So That Happened: I Met Oprah!

One of my favorite quotes ever is from one of my favorite books ever, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho: “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

When you want somthing quote

If that ain’t the doggone truth! That’s at the core of my work, and the magic that has been happening in my life lately, and the fact that my first book is dropping in 5 months.

Like millions of people everywhere, I consider Oprah Winfrey to be one of my heroes. It’s the exception to feel otherwise, especially when you’re a Black woman. As a self-made media mogul, a master communicator and one who insisted on doing it on her own terms, Oprah is pretty much the holy grail of making it. She’s a multi-passionate, multi-hyphenate bawse, and I aspire to be all of those things. That is what I’ve been working towards for the last thirteen years, even when I didn’t realize it.

But what makes me admire her the most is her commitment to use her elevation for the greater good of others. It is that heart of hers and her love of using her platform for a higher purpose that makes me adore her.

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She’s spent the last 4 decades showing how being exactly who you are can propel you to greatness, and that vulnerability is a superpower that can save lives.

For me, Oprah has been the blueprint of what dreams realized could look like, and meeting her has been a goal of mine for a long time. Oddly enough, her and I have been in the same room many times over the years, but we had never met. Our orbits circled each other, but there was never a time when I shook her hand and formally introduced myself.

There was the time when 5 or 6 of us from my 5th grade class were chosen to go to Harpo Studios, for an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. It was 1995, I had just moved to the United States with my family a few months before and I was one of the chosen ones to go represent my school on TV. My Mom fussed over my hair, I picked my outfit and I was so excited. When we got to Harpo Studios, 2 of us were told that we wouldn’t be appearing on the show afterall. We had to sit in the green room as our classmates sat next to Oprah in the studio. Crushed did not begin to describe how I felt. There’s disappointment and there’s 10 levels below it. That was me but I tried to keep it together.

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I was in the Harpo Green Room like this.

After the show taping wrapped, I did get a chance to enter the studio. I was standing about 10 feet from Oprah at one point, in awe. I didn’t dare try to meet her, though. I was too scared so I just stared.

She was so close yet so far for so long. She considered Chicago to be home for decades, and you know I’m a proud Chi-town girl. Harpo Studios was less than a mile from my high school (shoutout to Whitney Young!) in the West Loop.

Twice in college, I scored tickets to tapings of the Oprah Winfrey Show, and one of them was for her 20th anniversary show. They had me sit in row 3 in the seat closest to the aisle. At one point, Oprah walked by me and said “nice jeans.” That was when whisker wash jeans were in. I bouta died. I remember how one of the commercial breaks, she told one of her staff members to come get these heels off her feet. I was like “oooo AND she’s real. I LOVE HER SO MUCH.” We walked away with the 20th anniversary DVD of her show. Because: gifts.

And in the last 6 years, her and I have been in the same room at least 5 times, at ESSENCE’s annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon. It is one event where everyone can walk up to her and snap selfies, because all the famous folks there are really accessible. This is the same event where I’ve met and taken pics with Ava DuVernay, Brandy, Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong’o. This is the same event where Shonda Rhimes has shared a table with Oprah, and we’ve become baes. I have never attempted to meet Oprah at BWIH, even as I’ve stood feet away from her. Something in my spirit told me it wasn’t time.

Dont Do It Kid President gif

Something told me to wait, because instead of bum-rushing her at an event where countless people do just that, I wanted to meet her in a space where she’s already heard my name. I wanted our first meeting to be one that wouldn’t be so forgettable.

So I waited for the right time.

That time came this weekend, and it was under those very conditions. I know she’s heard my name spoken to her. And it was in a space where I wasn’t just one of hundreds of faces.

