Reading Michelle Obama’s book “Becoming” was a memorable and beautiful experience. Truth be told, I was too much of a Barack Obama fan that I rarely kept up with the rest of the Obama family. So, Michelle’s story was my first time up, close and personal with an absolutely amazing woman. Her book was also my first audio book so that made the reading experience really exciting. I would listen to the audio commuting to work and then read the book during my lunch break or waiting to pick up one of the boys or snuggled on my bed.
You need to see my book. It’s like a text book. LOL. Highlights, folded pages and even notes. Yeah…..I was really into her story and I couldn’t have picked a better time to read this book. From my blog intro, I shared that I recently relocated to Maryland from Abuja, Nigeria and struggling to find my feet, space and purpose (actually, I am not sure I shared this….hmmm #old age). Well yeah, I moved back to MD after a 6 years hiatus and I feel like someone pressed rewind on my life. This book provided the much needed clarity, encouragement and motivation I needed.
Becoming got me thinking deep about who I am, what my mission is, what my values are, how willing I am to succeed and how ready am I to take risks. My 30 minutes morning listening sessions were motivational and exhilarating. I paused the audio book feeling stronger, wiser and more confident than when I pressed play earlier. I really, really, really loved the book. Now lemme share my favorite quotes:
“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 may be the fundamental problem with caring a lot about what others think: It can put you on the established path—the my-isn’t-that-impressive path—and keep you there for a long time.”
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s the power of using your voice. I tried my best to speak the truth and shed light on the stories of people who are often brushed aside.”“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.”
“If you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”
“It was possible that I was more in charge of my happiness than I was allowing myself to be.”
“Even when it’s not pretty or perfect. Even when it’s more real than you want it to be. Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”
“Confidence, I’d learned then, sometimes needs to be called from within. I’ve repeated the same words to myself so many times now, through many climbs. Am I good enough? Yes I am.”
“Now I think it’s one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child—What do you want to be when you grow up? As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that’s the end.”
“Inspiration on its own was shallow; you had to back it up with hard work.”
“It was possible, I knew, to live on two planes at once—to have one’s feet planted in reality but pointed in the direction of progress.”
“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 toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.”
Moving forward, I am more determined to take in my environment, establish lasting relationship and see purpose in every opportunity I am blessed with. I have taken ownership of my happiness. The decision to be happy is personal and solely determined by me, myself and I. Also, curating my story, knowing that my journey may encourage another person.
I am also trying to spend more quality time with my boys, creating traditions and establishing routines that will form culture and character. I pray we all look back in time, smile and appreciate our past. I have always understood the importance of community involvement but MO’s book reminded me that I could be more active by volunteering my skills and time in my community. I love her emphasis on girlfriends and the importance of dedicating time to chilling with your best girls. I get a lot of “how do you get time to do this or that”…..I make time, that’s how. If it’s important to me, brings me joy, makes me happy and adds value to my journey – time will be made.
And….the most important lesson – Journeys are not finite. As long as I am making the best of everyday and I am not where I was yesterday, I am content and happy. Slowly (well not exactly slowly, I don’t like slowly) but surely – I am determined to be who God has called me to be.
My Book Club ladies also enjoyed reading this book and Michelle truly is a great inspiration for women of all ages, races, and backgrounds.
Have you read Becoming by Michelle Obama? On a scale of 1-10, rate the book. What were your favorite moments? Its a 10 from me! My favorite part of the book was her early years. Loved how she levelled all mountains and defied odds. Plus I love Michelle’s Mum. Hope you enjoy reading Becoming by Michelle Obama as much as I did.