Newest hero: Michele Obama. I always knew I liked her – her clothes, her affinity for health and fitness, her strength – but I didn’t really know her. That changed entirely while listnening (I highly recommend audio!) to Becoming over the last couple months. I came to know and understand Michelle and her values, and I think I’m a better person for it. Truly, this book is GOOD.
Becoming is the memoir of Michele Obama: former first lady of the United Sates. She’s a Princeton grad, Harvard law school grad, successful lawyer, wonderful mom, supportive husband, and a baller health and fitness advocate. Her story starts and ends in Chicago and her whole life is one wild ride.
I think what stands out to me the most in this book is the tone. This book came across as honest, self aware, satisfied, and humble. I find that a lot of celebrity memoirs try to be funny, witty, or sarcastic, but this book was never that. This truly felt like a desire of Michelle to be understood on her own terms. She never had to write this book – the public opinion of her was already extremely high – but the bravery and self understanding that it took to write a book as beautiful as this stood out on every page.
I also loved the themes – and to me two stood out. The first is the never ending question of ‘am I good enough?’ While it pains me to hear someone explain how they’ve asked themselves this question throughout their life, there is so much honesty in it. I think this is something and everyone should hear:even someone who is perceived as confident, beautiful, and successful struggled with her self worth from time to time. And while this theme is a great equalizer among all the readers, it also allowed me to feel like I was getting to know Michelle on a friend level, really really getting to know her.
The other theme I really liked was that is OK to love children and make that your number one priority. I feel like so often in my life, I’m putting that to the side – whether its due to the desire to not act like I’m ready for children in my relationship, or trying to live up to this persona of an engineer that I have in my brain, or to trying to distinguish myself from the teenage babysitter of years past; I loved that Michelle babysat her way through college, considered leaving the law profession to run a day care and pursue her true passion, and devoted herself to her children without another thought. There wasn’t a huge struggle between her keeping her job and taking care of her children, she just decided to take care of her children because that was her number one priority in life. I just love so much that that was enough for her — and that we all see her as strong, driven, and successful for that.
I could go on for hours about the things that I respect about Michelle, but I’ll leave you with this. This memoir is one of a kind and you should read it. You’ll be better for it and maybe even a little happier too. And if your hold line at the library is 353 people long, I’d reccomend you buy this one. It is one you’ll never regret keeping on your shelf.