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An Exclusive Look at Oprah's Journals

A decade-by-decade glimpse into the personal words and thoughts of a devoted diarist.

By Oprah



Photo: George Burns

Photo: George Burns I've been journaling since I was 15. It's a wonder that I've managed to be a successful human being considering how pathetic I appeared in many of my daily musings. It's a testament to growth and grace that I've come this far.

I wrote a lot of bad poetry in my teens and 20s, mostly about how some guy had done me wrong. I used my journals as therapy. Oh, the time I wasted worrying about men and weight, and what other people thought!

In my 40s, I got wiser. I started using journals to express my gratitude—and watched my blessings multiply. What you focus on expands.

Now I do a combination of gratitude and trying to give some perspective to whatever I'm writing about. I prefer unlined paper to lined, and I also have an iPad app for journaling. It's astonishing to be able to track your own evolution—who I was, who I'm still becoming.

See select entries from Oprah's journals, dating back to 1970!

Oprah's Journal September 22, 1970


"This was a seminal moment. I wasn't allowed to date until I turned 16 in January, and it was September before I actually got asked, 'Will you be my girl?'"—Oprah

Oprah's Journal November 6, 1970



Oprah's Journal November 19, 1970



Oprah's Journal February 19, 1979



Oprah's Journal March 2, 1979



"I was 25 years old, working in Baltimore. The very definition of young and restless. I'd read that the best way to get a guy to call was not to think about it, so I was pretending not to think about him." —Oprah

Oprah's Journal May 17, 1981



"A different 'him' I'm waiting on. I call these my 3-D years, when I was delusional, in denial and damaged." —Oprah

Oprah's Journal May 28 and June 1, 1981



Oprah's Journal July 12, 1985



"This entire journal is devoted to my time filming The Color Purple. It was my solace and refuge during this most profoundly thrilling time. Every day I couldn't wait to get to set. And every night I looked forward to writing about it. On this particular day, I was preparing to shoot a scene when the entire cast is gathered for Easter dinner and Sofia (my character) has just returned from jail." —Oprah

Oprah's Journal December 26 and December 28, 1990




Oprah's Journal August 23, 1994



First reported on: the April 2011 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine


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