I walked up to an orange-clad, ponytailed, smiling Oprah and shook her hand. I said something like: “Hi, I’m Luvvie. It’s incredible to meet you. I am so honored.” She gave me a hug and it was everything and I coulda just melted on the spot but I didn’t. I told her “My book I’M JUDGING YOU is coming in September and I’d love to send you a copy.” She nodded and squeezed my hand. She said something to the affirmative and I can’t remember what it was. I was totally being JD from Scrubs and having a party in my own head. BECAUSE I WAS MEETING OPRAH. Anywho, we took our picture together and I walked away.

Luvvie and Oprah

Then my knees buckled as I looked at my phone and back at her and squealed to the people who were next to me. Those people I was squealing to? Gina Rodriguez and Sophia Bush. They too were having their moments. When legit famous people fangirl over someone, you know they’re special. People who are on TV regularly, who have probably met all types of icons, were having the same moment I was. Because that is the power of Oprah.

So many people have asked me what she smelled like. You are all creeps. HA! I do not remember. I was too busy having a moment in my head where I was saying “OMG OMG OMG OMG” over and over again. Outwardly, I kept my cool, though. When she was leaving, after 5 hours of spending time with all of us, she walked by me and squeezed my arm. “Aight yall, I’m leaving. Thank you for your time!” I was like “omg she just touched me again.” Whew!

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I can’t tell you the full circumstances around why I had this opportunity to meet her right now. That is its own story. But I finally met her, and it was just as I claimed it would be.

I am constantly being shown that what we utter is what will be. This is why we must speak life into ourselves. This is why we must speak our dreams so they can float into the universe and have a chance to become real. This is why we must dare to believe that grand things can happen for us. I dared to believe. And I met my idol 2 days after my other idol, Shonda Rhimes, randomly tweeted that she can’t wait to read my book.

It’s like the Universe called a meeting and said “Look, y’all. We need to make sure Luvvie gets what she wants.” And the atoms lined up and made things happen. And God was like “that’s right. That’s my baby so you all better make it work.” I am beyond grateful.

So here I am. Still reflecting. Still celebrating. Still thankful.

What do I want to happen next? Well, let me speak it here. I want my book to end up on the New York Times Best-seller’s list on the day it drops: September 13, 2016. I want her Oprah to love I’m Judging You so much that she picks it for her BookClub. I want my book to be critically-acclaimed so that the next Black girl who goes to write a book can have an easy time making it happen because I’ve shown that it can be done well, and it can sell. Universe, I could surely use your help on that. Please and thanks with Amen in the top.

But yes. I MET QUEEN OPRAH, YALL!!!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • MS April 12, 2016, 10:26 am

    Someone I know from high school was at the same event and was able to meet Oprah and take a picture and I was so jealous! I’m even more jealous that you were also there, since I feel like I know you too! 🙂

  • T. Espinoza April 12, 2016, 10:31 am

    Luvvie. LUVVIE! This is amazing. My heart is full on your behalf. My eyes even started to produced a salty discharge… I has the feels. Continued blessings to you 🙂

  • DCFem April 12, 2016, 10:37 am

    So happy for you! And to the individuals who asked you what she smells like, “I am judging you!”

  • Stacy April 12, 2016, 10:42 am

    Thank you for sharing this Luvvie, and taking us with you! Keep soaring, God’s got you!

  • Melody April 12, 2016, 10:44 am

    Thank you for writing this blog post! You’re officially best friends, because both love The Alchemist. I’m so happy for you 🙂

    • Melody April 12, 2016, 10:44 am

      We’re* lol

  • amy juicebox April 12, 2016, 11:01 am

    girl
    i am legit in starbucks CRYING.
    CRY-ING.
    slow silent tears of pride like i EVEN KNOW YOU or something.
    i remember having that very fan-girl moment when i got to meet YOU at BlogHer last year. (lol).

    you are truly an inspiration to so many of us. you are the social media savvy, wise-cracking, cool cousin (you aint old enough to be called auntie) to SO many of us around the world.

    thank you for being you. and for sharing with us.

    • Sarah April 12, 2016, 5:20 pm

      Oh, I am crying TOO! I am ridiculous!

