Becoming: Michelle Obama

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Michelle Obama’s voice graced my ears nightly as my bedtime story teller and during the day as my favorite passenger during my long drives. I started slowing down her audiobook (which she perfectly narrates) near the last chapters because I didn’t want it to end.

So… here are my main takeaways:

  • Michelle Obama is NOT running for office and likely never will. She hates politics. Ahem, but... isn’t that exactly the kind of trait we want for those in politics??

  • Barack Obama’s marriage proposal to Michelle was kinda perfect and so… him.

  • Michelle Obama is as relatable and as human as can be. Her detailed stories of the people in her life from friends, boyfriends, and teachers, to her incredible parents will make you tear up if not take a moment to flat out cry (assuming you have some sort of beating heart).

  • Her story is important and puts the typically unheard stories of many others with similar beginnings at the forefront. I feel like a better human for having even a glimmer of her insights and perspectives as part of my frame of reference and understanding of America, its people, and our potential.

Some quotes that really resonated:

Now I think it is one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child- What do you want to be when you grow up? As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that's the end.

Failure is a feeling long before it’s an actual result.

Since stepping reluctantly into public life, I’ve been held up as the most powerful woman in the world and taken down as an “angry black woman.” I’ve wanted to ask my detractors which part of that phrase matters to them the most—is it “angry” or “black” or “woman”?

It hurts to live after someone has died. It just does. It can hurt to walk down a hallway or open the fridge. It hurts to put on a pair of socks, to brush your teeth. Food tastes like nothing. Colors go flat. Music hurts, and so do memories. You look at something you’d otherwise find beautiful—a purple sky at sunset or a playground full of kids—and it only somehow deepens the loss. Grief is so lonely this way.

We should always have three friends in our lives-one who walks ahead who we look up to and follow; one who walks beside us, who is with us every step of our journey; and then, one who we reach back for and bring along after we've cleared the way.