I can’t have Oprah 5 days a week anymore, so I make do with this every Sunday thing. Super Soul Sunday to be exact. If you haven’t seen it, just to experience one of Oprah’s many “backyards” is reason alone. The woman has some nice property. And she starts the show by talking directly to me, “I wanted to have a place for us to go every Sunday to WAKE UP!”–the theme music starts, and my heart is at ease. Especially when she drinks her own brand of tea and says, “Get your chai on!” Oprah, thank you for being you.
It’s a very “spiritual” kind of show, which not everyone is into. I’ve always been drawn to it, though. It’s the opposite of the news (which I usually end up watching, too). The news is so much minutiae that I am just so not into–ebola, fires, volcanoes, fear-based, sad stuff, political nonsense, etc–usually on repeat. Me watching the news is usually me complaining about the news unless it involves Charlie Rose or Gayle King. I am such a bigger fan of the bigger questions. Give me an episode of Cosmos where people are talking about how many universes there are out in the world, or Oprah questioning “What is our purpose here?”, etc. That kind of stuff is what pulls me in.
I feel much more at home living in a space where the bigger questions are being thought about. I get really off kilter when my life is too filled with things I know in my heart don’t matter. I just watched an episode with a woman who lost all three of her children and her parents in a fire. Wait, am I losing you? Depressing, I know. But she went on this rant about how much things she thought mattered so much didn’t matter at all. “I worried so much about giving my kids only organic food. It didn’t matter. It mattered that they could eat food, that is all. I mean of course it’s good, but it didn’t matter like I thought it did.” Cool, a great excuse for me to eat a Hot Pocket on occasion.
Am I the only one that battles between these two worlds on a regular basis? I have so much anxiety about the details of everything and then in the next breath I say, “But I’m healthy and alive and have a great life, why am I worried about this?” Anytime I get this jolt of–“we only get this one life”, I have almost a panic attack of, “Oh no, is this what I’m supposed to be doing with this life? Could I do it better?” I spend too much time thinking about the future or too much time thinking about the past, and meanwhile–tick/tock/tick/tock.
Am I an old soul? Yeah, you could say that. I was thinking about this stuff at 15 rather than what to wear to school (penny loafers, right? Oh wait, that was cool in the 50s? I’ll wear them anyways). I remember writing long graduation thank yous to my family (who writes thank you letters to their families for graduations? Someone who has read way too much about gratitude!!) & thinking that I really understood what it was to be alive and grateful.
What I didn’t see coming was the reality of what life would look like 15 years later. That you can’t sleep in and only take classes that start after 10am–and we are talking “acting classes,” which are the easiest classes to take ever. You wake up, go to work, sit through a commute, dream about being on a bike ride somewhere, wonder what to fix for dinner, hope you have enough energy to make it through the night without passing out–spending way too much time on Facebook or Instagram just trying to connect somehow because you didn’t have the time or energy to actually talk to anyone in person. Don’t think my life has become a sad robotic one, it’s just one that needs shaking up every now and then–probably like everyone else’s.
My parents have been the greatest winners at life ever, and to have them to watch everyday (not just on Super Soul Sundays) has been an even greater gift. Every time I have a doubt, a fear, a hope, a dream– Dad says before even a thought, “Go for it! You only live once!” Did you even listen to what I said, Dad?!? It could’ve been a really BAD idea! Mom just shows up at every single thing I do ever with the biggest smile on her face, like I’m awesome at everything. They remind me of what matters every time I see or talk to them, but for now–Oprah is the only one around, so her wise words will have to do!
It’s good to have people and even TV shows around that remind you to really LIVE IT UP. This means I’m going to eat a brownie right now.