      This was all so perfectly written. Side note: I can’t believe Luvvie had to sit in the green room during an Oprah taping. I could not handle that kind of disappointment at age 40, let alone as a fifth grader.

  • Kiana S Hughes April 12, 2016, 11:30 am

    So proud of you, Luvvie! It’s your season and God’s grace is upon you.

  • Lydia April 12, 2016, 11:36 am

    Can I say how much this post has me BEAMING?!

    Back when I was still on Facebook, and I posted my photo with Oprah after going to one of her “The Life You Want” weekend events – Luvvie you commented on my photo, “You Won Everything” lol. To see this moment happen for you, in the way that it did, after all the opportunities when it could have happened but wasn’t the time yet. Can I tell you…..whew chile. My circumstances were the same, there had been various occasions in which I *could* have met her, and for one reason or another, it just didn’t happen. But I always held it in my heart that WE WOULD INDEED MEET! I would tell folks all the time “I don’t know the circumstances, when, where, or how, but Oprah and I will meet.” And it happened.

    But thinking beyond Momma O, and what you shared in this blog about the universe conspiring to allow ALL OF US, yes EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US to achieve our dreams. That spoke to my heart, because I 100% believe it to be true. I can confidently TESTIFY that the things that I desperately wanted for myself that I was willing to work for, each and every time, came to fruition.

    And you know what I thought when I got finished reading this…”wait until Luvvie is that person that people are hoping they can reach, touch, meet, speak to just like Oprah”. Your time is coming too Luvvie.

  • Jacqueline April 12, 2016, 11:40 am

    Congratulations on achieving your dreams 🙂 It’s just the beginning

  • MzCafe April 12, 2016, 11:51 am

    Where is the LOVE button for this post?!! I’ll just make do with <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  • Stacey April 12, 2016, 12:04 pm

    #Goals This is the best. I love everything you’ve said here!

  • Sili April 12, 2016, 12:13 pm

    MADAM! I am busy trying to have a productive day! It is bad enough that my cheeks hurt all weekend from seeing your pictures and I was genuinely doing the Celie handclap on your behalf but to have me crying all up in hea?! The Alchemist is my favorite all-time book and that is my favorite all-time quote. This is how I know we go together. Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta find some damn tissues!

    It does my heart good to see all of your successes, Luvvie. It truly does.

    oxoxox

  • Drea April 12, 2016, 12:16 pm

    This brought tears to my eyes. I am beyond happy for you and all you’re accomplishing day by day. From the time I randomly followed you on Twitter because I thought you were hilarious, to rubbing elbows with the likes of Oprah and ‘nem. Look at God!

    Continued blessings to you, Luvvie!

  • Lorna April 12, 2016, 12:30 pm

    So you start off my day making me cry tears of joy at all the blessings God is pouring out on you because you have diligently worked in purpose for many years. And then you inspire me beyond all measure and make me declare – out loud – my dreams and goals to the universe so I can get it started. Luvvie I thank you!!!!! On behalf of everyone who is so touched and inspired by you but are crying too much to type right now, WE THANK YOU!!!

    Also, as much as I love Mother Oprah, GIRL, let me tell you, when I looked at the picture, my eyes were glued to your FIERCE SHOE GAME!!! Wow! I love those shoes so much!! You better Work! *in my Rue Paul voice*

  • Tracy April 12, 2016, 12:31 pm

    I’m giving your book as a gift to all I know and love. You inspire me in so many ways. May God continue to rain down blessings upon you, luv.

  • Rajdulari April 12, 2016, 12:42 pm

    Girllll YES! I’m over here grinning from ear to ear for you. What an awesome moment, and what an awesome time for all of us to watch you rise. That’s what a community does, we lift and support you on your journey. Everything that’s coming your way is so well deserved, Luvvie. So very happy for you and thanks for sharing such and awesome and inspiring moment with us!

