Monday, November 12, 2018

Some Oprah Like Advice: That I really needed to hear

From Writer's Workshop:
"Oprah says we all have a story. If you were on her show, what would your story be? What would you be talking about? What advice would she give you? Write about it and provide a snippet of your interview together."

Normally I wouldn't have even thought about doing a writing prompt. But I read this question and it really got me to thinking about Oprah, and about my story. I pretend that I don't have one and that I'm just a nobody floating through the universe. I have no stories to tell, I have nothing that makes me different from anyone else. I both thought about writing prompts and what I would be talking to Oprah about. My mind was indeed spinning.

Maybe stepping out of my comfort zone is something I need to do more often.

It wasn't until I realized what tomorrow is. Tomorrow would be my grandma's birthday. This woman has taught me so much, that my story wouldn't be anything without her. Better yet, she's my story. This woman taught me things that I didn't even realize I'd understand until now.

So Oprah this is my story:

This is a story about how a strong woman taught me to be strong, a story about someone who was selfless, a story about my grandma. The woman I wish could be like.

My grandma was such a strong woman, both physically and emotionally. She could be in the worst pain ever and not flinch or say much about it. I still don't know if that's a gift or a curse that I've learned to handle plain so well. Unlike her I can be a bit more verbal about it, I'm a worrier. She didn't seem to worry much. If she did, I never noticed.

The only times I am verbal about my pain is when my fibromyalgia gets bad, or I have a kidney stone. But for some reason being in labor with my now four year old didn't phase me one bit. I wasn't in pain and the doctor was puzzled how I wasn't in pain. I can't be sure either. Even after my c-section that time, I was up walking around as soon as I was able to get up and walk around. I'm sure my grandma would be happy to know that I take after her in that aspect.

But the one thing that I wish I had was her selflessness. I admit I like to make sure people are happy first, then forget about my own happiness, but I don't call that selflessness, I do it because it's what feels right. My grandma would give her shirt off her back if someone needed it or wanted it. Hopefully one day I'll be as selfless as she was. I'm sure it takes time, and it takes learning how to be selfless. Grandma, I hope to be like you were.

Oprah's advice (I really suck at imagining Oprah's advice but anyway): 

First and foremost don't become your grandma. Your ownself. It's great to see that you want to embody who she was and keep your memory of her alive, but don't become your grandma. Become Jennifer, someone who's like your grandma.

Secondly, if you want to be selfless and want to practice being selfless practice some kindness, give to a charity, but don't give more than you can give. Just because you treat people as you want to be treated doesn't mean that you should be walked all over. You wouldn't want someone else to be walked all over so don't settle for that yourself.

Last but not least, don't worry so much. Worrying doesn't do you any good. It's not easy to let go of worry. Worry causes more problems than you realize. Just let it go.

What I learned from this Prompt

While I was writing the prompt when it got to the point of Oprah's advice/my own advice to myself. I was able to give myself advice, and find answers to my problems and really see how my story has changed me. To step out of my shoes and not be Jennifer for a second was a bit strange to do, but I think I need to do it more often. I'll learn from this, I'll grow from this, and I'll be happier. 

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