Oprah’s Final Message

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abc oprah final show nt 110525 mn   Oprah’s Final Message

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I will never forget the day that I was interviewing for a summer position at a local YMCA.

The two girls who were interviewing me were ‘camp leaders’, maybe a few years older than I was. I don’t know why, but I instantly got a bad vibe from them; they were harshly looking me up and down and judging me from the first moment I walked into the room. ‘Nice highlights’, one of them quipped with a smirk.

I tried to ignore my bad gut feeling and just give the best interview that I could.

One of the many interview questions they asked me was, ‘Who is a role model to you?’

I said, Oprah was one of my biggest role models.

The two girls proceeded to burst out laughing, trying desperately to stifle their laughter like a group of 14 year old girls would do in high school.

‘OPRAH!?’, one of them mocked, rolling her eyes.

Yup, they were ‘mean girls’, just as my gut had told me.

I was not only embarrassed by their unprofessional response, but I was angry. I wanted to stand up and walk out of the interview, not looking back. Instead, I carried on with the interview trying to ignore their cattiness, just waiting for it to be over.

A few days later, I got a call offering me a YMCA position. I quickly turned it down with satisfaction.

While I don’t regret turning down the position (I eventually found another summer job working for great people), I regret not sticking up for myself in the interview. I was quite young- only about 18 at the time- and I felt intimidated by the interview environment and the older girls, not feeling like I had the option of calling them out for their rude behaviour.

Only later did I realize that I always have the option to stand up for what I believe in, I just didn’t know it at the time.

Oprah has remained a role model in my life, regardless of whether that is ‘cool’ or not. Oprah’s last show was everything I could have asked for and more. Did you catch it? I loved that it wasn’t about a huge giveaway or ‘things’, but simply the life lessons that Oprah has learned over the past 25 years. The theme of the show was to remind us all of the power we have to change our own lives. I don’t think she could have gone out with a bigger bang.

On our real ‘job’ in life:

"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 Turner, Celine, Bocelli 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." ~Oprah

A universal desire:

"I’ve talked to nearly 30,000 people on this show, and all 30,000 had one thing in common: They all wanted validation. If I could reach through this television and sit on your sofa or sit on a stool in your kitchen right now, I would tell you that every single person you will ever meet shares that common desire. They want to know: ‘Do you see me? Do you hear me? Does what I say mean anything to you?’ ~Oprah

Powerful stuff! You can read the full transcript and watch a video clip on the Oprah website.

Did you catch the final show? Is this Oprah’s final goodbye to television, or will she be back?

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{ 112 comments… read them below or add one }

shana @100lbsandcounting May 26, 2011

It was an awesome show and a great ending message. It gave me the strength to write my two weeks notice and pursue my passion … now I just got to get the guts to hand it over to my boss haha.

Anyway, I’m going to miss Oprah so much. She has mothered the world time and time again, I feel like I know her =P

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Megan (sweeton) May 26, 2011

Good for you, Shana! Hand in that letter and don’t look back :) You’ll be amazing!

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jenna May 26, 2011

i’m sad i didn’t get to see it. the quotes you put up made me want to cry! she is a very inspirational person.

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Kamaile May 26, 2011

I haven’t seen it yet but I heard it was a really good show. I love Oprah, she is positive and is always doing good for others, what more can you ask for in a rold model. Good for you for turning down the job. I wonder were those mean girls are now?? :-)

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Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing May 26, 2011

While I have never watched Oprah much, I am happy to read the quotes you shared. It sounds like she’s gained a lot of wisdom from her work and experiences, and I certainly agree with her general premise. People want validation, and they want to be living out their calling. The trick is not being afraid to be your own validation when others dismiss you, and to take the risk of being who should and want to be. Thanks for sharing Angela! I love this.

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Shay May 26, 2011

This is going to be a farewell to go down in history alongside Johnny Carson’s and Larry King’s.

