SO THIS HAPPENED. Sorry for radio silence – we got back from LA and have been working pretty much solidly since. However, none of that matters because I met Oprah last week. Everyone asked me to do a video on it, but I can’t. I can’t talk about it without crying so I’m typing. I’m also crying while typing, but I haven’t even been able to think about it without crying until now, so that’s an improvement.
Let me give you some short context: Oprah is my person. You know how everyone has a ‘person’? Well mine is Oprah. Back when I had my first round of children, we had no computers, there was no internet. We had TV. Daytime TV. I was at home with two babies, working as a waitress (night shifts) – crossing over with Jim when he would come in from work to take over. Exhausting. I don’t recommend it (and please always tip your server) – BUT – Oprah was my daily check-in. It would not be far from the truth to say that Oprah, along with Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Ekhart Tolle, Dr Phil and her audience helped me raise my children. Oprah helped make me the mother that I am. Oprah helped make me the businesswoman I am. Oprah was fundamental in shaping me as a woman. Yes I had my parents, husband and best mates, but Oprah.
Oprah was my therapist, my second Mother. I’m not overstating. There are a lot of women my age that feel the same way. I know this because my Instagram went into meltdown when I posted my picture.
I know a lot of you are not on Instagram so will be unaware of me hysterically calling my husband, hyperventilating, post-Oprah – only to remember we had children and he genuinely thought something was wrong – really wrong. No. No. No. Just Oprah. He got it. Immediately. Then I texted my best friend who was on holiday and is not on Instagram, who sent me this (allow for the language – it was an emotional moment):
I couldn’t speak to her either.
Oh: and – it wasn’t a set meeting or anything – she was coming out of a building that I was going into – there was only one paparazzi there, and two professional autograph hunters that were asking her to sign four thousand things things that they were obviously going to ebay off. Gits.
Her security took one look at me and could see I was about to cry so Oprah very quietly and gently spoke to me – don’t ask me what she said – I was trying to keep it together – I have no memory outside of saying ‘thank you’ and shouting in my head ‘GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER CAROLINE GET YOUR PHONE READY GET IT IN SELFIE MODE DO NOT MESS THIS UP SWEET BABY JESUS HELP ME IS THIS HAPPENING?’.
And everyone asked me what she smelt of – I have no clue. I wasn’t breathing. I’m completely serious. Could not breathe. Was worried if I took a breath I would cry and not be able to hold it together.
Look how shocked I am. My eyes are glazed. I kept it together – and this I do remember – I very clearly thought ‘I cannot leave until she is no longer in my presence. She has to leave first. I cannot turn my back on her. I cannot turn my back on Oprah. I need her in my vision as long as possible. If she’s here all day then I’m here all day. My life is cancelled until she leaves.’
So when she said ‘Thank you’ in HER OPRAH VOICE – I backed away slowly, backwards…as if I was dismissed.
And then dear reader: then I bowed. I’m not joking. I don’t even care. I’m not embarrassed. I went full Wayne’s World.
From her reaction this is not new or unusual behaviour to Oprah. Her security laughed, she smiled, no doubt thinking ‘get me away from this woman’, but I couldn’t find the words to say what it meant to me. I still can’t.
It was only about five minutes of my life. Thank GOD for the autograph hunters – they delayed her and it meant I could just stare at her like this:
So I thought in honour of Oprah I would share some fundamental moments of the Oprah show that changed me as a person – and have never left me.
Firstly, Oprah being surprised by Mary Tyler Moore is ME after Oprah left my vision:
Secondly, the show with Toni Morrison that changed me fundamentally as a mother, and as a person/friend:
Maya Angelou on people….
Dr Wayne Dyer and Eckhart Tolle – there are far too many moments for these gentlemen – but you can start here if you’re interested…
Thank you for entertaining the hyperventilating, pre-hysterical woman who was uncharacteristically mute in your presence. Thank you for touching my arm when you knew I was about to pass out. I will never be able to fully convey what you mean to me so I’ll just say ‘Thank you’ and try and carry on as normal (never gonna happen).
I LOVE YOU.