Becoming by Michelle Obama
Does somebody as famous as Michelle Obama really need additional publicity for her book from someone like me?
However, if you were on the fence about investing your time in this 400+ page book I'll tell you what I learned about myself from reading her memoir and you can decide for yourself if you want read further. I promise not to reveal any spoilers. My focus is on how her book inspired me to reflect on myself.
Michelle Obama never wanted to be first lady. Yeah. Isn't that a surprise. That is a huge oversimplification of her book though.
In her memoir, Michelle describes her childhood growing up in a small townhouse with 3 generations under one roof in a crowded neighborhood of Chicago. You are left with a tremendous appreciation for Michelle's career and academic achievements once you read the description of her childhood. Once she began working for a prestigious law firm, she is introduced to Barack, an intern whom she mentors.
Soon Michelle begins a chapter of her life that is so familiar to me. This is the part I enjoyed reading the most. Barack the intern, soon becomes Barack, her husband, and later the father of her two children. Like myself, Michelle soon finds herself raising 2 daughters, and working while her husband works out of town and comes to visit on the weekends. Her husband is passionate about the work he does, and she doesn't want to get in the way of that. Yet, she struggles with the stress and loneliness of running the family on her own during her husband's absence. It is with much hesitation and trepidation that she finally decides to support her husband's campaign for the Oval Office.
As First Lady it is not all smooth sailing from there either. It is a great relief to live in the same city as her husband for a change, after many years of living apart. However, Michelle struggles to find her own identity that is not just as the wife of the president. Ultimately, she finds her passion in promoting health and nutrition for children. She finds a way to use her platform as the first lady to bring attention to something that is important to her, and does not take away from her other identity as a mother and First Lady. This is what I found to be the most inspiring part of the book. Michelle was a very highly accomplished person in her own right.