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Ruby May 26, 2011

Amazing….I don’t remember a time when I didn’t watch Oprah. I had tears in my eyes the whole time watching it. She is such an inspiration and makes me want to be a better person. I heard a few people say they were disappointed because it was just her, no give-aways, no guests. I thought it was fitting though. That’s how I wanted it to end.

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Sara May 26, 2011

I blogged about it too. I love Oprah and she is definitely one of my role models!

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Tori (Fresh Fruition) May 26, 2011

I haven’t seen the final show yet, but I know it’s on my DVR downstairs. I should go watch it! And that’s so nasty of those girls to judge you and be catty and then offer you the job! I wouldn’t want to work for them, either.

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Radha May 26, 2011

I am so happy I taped Oprah’s final show so I can watch/listen to it anytime I want. It was full of knowledge and wisdom. Embrace the life you have been given…..
Angela, I thought of you and your blog. You have inspired and given light to my life through your platform, this blog. Thank you. <33

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Heather (heathers dish) May 26, 2011

I am so glad you told this story. No matter what we always have the opportunity to stand up for ourselves, whether it’s against catty girls, mean bosses, or ourselves with negative self talk. We are never defenseless!

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Holly @ The Runny Egg May 26, 2011

I honestly was never much of a Oprah watcher — her show never worked with my school or work schedule.

I do think she’ll be back — I just can’t believe she won’t miss it dearly at some point.

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Pure2raw Twins May 26, 2011

We were able to watch Oprah’s last show and loved it! We totally agree with you in that she went out in a bang. We loved all the key highlights and life lessons she discussed in her final episode. So many of those lessons hit home for us and gave us more motivation to follow our dream and help as many people along the way! Oprah is a great role model!!!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 26, 2011

OMG I’m SO glad you posted about this Ange! I really wanted to watch the show but unfortunately was at work then had to go straight to teach RPM last night, so I didn’t get a chance. Oprah is also one of my biggest role models (I posted about it a while ago – http://bit.ly/iQSnbE) and I totally admire her for everything she’s accomplished. You summed up so nicely why she’s such a fantastic woman – love this post!

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JenATX May 26, 2011

You have brought up the theme of our “real” job on this blog a few times, but I think it would be interesting to do a post on how people who were lost or confused figured our what their “calling” was. I know of myself and other young women just don’t know what to do with out lives and would love to go after something with a passion if we could only figure out what to go after! I never watched Oprah but I do appreciate the message she sends out there

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 26, 2011

thanks for your suggestion!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 26, 2011
JenATX May 27, 2011

thanks, I remember that post! I remember commenting on how I don’t know what my passion is.. there are a lot of things i’m interested in but nothing yet that really moves me. I wonder maybe if I just haven’t had enough time to really feel out different hobbies. I’m always so busy with school that I only skim the layer with things. Maybe once I dig a little deeper something will call out to me

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 27, 2011

I definitely get what you are saying. I would still like to write another post on it in the future…just need to think about what I would say! haha

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Mrs. G May 26, 2011

Totally sitting at work crying. I told my husband just last week that it’s really bothering me that I have no passion, no calling for anything. And I don’t know how to find it.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 26, 2011

As long as you are asking the question, you are on your way. Sending positive thoughts to you!

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AGS @ West With Flight May 26, 2011

Have a good cry — that can really help. And then immediately stop saying that you don’t have a passion. Everyone has a passion, even if it doesn’t fit any standard definition. You absolutely CAN find it. I’d never have thought 5 years ago that I’d be writing aviation articles, mothering a child, etc. — but these are things I am passionate about and I found it by trying activities on for size. I had some good cries along the way (still do, sometimes), as part of the process for finding what clicked for me, but just setting out on a journey to find what works was very rewarding. You can do it.

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Bronwyn May 26, 2011

I was wondering for awhile what Oprah would do for her last show. Would it be a giveaway? Would she have people or celebrities? What would she do??? I didn’t really think any of those ideas would fit well for the finale of Oprah, and I think in the end she made the perfect choice for the end of her time on television. I’ve always loved how honest she is with her audience, and how grateful she is for everything she has. She is definitely one of my role models as well.

