Book Review: Becoming

I kicked off 2018 by finishing Claire McCaskill’s memoir Plenty Ladylike, so it’s only fitting to close out the year with another inspiring woman in politics – Michelle Obama. Her book, Becoming, was by no means a quick read for me. There was SO much going on, so much to think about and take in. I already knew Michelle was amazing, but this book shows how really, really amazing she is, but also how human she is.

The book is divided into three sections – Becoming Me, Becoming Us, Becoming More. She essentially walks through her life growing up – grade school, college, career, marriage, kiddos, being first lady etc. What I appreciated most was her rawness and transparency about career, kids and marriage. She started a career she didn’t love as a lawyer, fraught with a lack of fulfillment. She allowed herself to “swerve” (as she puts it), and went into the nonprofit industry. She continued to work after having children and while campaigning for Barack, but stepped away from her career as it got closer to Election Day. I always identify with the struggle (primarily for women, but I understand some men feel this way as well) of wanting a career, but wanting to provide a stable life for my kiddos, while also supporting my husband, and taking care of ME. It gave me solace that even the First Lady struggles with this too. I think this helped me realize that we may never figure it all out, but we can (and have to) “swerve” and make adjustments for whatever life throws at us. Take for instance the marriage counselor she and Barack went to after they had Malia and Sasha, and Barack was elected as a state senator. She walked in expecting the counselor to side with her and tell Barack he should be home more often, but instead they both took away things that they could work on themselves and therefore could come together as an event better couple. They asked for help when they needed it, which is so powerful. There should be no shame for asking for help! We cannot do it ourselves. I haven’t been to couples counseling (yet), but I definitely have a counselor whom I visit on a pretty regular basis.

Overall, this book received a five out of five stars. I encourage everyone to read it.

Reading this made me want to immediately pick up Dreams from My Father by President Obama. Michelle alludes to the time Barack spent away from the family writing his first draft, losing the first publishing deal and how book sales skyrocketed after his primary bid. I read this book as my third book of 2019 and a review will be coming soon!

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