“I grew up with a disabled dad in a too-small house with not much money in a starting-to-fail neighborhood, and I also grew up surrounded by love and music in a diverse city in a country where an education can take you far. I had nothing or I had everything. It depends on which way you want to tell it.”
Michelle Obama Becoming page 416
This month’s Literally Lit is the personal memoir written by the Former First Lady of the United States. In this memoir, Michelle Obama shares her journey with eloquence and honesty, transporting you into her life and the wild ride that it’s been. We love love LOVE this book and it left us-and millions of others-inspired. You don’t want to miss this book, but in the meantime here are our favorite ah-has from this heart-warming, funny, thoughtful memoir from a smart, loving, dedicated woman.
Mad Respect to O’s Mama!
We have to start here because behind the incredible powerhouse of Michelle is-besides the author-our favorite character in the book. Marian Robinson, played a huge role in the woman and mother Michelle is today. As Michelle describes her Mom during her childhood and throughout her adulthood you can see how Marian was able to balance being supportive with being constructive, being disciplined while flexible and providing stability while teaching independence. When Marian moves into the White House with the Obamas she refused to let the staff do her laundry and even gave her granddaughters regular “laundry lessons.” Marian is definitely the MVP (Michelle’s Valued Player) and we loved hearing about her involvement and role.
Michelle shares several moments along her way where she has to have a self reckoning about the fact that she needs help. Sometimes it’s help with a relationship, sometimes it’s help with the cooking other times it’s help for herself. Admitting that you need help can be one of the hardest but most necessary things if you hope to become more and as Michelle shares she often would push herself to a breaking point before taking the necessary steps to call in reinforcements. We loved how she didn’t shy away from talking about these moments and this struggle.
Hard to Hate up Close
This is one of our all-time FAVORITE concepts and the way that Michelle crystalizes and shares it is borderline poetic. As you would suspect with her history she has had the opportunity to travel extensively and meet people from all walks of life. From war torn veterans to the Queen, farmers to executives and everything in between. She shares how it can be easy to hate someone from afar. What you read in the news or what people say on social media. Up close though we’re all just humans. With different viewpoints and opinions, but the same want and need to love, belong and contribute. It’s much harder to hate someone standing right in front of you.
Who Are You Becoming?
“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.”
Michelle will never stop becoming a more full expression of her spirit and intellect even when that doesn’t look like what she thought it would. In her journey, she had to give up a personal identity as Barack grew in political influence. When they met she was the boss, the big partner lawyer at the firm and was the one who interviewed and hired him! Talk about facing identity challenges! Though in classic Michelle form, she does it with grace and thoughtfulness and stays true to her values along the way.
We had the opportunity to meet Michelle in 2012 when Shila was asked to introduce the First Lady at an event at the University of Nevada Reno.
If you haven’t read Becoming yet we HIGHLY recommend it- you can get your copy here. You can also get becoming in audio version, head over to our Amazon storefront for two free audiobooks and a free 30 day trial of Audible!