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char @ char on a mission May 26, 2011

I ad to miss Oprah due to work and honestly haven’t watched her in a few weeks. Yet, this still makes my heart sad that her show is done. I’m definitely going to have to watch the final season, since the episodes I DID catch where treasurable. I hope this doesn’t mean she’s really gone – I’d love to see guest appearances on other talk shows, or even if she cutback to a 30 min show? :)

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Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) May 26, 2011

Oh you can rest assured it’s not Oprah’s final goodbye. She is one of those people who whether she truly wants to be, or not, is and will always be in the spotlight. She has a million other ventures, enterprises, and is the queen of making money in the process of it all,so no, this was not her last hurrah. Just the last one perhaps on network tv. For now. But not goodbye forever.

I didnt see the final show and I havent watched any Oprah shows in years. One of those things I gave up when I became a FT mother + FT job + FT blogger = ba-bye to most tv! I’d honestly rather read blogs like yours and my other friends whom I feel I have a truer connection with and who inspire me just as much :)

But yes, Oprah…a pioneer. Inspirational. So much to say after 2 decades following her but yes, an amazing woman!

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Sarah May 26, 2011

Thanks for the link to the transcript: there were so many gems in there, I feel like reading and re-reading it!
I was disappointed yesterday that so many people I talked to were not impressed with the finale: they expected the giveaways, the shocking news, the stuff. I was glad she kept it simple, and shared such profound lessons. Thanks for being on my team on this one!

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VeggieGirl May 26, 2011

I’m usually not a fan of Oprah usually, but I loved her message/speech yesterday on the show!

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Felicia (Natural + Balanced) May 26, 2011

didn’t see the final show and never really watched. but i think the overall message is something to definitely think about. only we have control over the life we want to live! a lot of her messages are powerful and really puts things in perspective

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape May 26, 2011

I really don’t think that this means the end of Oprah gracing our tv screens. I don’t think she’ll be able to stay away. Plus, with her network she has the perfect platform to launch a new show or specials at the least.

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Marta May 26, 2011

Hiya Angela. Huge Oprah fan here. Such a strong, independent, motivated woman who’s overcome so many obstacles! What’s not to look up to?

Standing up for yourself takes a lot of balls (ovaries?) and isn’t always the comfortable position to put yourself in. I’m not one to take a lot of crap and I gotta say, the feeling after you stand up for yourself (or someone else) is way better than the feeling you get when you know you haven’t.

M :)

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Stephanie C. May 26, 2011

I also was impressed at the toned-down, more intimate final episode of her show. I think it truly spoke to who Oprah is a a person, as a role model, and as an icon. She has always inspired me as well and although I don’t agree with all of her beliefs or points of view, there is no denying the powerful effect she has had on the world. Because of her efforts, pedophiles were caught, minds were opened, and several people have started thinking for themselves and taking responsibility for their own lives. I believe she will continue to do incredible things and will continue being a strong and positive influence on the world. There never has been nor ever will be another like her!

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Leanne (Bride to Mrs.) May 26, 2011

I found her last show to be the best show she ever had done. The messages were so powerful, so simple, so real. I was born the year she started her show and really grew up watching her. She’s one of my role models for sure… I hope to see her doing more TV on her OWN channel which I subscribe too.

I wonder who will take the 5pm slot? I can’t see anyone “replacing” Oprah… she’s in a league of her own :)

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Leanne (Bride to Mrs.) May 26, 2011

Ps. I absolutely LOVED seeing her embrace Stedman once she was done. I know they keep their relationship private but I thought it was so heartwarming. It was also so sweet of him to speak about her on her second last show :) awwwwww love.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 26, 2011

I heard Dr Oz is taking over!

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suki May 26, 2011

thanks for posting the link. i never really got to watch the show much because of work, but the transcript was very touching, and it really captures why Oprah is a role model to so many.

