I waited a month to get my hands on Michelle Obama’s Becoming. Everywhere I looked, it was sold out and finally after being patient for what seemed like forever, I was able to find it on Amazon for just $20. By then, I had heard some good reviews about it but, let me tell you, I was not expecting it to be as amazing as people were making it out to be. I’m not much of an autobiography person. I guess my high school history class kind of ruined the idea that there are actually some good autobiographies out there. However, that was years ago and being a Black woman in her twenties, my heart was all in when I made the decision to purchase Becoming.
I’ll be honest, I’ve always known of Michelle of course; who doesn’t know her? Just because you know of someone though, doesn’t mean you know much about them. Unlike most First Ladies, Michelle made it a mission to step out of the shadows of Barack’s presidency. She dedicated her time in the White House to creating her own platform separate from politics, creating her own spotlight, inspiring women around the world to follow suit. Before then though, she wasn’t the First Lady, she wasn’t Mrs. Obama, she was just Michelle, and she had a story that is like many of ours.
[Don’t worry, there aren’t any spoilers.]
The first part of the book, Becoming Me, was all about Michelle’s life as a child. Growing up in the city of Chicago, she experienced many hardships when it came to education, race, class, etc. This spoke to me because I dealt with some of the same issues when I was growing up. Regardless of whether or not we want to admit it, a lot of us faced these issues back then and still do now; especially within the Black community. You wondered at what point did the school you attend turn around for the worst. You wondered how your parents came up with the money to make sure that you were well cared for and felt included compared to other kids. You wondered why certain people didn’t believe you could achieve greatness with just one glance at the color of your skin.
As kids though, we tended to have thicker skin. Mostly because of the fact that we were oblivious to the societal issues around us. As kids, we tended to not let judgment phase us. If you grew up like me then your parents encouraged you to be the best and instilled in you that you could be whatever you wanted to be. So when you faced obstacles at such a young age, the impact wasn’t as strong as it is now in your adult life. Our home life and upbringing has the biggest impact on who we are today. My parents, being much like Michelle’s, provided the best for me at all costs and their dedication, advice, and discipline, helped me to become the strong, intelligent, ambitious young woman that I am today. This is the reason why this part of the book is my favorite.
Now, we get to the good part; Becoming Us. Who doesn’t love a good love story? This part is all about how Michelle met Barack and let me tell you, it’s the cutest story you’ll probably ever hear in your life. It seems like we always fall for the one man that we least expected to. Out of fear of spoiling the book for those of you who haven’t yet read it, that’s as far as I’ll go into that.
I will say though, if you’re looking for some good relationship advice, this is the part for you. I’ve learned a lot from Becoming in general but, I’ve taken away some great points from Becoming Us. The patience that Michelle has, the way that she’s always understanding, the way that she shows love are what I loved the most about this part. I’m incorporating some of that into my situationship right now and not only have things been going well but, I feel better about who I’ve become in general when it comes to relationships. I’ve gained qualities that I lacked before reading through this piece of the book. Relationships are hard but, if you’re willing to work for it and make it worthwhile, it makes the process of improvement that much smoother.
Finding love, support, and growth in one another, Michelle and Barack have certainly left their marks on us. They’ve shown us how to be patient with our significant others, how to allow each other room to grow and find our place in this world. Most of all, they’ve shown us how to be as one with our significant others while also being our own person. There is nothing more beautiful than that.
This last part of Becoming is where I gained some insight on what I want out of life. Life is all about purpose; what is it that keeps you going? What is it that makes you wake up in the morning with a smile on your face and warmth in your heart? What do you want people to remember most about you? In due time, Michelle was able to answer all of these questions because with growth comes the finding of your purpose. It took for her to become a mother, a wife, and the First Lady to figure out her true purpose. This makes me wonder why I’m in such a rush at the mere age of twenty three. I have plenty of time and that’s all the reason I need to slow down and just enjoy being young.
Overall, this has become one of my favorite books. Just between you and I, it hasn’t even left my purse yet. I do plan on reading it a second time before I put it on my bookshelf and move on to another book on my list. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it and did I mention I found it on Amazon for just $20! I promise you won’t regret it.