Society makes us believe, that there will come a time in a woman’s life,
when she must decide who she is going to be. This decision is supposed to be finite. Will she be a mother? A wife? An ambitious career woman? A martyr? A survivor?
All the above? Or none of the above?
Image courtesy of Live Nation/For Phillyvoice
What I love about Michelle Obama, is that she unapologetically has blown society’s theory, all the way up. She does not believe in the finite, or absolutes. And although she considers herself a certified “box checker,” she has never allowed her well to run dry of intriguing “boxes” to check. Somewhere in her history, in her young life, she realized the supposition of “who she was going to be” would be a question that best remained unanswered.
And lucky for us, it did.
See, if Michelle decided to answer that question and determine all she would want to be in life was a wife, mother and successful lawyer, we would never have had the opportunity to know her as our Forever First Lady. And with the publishing of her first memoir, BECOMING, she has transcended being my girl-crush FLOTUS, she is officially my life shaman.
On Nov 15, I had the pleasure of seeing her at her LA book tour stop and benefitting from all the “positive girl-power nectar” she sprinkled in the air. The night was beyond enlightening; but seriously uplifting. Women of all shapes, sizes, ages, economic backgrounds, education levels, races and ethnicities filled the LA Forum. Waiting with bated breath and the night’s signature cocktail (ObamaRita) in hand, there was nervous, giddy chatter in the air. Women surmising what she would wear? How her hair would be done? How tall was she? Would Barack make an appearance? Who was the moderator?
But I was there for the gospel according to Michelle. I wanted to hear about her journey to “becoming”, and from it, determine if I am even close to being on the right track of knowing… Who Am I Becoming?
Image courtesy of PBS.org
What I learned that night, from hearing Mrs. Obama’s story told in her own words, is that there is no way one can ever predict their life story’s end. To even fathom what one has the potential to “become” based on where you start, would be a God-given, talent of epic proportions. For Michelle, her beginning was in a humble 2 bedroom attic apartment on the South Side of Chicago. Loved intensely by her mother, father and brother, she would go on to one of the most coveted high schools in the city, leading her to pursue the ivy life at Princeton. Well, we all know how the rest of the story goes, but there is no way anyone would have predicted a little girl named Michelle LaVaughn Robinson, would go on to “become” the one and only Black First Lady of our nation. From Euclid Ave to Pennsylvania Ave. – NO ONE would have predicted that would be the outcome of her life some 45 years ago.
She is proof that the desire to “become” means you must first fully embrace all of who you are. All of what you have been shaped by – every experience, every triumph and disappointment. You must love and nurture those truths, because inside of them is where the core of your being resides. Your beliefs, your values, and all the unique aspects of your story that pave the road for you to become whatever it is you are destined to be. Becoming requires you be willing to take chances; to believe in yourself unconditionally. Becoming means never accepting the status quo but instead being bold enough to disrupt it. Becoming is an ongoing state of personal progress; like traveling a mysterious, winding road that has no end.
Her book is on my nightstand; I keep it close. It is chock full of MAG-worthy quotes and antidotes. And every night, I read a few more pages, hoping that by osmosis, in my dreams, via my subconscious mind, I can channel every message.
In 100% MAG fashion, it is clear Michelle continues to “go high.”
And this book proves she has every intention of going higher.