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Julie (A Case of the Runs) May 26, 2011

I was tired of seeing all the Oprah hate everywhere… Think of her what you will, but she entertained many people for many years, and not like she was promoting anything unhealthy really. Her absence from live TV will be a change/end of an era that makes me feel old, but hopefully we can find comfort… in Ellen DeGeneres? ;)

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Emily May 26, 2011

I didn’t see it but I love this post. I think sometimes it’s tougher to stand up for yourself than others but it is absolutely necessary! People are drawn to niceness but you can’t let people walk all over you.

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Heather May 26, 2011

I love your story about turning down the job! I have a hard time sticking up for myself, it is only something I am just starting to learn how to do.

I try to listen tp that sinking feeling in my stomach and ask myself “what do I need to do to voice my concerns/needs”. So far, everytime I have, the outcome has been far better and less scary than I could have ever expected!

I am off to conquer my day! Thanks for the inspiration!

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Nichole (Flirting with Food, Fitness & Fashion) May 26, 2011

I missed her final show :( She has always been an inspiration to me as well… I wish I would have had the courage to stand up to bullies in high school or known that I should/would/can stand up for myself like I do know. Live and learn. :)

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Sonia (the Mexigarian) May 26, 2011

thank you for posting this. I’ll have to finish reading the transcript as I didn’t catch her last show. It comes at an important moment in my life. I am looking for a new job, as my dad gets ready to retire, and I am left wondering what I should do versus what I want to do. I am at a bypass and have know idea where to go. maybe I’ll gain some insight from the transcript.

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Erin May 26, 2011

Hey Angela – great post.
Steph once told me “Don’t tell a fool where he went wrong. Let him figure it out on his own”. I don’t think it’s always necessary or wise to tell people when they are being rude or what they are doing wrong. They will eventually figure it out or spend life motivating people like you and me to turn down their offers ;)

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Erin, too May 26, 2011

Love, love, loved her last show. I maybe broke down and cried an ugly-cry when it ended. I’m going to miss spending my afternoons with her so much!

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Shanna, Like Banana May 26, 2011

I didn’t watch the final show but need to. And wow “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” this makes me want to dig deeper and find out what it is that lights me up. I have some ideas that are stewing…

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Lauren May 26, 2011

I loved this show and I especially loved the quote she shared “Please be responsible for the energy you bring into this room.” Great stuff!

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Cara @ EAT. PRAY. RUN. May 26, 2011

I really HOPE Oprah will be back — i’m sure she’ll be doing something else! I didn’t get to watch her last show but have it recorded and am excited to see. She has been such an inspiration and example of what it is like to be selfless!

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey May 26, 2011

I’m an Oprah Lover. I think it is absolutely disgraceful what those girls did to you. Everyone is allowed to have thier own role models in life – and if Oprah is that for you, so be it. Oprah has hoenstly touched so many lives, and the world is a better place because ofher. I <3 her.

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Shady May 26, 2011

I’m not an Oprah fan (and I wasn’t at home when it started) so I didn’t see her final show yesterday. Her show ending, regardless of if you like her or not, marks the end of an era. It’s like when Michael Jackson died, you may not have enjoyed his music but you couldn’t deny the impact he’d had on popular culture.

If it makes you feel any better, my answer for who is your role model probably would have been laughably clique for those mean girls. My answer is my mom who remains the strongest, most independent and unconditionally woman I know. I can only hope one day to ‘turn into her’.

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Carly May 26, 2011

I love Oprah, and anyone who doesn’t love her still can’t deny the amazing impact and difference she has made over the last 25 years.
I caught her finale through teary eyes and am so happy she kept it to the lessons she learned and not material things. I hope she is back on the screen in some form, it makes me sad she won’t be on when I am home with my future babies!

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The Healthy Hipster May 26, 2011

I love the idea that everyone just wants to be heard. And I truly feel as if Oprah picked up on a need in our society – for women who were at home and feeling isolated and disenfranchised to have a voice and a space to be heard. Even if she isn’t back in that exact form I think the message was a powerful one.

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