When we’re growing up, we’re often asked the question of what we want to become. In the book Becoming by Michelle Obama, she simply strips down this question and says that there’s simply no end to becoming something. Right as a daughter, friend, partner, spouse, mother, grandmother in relationships to becoming more than our job designation.
“For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as a forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self.” This quote aptly summarizes the book, I suppose!
Michelle Obama’s Becoming is more than her journey as the First Lady of the United States. The book speaks volumes about a person’s life, especially if that person is the First, Black Woman. Throughout the book, I was able to relate to many instances and events that happened to her, right from her upbringing to how she used to her voice to make a ground for herself.
When I started the book, I was extremely aware that I was reading the story of the First Lady and the First Family. By the end of the book, I could no longer look at Michelle as the First Lady, but it felt like we were two good old friends catching up after a long time. I also realized that this is what she wants; for people to look at her life, her message, her journey as what it is, rather than fanning her for her achievements or her position as the wife of the former POTUS.
“Inspiration on its own is shallow. You need to back it up with hard work.” This is another line from the book that I came to hold close. Right from ticking all the boxes to become one of the best lawyers in Chicago to raising her children in the imposing White House, Michelle Obama is indeed an inspiration.
She also speaks volumes about being an African American and the intense racial discrimination she faced and still faces. I could easily relate this to my country where caste is still the most obvious discriminatory factor that could even determine whether you belong or not.
One of my closest friends gave me this book saying that Michelle Obama has used her voice and created an identity for herself rather than shining in her husband’s Presidential light. My friend said that in many ways I was like this, using my voice to stand out. I’m sincerely indebted to her for those kind words and for giving me this book. I’m certain it’s changed the way of how I perceive my life henceforth.