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