I’m definitely ashamed of how long it’s taken me to finish this book, but here we are. I’ll admit that I didn’t really know what this book would hold and it started off a little slow for me, but as I continued to read, I feel like I got the message.
We, as women, often feel engulfed in our roles in other people’s lives. Mothers. Sisters. Daughters. Friends. We are often even labeled as such. Our forever FLOTUS tell a tale of how she identified as herself from an early age, how she had to shift her own thoughts to accommodate her family and the weight of President Obama’s role and how she remained true to herself the entire time.
“I’d never related to the story of John Quicy Adams the way I did that of Sojourner Truth, or been moved by Woodrow Wilson the way I was by Harriet Tubman. The struggles of Rosa Parks and Coretta scott King were more familiar to me than those of Eleanor Roosevelt or Mamie Eisenhower. I carried their histories, along with those of my mother and grandmothers. None of these women could ever have imagined a life like the one I now had, but they’d trusted that their perseverance would yield something better, eventually, for someone like me. I wanted to show up in the world in a way that honored who they were.”
Although I cannot relate to her role as a wife and mother just yet, I realized how often we as black women get caught in supporting roles and lose ourselves. Michelle takes the time to show her own struggle with this and how keeping herself did not mean being stubborn or selfish, but finding new ways to connect what she wanted her own life to stand for to her role as a first lady.
“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 towards a better self.”
The thing I love most about this is even though we get some inside information on how she and her family felt under the public eye since 2008, she holds to her values and shows grace and dignity. These just aren’t words. I have always admired her will to take criticism and hate with such grace. Every time she did an interview or an appearance, it came out of her pores effortless, it seemed.
“What I won’t allow myself to do, though, is to become cynical. In my most worried moments, I take a breath and remind myself of the dignity and decency I’ve seen in people throughout my life, the many obstacles that have already been overcome.”
I would recommend this book because it shows determination to find yourself, even with millions of eyes on you. It shows how to stay grounded or find your way back to your roots and morals when life tries to throw you off track.
Have you read Becoming? If so, what were your takeaways?
Next on my reading list is Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.