Michelle Obama. Some would say, former First Lady of the United States, but I consider her to still be my First Lady. Her book Becoming, a memoir which was published in November of 2018 soared past record sales for the year within 15 days.
I chose to purchase the audio version of the book, just because I could listen to the book while at work and therefore killing two birds with one stone. The book was broken down into three sections; Becoming Me, Becoming Us, and Becoming More. Listening to Mrs. Obama as she carefully read each word with grace and dignity gave me a much deeper appreciation for her as person and a much clearer view into her life as a daughter, sister, mother, friend, wife, as well as a humanitarian. Her personal reflections are mesmerizing as she tells her truth as only she could tell it.
In Becoming Me, she carefully painted the portrait of her childhood; being raised on the South Side of Chicago and living what she thought was a decent life. It covers her time at law school and becoming a lawyer where she would eventually meet Barack Obama. Becoming Us, takes us on a roller coaster ride that covers the ups and downs of her marriage and Barack’s journey to the White House. Finally, Becoming More simply gives purpose and insight that no matter where you are in life you should always strive to be more.
“For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.” ―
5 Reasons to read Becoming
- The Importance of Education. From Michelle’s early school days, education was poured into her and she knew the importance of education. It was always important to her to strive for excellence.
- Self-Awareness. Michelle has always known who she was and her worth, no matter where she was in life. She also knew that everyone would not be able to accept a black person in a powerful position. However, it was still important to carry on with grace. Furthermore, it was important to Michelle to never let someone tell her what she was capable of doing based on her skin color.
- Don’t wait on a man! Take it from Mrs. Obama that you do not and should not wait on a man. It will be his job to catch up with you! I loved this part of the book. Michelle was talking about the struggles of being a wife and a mother while also having a husband who was a Senator at the time. He would be away for days at a time or would often have very late nights. As a mother it was important that her girls had a routine and ate dinner at a certain time, etc. Instead of having the girls wait it would be Baracks goal to catch up to them once he got home. I loved Michelle’s transparency throughout the entire book.
- Support your husband. Michelle made it clear that she was not a fan of politics. However, she also stressed the importance of supporting your husband even if you do not see the purpose.
- Open your door to others. “For every door that’s been opened to me, I’ve tried to open my door to others. And here is what I have to say, finally: Let’s invite one another in. Maybe then we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases and stereotypes that unnecessarily divide us. Maybe we can better embrace the ways we are the same. It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.”―
In this book, Michelle also goes on to talk about her time at the White House and how her every move was watched and calculated. She talks briefly about how she’ll never forgive Trump (or 45) for the whole birthing situation. But I believe this memoir is much bigger than that so I choose not to focus on it. This memoir is about a African-American woman who never doubted herself for anyone or anything. It showcases how a woman from a lower middle class community on the South Side of Chicago can go to Ivy League colleges and be a leader for millions around the world. This memoir is important because if you remove the titles President and First Lady from their names, the Obama’s are just real down to earth people who go through things just like any other person. This memoir is also a reminder that one should never become finite but one should always be BECOMING and willing to grow!
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