If you follow me on any sort of social media whatsoever, you probably know that I just got home from Chicago, where I saw a taping of Oprah's Life Class with Brene Brown! WOOOOOOOOO!
Let's back it on up to how this all happened. I loved Brene Brown's books, Daring Greatly and The Gifts Of Imperfection and I've been following her online forever. I saw that she posted a link on Facebook to apply to join her on Oprah's Life Class. So, I did what any crazed superfan would do: BARED MY SOUL. I wrote a wee essay about vulnerability and struggle and life and told Oprah all my dang secrets.
A few weeks later, I got an email from Harpo Studio Audience saying I'd been selected to attend the show. At first I thought it was a joke or an automated email, but then I realized NOPE. I was being offered tickets, one for me and one for a guest.
I immediately FREAKED OUT and sent Tracy a frantic "DO YOU WANT TO GO TO CHICAGO FOR OPRAH WITH ME PLEASE SAY YES" text. I knew she a) loved Oprah (and has a killer Oprah impression) and b) loved Daring Greatly. I also knew that she would be THE MOST FUN to travel with, as she has all my requirements for a travel partner: likes to talk (and we can TALK), likes and appreciates silence, and perhaps most importantly, is going to dedicate herself to eating ridiculously awesome Chicago pizza with me.
The taping was AMAZING. We were in the second row, mere feet from Oprah and Brene Brown. The show was amazing: all about vulnerability, taking chances and deepening relationships. The topics reminded me a lot of things I've been working on since yoga teacher training: being my authentic self, being willing to try new things and living a genuine life. The things that Dr. Brown highlights in her book are so many of the values I want to live by: being courageous, not being afraid to put myself out there and making changes that don't involve numbing myself or avoiding things. I came away feeling inspired and feeling really thoughtful about changes I want to make.
I really can't say enough about how incredible it was to see two people I admire so much. Just...surreal. I feel like this photo really shows the EXACT feelings we were having as things were getting underway:
The show was really interactive --- you were encouraged to tweet and Facebook and answer questions: it was basically a giant conversation. Oprah asked a question about being vulnerable at one point and I raised my hand to respond (PS, TOTALLY UNPLANNED, HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS GONNA SAY...but you know, when you have a chance to talk to Oprah, you've gotta do it, right? YOLO and all that business). She called on me, and we had eye contact, and all I'll say is the hype surrounding her is totally accurate. She's funny and kind and seemed deeply normal. Brene Brown was also hilarious and down-to-earth and just rad.
It was such a great experience. A life-changer. I feel like I have so many things to think about and so many positive changes to make. I'm so grateful to have had this experience.
Beyond the obvious Oprah highlights, spending the trip with Tracy was the ACTUAL BEST. I marvel all the time at the friendships the Internet has brought me, and this one is no exception. I walked away from our time feeling closer and even more grateful for our friendship. I'm blessed to have that girl, truly.
This trip also reminded me of how much I enjoy getting out there. I love me a good routine --- my whole life is pretty structured. But there's something beautiful and awesome about putting yourself out there, doing something out of the ordinary and getting out into the world. I recommend it. I plan to do it more.