I have been wanting to read this “Becoming” by Michelle Obama since it came out. I am not sure why. I will admit, I wasn’t particularly a huge fan of the Obamas when they were in office. Yet, I was curious what Michelle Obama had to say.
And boy did she have a lot to say. If you go into this book thinking that you are simply going to read about her life, you are sadly mistaken. It’s more than an autobiography. It’s a message for women, it’s a message for those who have struggled through life, it’s a message for everyone.
I enjoyed this book way more than I thought I would. I was particularly surprised by how relatable it was. There is no doubt about it, Michelle Obama is an strong, independent woman and has been since she was a child. I found myself smiling at some of things she went through because it was like looking into my past. Proving that just because you’re a female, doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve the same opportunities as a man.
“Failure is a feeling long before it becomes an actual result. It’s vulnerability that breeds with self doubt and then is escalated often deliberately by fear.”
This quote early on in the book really resonated with me. And Michelle proved time and again that even if you’re afraid of failure, you still have to go for it. More often than that you can succeed. All you have to do is try.
Although I am not African American, as she discussed affirmative action after being accepted to Princeton, I felt like I had had that conversation before. My best friend, Carmen, who is Colombian has echoed Michelle’s doubt plenty of times. Had she truly deserved the slot at the college or that promotion at her job? Or was she simply filling a slot because the color of her skin was darker? But like Michelle, the doubts would soon go away and she would start doing things better than everyone else. She would find her niche and prove that she deserved to be there.
I also enjoyed reading about Michelle’s relationship with Barack and it was a relief that it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns. I mean, every relationship isn’t perfect, but Michelle’s honesty was a bit surprising, considering she was talking about the former President of the United States. It was really interesting to read how Michelle struggled to stay true to herself while supporting the man she loved, and at the same time not becoming an extension of his shadow. I loved her take charge attitude and made sure that her voice was heard.
She learned to see the positive in things, even if she didn’t agree with them, like politics. I wasn’t expecting her to actually be so honest about how she didn’t want Barack to go into the Senate and then run for the presidency. Yet, through all of it, she stayed true to her own vision and tried to make the most amount of difference in the roles that she had.
I could probably go on and on about this book, but I will let you read it for yourself, if you haven’t already. What I realized while reading is this is only one of the First Ladies out of 45. I suddenly wondered what the other First Lady’s lives were like. I bet some of their stories are actually more interesting than their husbands. And so a new reading list was born.
Have you read “Becoming”? What did you think? What other memoirs would you recommend? Let’s discuss!