Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Life without Oprah

Who am I kidding...I thought I'd go without posting a note about the Oprah & her show finale. I like Oprah and her messages about living your best life, etc. etc. I didn't know she was 30 when she started her tv career as we know it. It makes me feel like there's still hope for me as I'll be 33 this summer. I feel like I'm still trying to figure out what to do with my career. I wouldn't say I obsess about it (as much) but I really care about what I'm going to do with my life once our kids get a bit older and I return to work.

I have struggled trying to negotiate the family/work dynamic. Each woman is different. I wasn't ready to commit to returning to work and placing our daughter in daycare after my maternity leave. I am happy for each and every woman who finds the right family/work balance for her. Lord knows it's not easy. Although I did work part time for different employers I think of those jobs as filler gigs...not forever gigs.  In the meantime, these thoughts are drifting through the back of my dandelion fluff on a windy day...

Honestly, I've had days where I feel like I'm being punished by the working world for not returning to work right after my maternity leave (and  P.S. all the "mothering is the hardest job in the world" rhetoric doesn't do much to make me feel any better). Some days I wonder why I spent all those years in university, was it a waste of time, money and effort? No, I don't think so... I just (still) feel confused. One positive thing that I've learned is that it doesn't do me any good minimizing how I feel or apologizing for feeling the way I do. I think we all feel things for a reason.

I don't want to be Oprah, or in her particular position, but did you know she's worth an estimated 2 billion dollars? I'm just saying. I know, it's inconceivable. From her website & her love letter to her fans,

"When I came here, I was about to turn 30 years old. I didn't have a vision or a lot of great expectations... I just wanted to do a good job and cause no harm...Two years later, when we went national, I remember at the time, Roger King told me that one station manager said that he'd rather put a potato in a chair in his market than have a big black girl with a funny name. (wonder how that felt? doubt it wasn't the last time she encountered adversity...)

What I knew for sure from this experience with you is that we are all called. Everybody has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it. Every time we have seen a person on this stage who is a success in their life, they spoke of the job, and they spoke of the juice that they receive from doing what they knew they were meant to be doing. We saw it in the volunteers who rocked abandoned babies in Atlanta. We saw it with those lovely pie ladies from Cape Cod making those delicious potpies. ... We saw it every time Tina TurnerCelineBocelli or Lady Gaga lit up the stage with their passion. Because that is what a calling is. It lights you up and it lets you know that you are exactly where you're supposed to be, doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing. And that is what I want for all of you and hope that you will take from this show. To live from the heart of yourself. You have to make a living; I understand that. But you also have to know what sparks the light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world."

I'm grateful for the women in my life who have endured my chatter on this subject and just want to say thanks for reading. I hope that I find whatever it is I'm looking for and I hope the same for you (We Can Do It).

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