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.

April’s 30-Day Photo Project

I need to breathe a little fresh air into the blog because I’m in the middle of a writer’s block!

Enter my 30-day photo challenge. No, this is not an April Fool’s joke! My plan for this month, along with (hopefully) more frequent posts, is to post a photo each day of pictures I will take in and around Chicago for the entire month of April.

Note: my assignments will come from Fat Mum Slim’s photo of the day list. Please join in the fun on Instagram with hashtag #fmsphotooftheday.

So excited for the inspiration! Special thanks to my gal Lindsey for the gchat. 😉

Assignment #1: Something Purple
Photos of purple blooms at Mariano’s in the West Loop.


Week #27 – Chicago Loop Alliance’s Pop-Up Art Loop Gallery

My friend and co-worker Erica asked if I’d like to go see a free art pop-up exhibit over lunch, and I happily said yes. My dad is an artist, so art holds a special place in my heart.

We walked to Block 37 on State Street (ladies: where Anthropologie is), where there was a 17,000-square-foot industrial space with concrete floors and tall ceilings. White walls were filled with all kinds of fun artwork and installations.

Erica’s friend’s work was in the exhibit, which was a nice bonus! We also spotted many intriguing uses of typography and graphic design. A beautiful flower installation demonstrated how small natural details that work together to make one large piece of art. There were even more playful, active pieces of art, like a photo booth and one of those toys you look into, pull down on the lever and it changes scenes. I especially enjoyed the projects where you had to “decode” what the piece was saying. (See below!)

Everyone needs some inspiration from time to time. This pop-up gallery was the perfect dose of art that will give you a creative boost before you return to your desk.

Note: There are many pop-up galleries going on around the loop. Click here to see what’s happening now and coming soon!

Chicago Loop Alliance’s Pop-Up Art Gallery at Block 37
108 North State
The Loop