I believe it was an average weekday in 2006, I came home from school and did the usual; washed my hands, emptied my school bag, watched precisely one episode of Giada on Food Network, one of Full House and then completed my homework. Generally, I’d go play outside until about 4/5 p.m.
And then it was time.
I smelled the lightly buttered popcorn and got cozy on the couch with Mom, we had two religious dates a week.
One with Iron Chef
One with Oprah Winfrey.
If anyone who knows me is reading this, you know that after age 10 I used to tell people ” I pray to Oprah”.
When asked to make a project about someone who inspired you, I was not adorable and didn’t love my parents enough to pick them. I loved Oprah.
In high school IB English when we created a biography, I titled mine the “Future Business Leader of the Contemporary Media World*.
Whatever the hell that means, it was what Oprah meant to me.
She wasn’t Indian but she was the first exposure I had to a woman of color in a position of influence.
She is the inspiration behind my passion for media, interviewing, branding and journalism
She showed me that your heart can have enough love to feed the world’s insatiable hunger, if you don’t save it all for yourself.
She taught me that philanthropy lies not in the checks Lilly Vanderwoodsen wrote from the UES but rather in the hands that feed and the people’s that teach, in the children that learn and the freedoms we have reached.
She exposed me to love, a love that did not need a union to signify it’s strengths. A love so beautiful and so deep that it found its way back.
She showed me what a fierce and loyal friend looks like and how to be one.
She taught me how to challenge my own thoughts, while challenging another’s.
She inspired me to ask why, how, where and when ?
She asked of me to be actionable.
She carries herself with an unemmutable grace.
She is the reason I intend on talking about things that matter and stories that deserve to be told. (Stay tuned!)
She paved the way for my dreams to be a bit more feasible, a bit more real, a bit more lucrative.
She changed the worth I gave to myself because she challenged the worth others gave her.
It is in Oprah, I trust because she embodies my America. The America in which #timesup. The time where we put on our rose colored glasses and pretend we’re not as bad as any other country on the surface is LONG gone.
It is because of women like Oprah who have valued truth and sought after it before it was the trendy thing to do, that I believe we can still seek justice.
After all, “Hell hath no fury like a woman- oh wait, “Heaven hath no room for men who can’t handle rejection”- me.
It is because of Oprah that I believe women create empires, not serve in them.