Oprah and Tracee Ellis Ross: Your Life in Focus


All my goodness look at this. This isn't a room this is beyond a room. Riina thank you for all the way to Dell oh I would fly to Dallas for you. I'd fly to the move. This is actually very first time together. One on one a GAL has dreamed. Well it has been so really meaningful and delightful to watch you from afar. Just flourish just your flourishing and flourishing into everything. It means to be a woman who is completely full as I've been talking earlier full and filled with life to herself. And you say that you're living in abundant you call it juicy life and juicy enjoyable life. What does it look like to you? Well it's interesting. I feel like as I've gotten older I've become more myself and the more I am myself. The more my life looks like me and it's not the same as anybody else's and so it's been this process of first coming to know myself then accept myself. I love myself not on every day. Be kind to myself. Even when I don't feel like I want to be and then ask myself all those questions of what I what I really want from my life talking about. Yes and it's such an intimate journey that has taken time like even after I've discovered the things I like the things I wanna do my dreams who I am then the courage to actually walk towards those things is in and of itself. Its own journey. So I've been watching you from afar and I've seen you do lots of things you the first black woman ever opened the tedtalk. That was incredible. That was one of the one of the scariest things I've ever done. That was but that was fantastic. I like that very much. I thought you were in your power but the thing I loved so much that makes my eyes water. Is that speech that you didn't glamour in two thousand seventeen and you said something at that speech that reminded me of a moment that my Angelou church with me years ago. She said when she was in a really downtime and that she was with someone who said remember God loves you and she said God loves me and the realization of that God here all the title is but you don't realize and you had one of those moments so everybody with that was for us so we walk around. Like I'm doing what I WANNA do. I'm living laugh. I'm Mike Makeup Dreams Happen. I'm putting one foot in front of the other. I'm making it all go. And then you have these moments which actually came journaling. I had broken up with somebody. We'd been broken up with each other for quite some time and somehow I was having a ton of anxiety about telling him again when a repeat had been broken up for some time I had anxiety about telling him I wanted to date other people. What is that? What is that and these are the moments that I say to myself like? What is that like the kind of question like what is running me right now like. What is this dialogue? I'm having where did it come from? Is this some tape? That's mine. Is this a cultural tape? Is this me thinking I have to ask permission of somebody to live my own life and in my journaling I wrote. My Life is mine and it just I mean I say it and it takes my breath away because one doesn't realize really particularly as a woman particularly as a black and Brown woman in this culture. In the swirl of Patriarchy and racism and sexism and all of these things these things that are sort of giving us a map that is not necessarily our own that we can actually make choices for ourselves that are not just externally for ourselves but that actually match that very quiet voice inside our hearts and it launched me into honestly the life. I'm living right now really. So did y'all hear that my life is mine. My Life Mine. I just take a minute. Take a deep breath because the echoes crazy. Are you used arena? Talking here. Seventy thousand feet was a lot of its arena talking. We're arena dog. It's just a little intimate conversation. Yes but when that realization hit you in my life is I would think that that would bring tears to your eyes and that would be. The kind of that would be like Whoa. It brought tears to my eyes also begged a lot of questions where the places where. I'm not living my own life. And so many of the epiphany moments that occur are met with grief and tears and my own judgment and then even when you have a moment like that even when I had this moment of naming those words and holding them and hearing them then also didn't just do it right away everywhere people and you know his moments. It's interesting when I did that. Speech I was terrified to do it. I felt like I needed another three days. I knew it was too long. Didn't have time to cut it down and I kept saying to myself. You are enough just as you are even if you think it should be different you get to show up just as the speeches and that works. This is fine but I was also terrified because I felt like there were such important things going on in the world and I felt like this was not an important thing to talk about the fact that Your Life Is Yours. And empowering other people do the same which it is really the only talk about important. Most important didn't even dawn on me. Then then afterwards I had a lot of shame about having revealed something so vulnerable and then it took me about two years to realize how revolutionary the thought is particularly for a woman. Yes that we know you can applaud for that. That's all of us to actually live in your own life. You know in the seventies speaking of living your own life and what bottling for other women is in the seventies for me. It was very tyler Moore. Mary Mary Richards was on TV. She was a single woman. She was a heroin but she was a fictional character. And in twenty twenty. I know you realizes that a lot of single ladies point to you as an example of what being an unmarried woman could and should look like and I imagine. That's not a role that you ever thought you'd be playing which I like. Many of us was taught to grow up dreaming of my wedding not of my life and I spent many years of my went to the choir and also waiting to be chosen. Well here's the thing I'm the chooser and I can choose to get married if I want to. But in the meantime I am choice. Family single happily gloriously single and. I do wish there were more examples and one of the reasons. I'm okay talking about it and by the way my life is mind. That speech really was geared towards that I was like you know at the time was forty five years old and single and I had just pushed out my fifth kid on television. The irony of that in that context so many people ask the question. Have you ever thought about having children like I mean my child gave my life meaning? I'm like are you saying my life is not meaningful and because of the structure that we live in. It is so easy for me to feel undermined with all the accomplishment that I've had and my accomplishments I don't mean the Walker stuff I mean like I take the garbage out before it stinks like I eat food. That's good for me. I get my sleep. I show up for my friends. And that makes life very meaningful and somehow the rug gets pulled out so quickly when people put me in the you should be married why are why aren't you married yet. Like what's wrong with you. Well you know I got that until my fifties so you got a while to go. I only have three years but people might keep asking me and I don't mind if people keep asking me because every time they asked me. It's an opportunity for me to change the narrative and expand the story of what we can be who we are as

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