  • Elle April 12, 2016, 12:45 pm

    “I am constantly being shown that what we utter is what will be. This is why we must speak life into ourselves. This is why we must speak our dreams so they can float into the universe and have a chance to become real. This is why we must dare to believe that grand things can happen for us. I dared to believe.”

    Preach, Luvvie. Preach!

  • MegaOldSkool April 12, 2016, 12:59 pm

    Hey Luvvie, I’m happy for you! I follow u and I’m watching your progression into stardom but as I was reading your story on meeting Oprah I had a funny look on my face, like “what is she talking about”? As I’m all for “giving honor where honor is due”, I am NOT surprised at the great things that are happening to you and for you! Today I honor YOU Lady Luvvie! You are more of an inspiration to many than you think. I think you’ve put in the WORK so yes, the universe is giving you your harvest… And this is only the beginning so to YOU, I salute!

    “Beloved, I pray above all things that you prosper and be in good health, even as your soul prospers”!
    Sincerely, Phyllis Anderson aka MegaOldSkool

  • Ngozi April 12, 2016, 1:22 pm

    I’m a firm believer in speaking things into existence but sometimes fear seeps in and our tenacity and confidence falter a bit. Thank you for sharing this story. It gives those of us who have large dreams to keep believing.

    Congrats on meeting her!!

  • Jennifer April 12, 2016, 2:07 pm

    I smiled the entire time I read this. I am so excited and happy for you! The way you are about Oprah? I’m kind of like that about you…we are BFFs in my mind. As an aspiring author, I am more than motivated by you. Yes, I will be buying I’m Judging You in September!

  • 1tennismate April 12, 2016, 2:54 pm

    Congratulations! Just reading this has made my day better. Your words breath hope when hopelessness is threatening to engulf my spirit. Be blessed!

  • Ivory April 12, 2016, 5:20 pm

    You are a beautiful soul! I cried throughout this! As a writer I have felt so disconnected and afraid but you just spoke belief and hope to my heart! You are doing incredible things and inspiring so many of us!

  • Kim April 12, 2016, 6:42 pm

    YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS so flipping happy at this blog post. My heart soared for you. Don’t you just love it when the stars align. Kudos to you and can’t wait to read your book!

  • Karen April 12, 2016, 7:14 pm

    I feel like it happened to me, Luvvie. I can’t stop smiling for you. Everything is lining up exactly how it should. You have put in your time and your gift is making room for you.

    Congratulations!

  • Silk! April 12, 2016, 7:47 pm

    You using all the Oprah gifs just slays me.

    Now when I get to meet YOU, I can say I’m that much closer to HER.

  • Tara Kamiya April 12, 2016, 7:54 pm

    I am so happy for you! That is awesome.
    I am going to make you some Oprah pasties to celebrate.LOL

  • Tiff April 12, 2016, 8:52 pm

    Yay you. But, how about I miss Scrubs though :/ runssss to netflix to check

  • Rev. Sherri April 12, 2016, 10:36 pm

    Just tears!! Congrats and thank you for sharing!

  • laritaraine April 12, 2016, 10:59 pm

    Aww, that’s good you got to meet her! Whitney Young shout! Michelle graduated from there, and my cousin Phyllis. I love my home city! We have some great people to come from there, including you! Weirdly, Phyl got to meet Oprah too, on one of her room makeover shows, she actually won a makeover.
    Keep stepping!

  • SIPort April 13, 2016, 8:18 am

    Luvvie,

    This is so fabulous!

    I was smiling from beginning to end of this post.

    The blessings are coming your way, Luvvie.

    And, Go Dolphins !
    Another Whitney Young alum.

  • Christina Lewis April 13, 2016, 11:02 am

    So I was just thinking, dang I need Luvvie to talk about “Thwack”, the last Scandal episode, but then I said, oh never mind, she’s busy being a BOSS and realizing her dreams! Yes! This is only just the beginning 🙂

  • April April 13, 2016, 11:22 am

    What is this moisture forming in the corners of my eyes?? I am so proud of you!!! I saw her at Selma High School when she and the cast of Selma were there for the screening of the film and I swear the air in the room changed when she walked out. Like, my skin became mouisturized just bc Oprah was in the room. Congratulations on everything that you’ve WORKED for!

