Blogging is such a riot. Yesterday a blog buddy told me about www.livingoprah.com; I included the blog in yesterday's post and questioned whether it was real or not. The author of LivingOprah (who prefers to remain anonymous and be representative of "everyday women") saw my post and sent me an email confirming that she has nothing to do with Oprah or Harpo Productions and doesn't want to. She chose Oprah for her experiment only because Oprah is holistic in scope and covering all topics and not just food or entertainment or politics.
Intrigued, I asked Ms. Everyday if she would agree to an interview and she said yes, only if I continue to keep her name/number out of it.
Here's the scoop - without giving too much of her background away, years ago she worked in an ad agency as a graphic designer. One day the agency wanted her to work on a Philip Morris account, that's when her values kicked it and she quit. Since then, she's been self-employed, making a 1/4 of what she earned before and is wildly happy.
At one time, she was also part of a performance art group which explored the roles of "Social Gurus." She played the role of the modern day guru providing answers for the masses. In this latest incarnation, she decided to explore the "masses" side of the guru equation. (I was getting flashbacks of "Illusions" by Richard Bach.)
"To be clear," she said, "the purpose isn't to say what's right or wrong about Oprah, it's about exploring the mindset of those, including myself, who look to others for answers. I was curious to see what it would be like to give 100% of myself over to one program, per se, and see what happens."
She started on Dec. 31, 2007 and wants to go until to Dec. 31, 2008. With a nod to Dr. Phil I had to ask, "How's that working for you"?
"I'm finding it exhausting, I thought I could compartmentalize it more, but I can't do it. She is everywhere in my world... there is always something Oprah going on". [then Ms. Everyday commented that the library lobby she was sitting in had a copy of Red Eye with Oprah's picture on the front] "Sometimes I feel resentful, but I remind myself that it's my choice. I'll admit I do feel more self-conscious than I have before. I'm constantly judging myself and think about what I'm wearing or eating or am I truly taking the moment and being as happy as I should be. The self-centerness is exhausting. I have to say, only two months in... I felt more relaxed before doing it, more at ease. It's hard work."
We discussed that last statement and decided that maybe it was hard work because it wasn't yet ingrained into a lifestyle. It's like cooking with or without a recipe. It's harder to follow directions than it is to chop and cook. Ms. Everyday also acknowledged that there was a strange freedom in being told what to do. "like the book club, I don't have to read reviews, she makes some choices for me."
Ms. Everyday admits she has been in Oprah's audience before. She lives in Chicago and admires what Oprah does and how she is a self-made woman."I'm just trying to be as open about it as possible without trying to offend anyone," she told me, "It's not about Oprah, it's about us."