So I’ve been keeping something a bit of a secret but I thought I’d share it with you guys since, well, this morning I did a podcast about it.
Next week I’m going to see Oprah (like half the country). Yay! Oprah! But what I haven’t told many people is that I bought myself a VIP ticket. A ticket which cost me (are you sitting down? Should I make you a martini first?) $2547.
It’s a hell of a lot of money.
But for me? It’s worth it.
I’m 43. I’ve been watching Oprah since I was about 20 years old.
I used to tape (on a video cassette – remember those?) episodes of her daytime talk show and watch them when I got home from university in the 90s.
These days I record her Oprah Winfrey Network shows on Fox and watch them late at night when my three little kids are asleep.
And in all honesty – other than my parents – Oprah has probably been the single greatest influence or teacher in my life.
Oprah talks about the most defining moment of her life – being kicked out of home at 14. Post continues below.
I can feel you rolling your eyes.
But it was via The Oprah Winfrey Show that I was introduced to the wisdom and words of people like Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison, Brene Brown, Cheryl Strayed and Gavin De Becker.
It was through The Oprah Winfrey Show that I learnt some fundamental life lessons like …
When people show you who they are – believe them. (In other words, when you see someone’s true colours the first time – know that that is who they are)
That the best indicator of future behaviour is past behaviour.
That mothers need to put themselves first and fill up their own tanks so they are ABLE to keep on being and giving and doing for their children. (I remember when expert Cheryl Richardson said this on the Oprah Show 20 years ago and the audience booed her).
That a wedding and a marriage are two very different things.
That most people just want to feel acknowledged, to feel like they’ve been heard.
I could easily keep going but I won’t.
The Oprah Winfrey Show is probably where I first understood that EVERYONE has a story. And I have sat nearly every day and listened to people tell those stories. The mother whose daughter was murdered who could no longer find meaning in her life.
The men who were molested or raped as young boys and were struggling with self worth.
The convicted paedophiles in prison who opened up about how they selected their victims and the warning signs of potential predators to look for.
The mother who was dying of cancer who talked about how she was spending the last year of her life with her young kids. (I’ve never forgotten that show where the mum talked about how she realised that it was the small moments that had the greatest impact. Getting up at midnight and having a midnight feast with mum meant more to her daughter than the expensive trip to Disneyland.)
Listen to Bec talk about her love for Oprah on Mamamia OutLoud:
Did I absorb and take on every single ‘AHA MOMENT’ Oprah served up? Nope. Not even close. I screwed up, acted badly, made bad judgement calls and chose dodgy boyfriends. But each time her message of personal responsibility rang in my ears. You’re not a victim, is her message. You want things to be different? You need to get back up and make smarter choices. You need to back yourself for the win.
But most of all it’s Oprah’s message of giving back that has stayed with me. That desire to give back, to help other people when I can – is a driving force in my life.
Oprah Winfrey isn’t perfect. I don’t worship at the “Church of Oprah”, but alongside Jamie Oliver and Angelina Jolie and Dr Catherine Hamlin and Givit’s Juliette Wright and the Pyjama Foundation’s Bronwyn Sheehan and my friend Tara Castle – Oprah is someone who I see is using her life to help others. And I find that inspiring.
So for me, having the chance to meet Oprah Winfrey, to have my photo taken with her, to be part of a small Q&A with her is a bucket-list moment. It’s my dream come true. For you, it might be meeting Clive James or Taylor Swift or Angelina Jolie or seeing a show in New York.
But for me, it’s meeting Oprah. And I’m going to enjoy every minute of it.
Are you going to see Oprah? How much did your tickets cost?