  • Ernesha April 13, 2016, 1:43 pm

    I’m here for all of this. Yes, sis. Yes and amen!

  • ShaiMW April 13, 2016, 3:22 pm

    Luvvie this is AMAZING! You deserve it all and the universe will the throw the rest your way! See you on the NYT Best Seller’s list!

  • Ashley April 14, 2016, 7:50 am

    This is really perfect. Thanks for sharing this. I humbly agree that what we utter will be. I’m hoping to be on Soulful Sunday. LOL. So let’s see how the God and the universe conspires to make that happen for me. 🙂 This is great inspiration.

  • Londa April 14, 2016, 8:25 am

    Shoot, I’m brushin’ my shoulders off as if **I’m** the one basking in the glow of the Oprah sun rays instead of Luvvie.

    I got next! But, while you got now…girl, I’m so proud of you.

  • Stacey876 April 14, 2016, 1:16 pm

    You made this Jamaican girl (who lurks on your site) cry tears of joy for you. I felt like I was right there with you.

  • 1Chiq April 15, 2016, 12:03 pm

    So… I read all of that and I’m stupid excited for you but all I really wanted to say in response to all of that is: YAY! WHITNEY YOUNG! You’re a Dolphin! #WestsidePerculator

  • Diana G April 17, 2016, 4:21 pm

    ALL of this!!! I was getting all emotional up in here. MAN!! I am so incredibly happy for you and am enjoying watching you rise. This right here though: “I am constantly being shown that what we utter is what will be. This is why we must speak life into ourselves. This is why we must speak our dreams so they can float into the universe and have a chance to become real. This is why we must dare to believe that grand things can happen for us.”

    Yes. To all of it. You are an inspiration!!

    Thank you!

  • This is how it'll be when I meet Luvvie April 18, 2016, 4:12 am

    It’s one thing when motivational speakers I’ve never heard of and don’t know why they’re famous, come speak my school and tell me to believe in myself, if I can believe it I can achieve it and all that.

    It’s another thing entirely to watch this truth unfold in the real life of someone I *choose* to listen to and follow and read because: relate-able and stuff.

    This is flippin awesome. I’m ’bout to go dust off some of my forgotten dreams of yesteryear and start believing in them again.

  • TiTi April 18, 2016, 10:56 am

    Girl! I am so happy for you. I’m crying real tears right now because I know you have worked so damn hard and I’m so very happy to see the universe making things happen for you. I’ve always said that I was put on this planet to do more than just breathe and take up space. I’m here to add value and use the gifts that God gave me to do so. Was feeling a little overwhelmed but I’m good now reading this post. Thank you…..and I pre-ordred I’m Judging You because you deserve to be on that best seller list!

  • Vanessa L. P. April 18, 2016, 2:54 pm

    Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Turning cartwheels… Because Luvvie – YOU ROCK!

  • KrickettwithaK April 20, 2016, 10:36 am

    I read this smiling….so happy for you!!! Started from the wall slide/Bro Franklin now we’re here!! 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

  • Veda S Stanley April 20, 2016, 2:22 pm

    Luvvie bka sisterfriendinmyhead – you shine I beam and I am beaming with joy for your having met Momma Oprah. I can’t even imagine how I would have maintained my cool. Keep being your true you!

  • Lauren April 21, 2016, 2:15 pm

    So life happened (marriage, new job, baby) so I haven’t visited your site in quite a while. Today, I’ve come here to find out you’ve written a book and have even met OPRAH, among many other amazing accomplishments. Just wanted to congratulate you and wish you the best. I happened to find you on twitter several years ago and have enjoyed seeing your progression and journey to success. Keep on keeping on!

  • Jazz May 4, 2016, 1:53 pm

    Congrats! Well deserved!

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