I was going to be the first Cape Verdean on OPRAH, so I thought… In April 2013, on a seemingly ordinary day, I was driving home from UMass Boston in rush hour traffic and I received a call from a Chicago area code telephone number. I immediately remembered that I had written an email in answer to a call on the Oprah website, asking people to give testimonies about negative experiences with so-called “BAITERS” (people who use or take advantage of others for their own gain). The thought: “That couldn’t be them!” went through my mind, but I quickly decided to answer the call just in case. It was! It was a producer from the show, Stephanie Sorensen, telling me that they had received my email and wanted to send me a free copy of Dr. Phil’s book “Life Code” and to get more feedback. A week or so later, I was called again and told that I would be considered for an appearance on the show via Skype. Soon an email from the producer of Oprah’s Life Class on OWN followed these brief phone calls and plans began to include me on the show. I thought I was daydreaming, but there it was “harpo.com” sitting right in my inbox! I opened it and I was pleasantly surprised.
Ultimately, I did appear on screen and many friends and family called when they saw my face there on OWN. Even my three-year-old son shouted “OH MY GOSH!!” However, I never actually go to speak on screen. The live taping took on a life of its own. Myself, and some of the others who appeared on Skype, were not able to have our voices heard on the program due to time constraints. However, what a thrill! What an honor to have been considered and to have had my face on the small screen in any proximity to Oprah’s. The significance of this story: For me, it was a “God wink,” a little reassurance that I am on the right path and that I have important things to say that others will listen to. It was a confirmation that dreams can come true when we least expect it and in unexpected ways and times. It was a moment that led to much reflection on my life, the “BAITERS” and hurdles that I have had to overcome and on my own “life code” (the values, advice and support system that has helped me survive difficult times). I’m grateful to have had this (almost) encounter and the gift of the possibilities it represented.