part of my everyday life.

And then my joy turned into sadness. Sadness that our country’s leadership lacks this ability to empower and inspire the way that Oprah does. I cried tears of longing for a better time for this country and its people, and I get emotional just typing this.

But I realize that I cannot rely on anyone but myself to make change. And I realize that I can lead by example, and I can focus on the small acts of kindness that can have a ripple effect to create bigger, better change.

Will Ms. Winfrey run for president? Oh, I have no idea, but what I know for sure is I need a little more Oprah in my life. Don’t we all?

I’m so thankful for that transformative time in my life, and the woman it has made me. Grateful is an understatement.

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