What Oprah Knows for Sure about Coping with Change
When I decided to end the Oprah show, I knew my life without it would be forever different. And I was ready. Ready to give up the never-ending search for enlightening and entertaining new ways to talk about familiar subjects.
After 25 years, it was harder and harder to be fresh while staying authentic. I never wanted to fake it—not a single feeling, not a moment's reaction. So I opted to end as elegantly as I could, knowing many changes were gonna come.
Some were more expected than others. I still miss, more than anything, the camaraderie and connection I felt each day after the show, just chatting with the audience about anything and everything. People came from all over with their mothers, sisters, friends (and occasionally, husbands or boyfriends who were doing penance). Seeing people have a rewarding experience was the greatest fun for me.
But there was never enough time to actually live the life I talked about.
And that has been the huge change—and challenge: figuring out, now that I have more time, how to manage it to the greatest advantage.
For years I never had to think about what to do, or when to do it, because the SHOW was all consuming. I longed for that elusive, ephemeral balance.
Once my life was mine to design, I found myself a bit unbalanced in structuring it. I've had to learn to plan what I want to do instead of always fulfilling the "have to dos."
It was a life-altering shift. I've often said that the true meaning of freedom is what Toni Morrison described so poignantly in Beloved: "To wake up at dawn and decide what to do with the day."
I know for sure: It's a beautiful thing when you get to decide. And now I fully embrace the change.