Musings #6: Becoming Michelle From My Point of Review
In all of these lockdown, with a little moment off social media, I had voraciously read every piece of content and book I could lay hands on including "Becoming" Michelle.
I was to find out that my beginning wasn't much different from that of Michelle in Euclade avenue though in a more localised setting amid a jungle where the weak got eaten up by the strong.
Consuming each page of this book, I fell more and more inclined with the 9yo Michelle, how she had felt living with her family in an all black district where a lot of whites were emigrating from.
It reminded me of family, school, and those check boxes you never get to finish ticking and the questions of whether you're enough constantly niggling you until you're older than 30 with each feat and accomplishment making you feel impressed with yourself and then another obstacle posing same question and the cycle repeat all by itself, again and again.
For a young girl, there was the yearn to maintain the approval of family, friends and relative, impressing them in all she did ranging from the course she studied in school to her lifestyle generally, giving thoughts about what people would think about her and allowing it to become a part of who she was.
It's a pressure we all get too comfortable with, like you've gotten placed high up there and must exist in a certain way so you don't fall the hands of people looking up to you, or rather, looking out for you.
I've always loved planning and a little more pessimistic than I pretend not to be, and just like Michelle, I made plans and plans and plans before I eventually carried them out. I kept ticking those imaginary check boxes all the time, not wanting to at any moment make any mistake or slip my foot. I paid attention to details and being a long-term thinker, if it doesn't feel like it, I dumped it right away.
Unlike Michelle though, I didn't have a boyfriend at 17😁 I never had one even during university, and even though at some point I felt I should consider it, those checkboxes starred at me all the time. I had a lot on the list to do, and I've not reached the part of having a man.
When I had an idea, I'd think it over and over, weighing all the sides until whatever emotions/enthusiam I should have had dies alongside it.
Am I enough?
Back in school, even though most people considered me a hyper, the question was there.
Few months into tech and the question was there.
Before I spoke at an event, it was there.
Before I applied for a job/scholarship, It was looming.
And somehow, it never ever goes away.
It was there as Michelle tore through Whitney college, sprinted through Princeton University and aced. It was there when she at 25, had graduated from law school and worked in a high profile law firm in Chicago.
It was there more than ever when she struggled through loosing her dad, dealing with the dissatisfaction her job gave her and a confusion as to whether to quit or not. As her to-be husband Obama, gently nudged her about "what her passions were".
There, as she quit her job at the law firm and took a job with Chicago commissioners office, down to when she passed through the hectic job of trying to balance working and being an absolute mother and the stress of having a not-at-home husband.
Her dislike for politics because of what it was doing to her home made her hesitant in consenting to her husband's running for presidency in 2004. She'd preferred he waited till the children grew, so the check boxes can be properly ticked.
When she finally consented because she didn't want to stand in the way of who her husband is, she was unsure herself avid numerous jeer-on from American citizens.
And then after Obama's public declaration of running for the presidential seat, and the ensuing spark in her like never before seeing the supporters stand enmasse in the icing cold, which birthed the key roles she played to ensure the campaign ran smoothly especially in Ihuo, After the incessant flights, the meetings, the pessimistic Michelle said to herself at the end of the day "He will never win", considering all the circumstances.
Their were times the optics, news and bloggers picked at and dissected her every word, her dressing, her gesticulations leaving her hurt and sad.
Heralding the victory and gradual transition which made her to take a leave of absence from her job at the Chicago University hospital to take on her first lady duties. She became a POTUS to her FLOTUS and it was all a series of events each one spiralling and unfolding to the next chain of events and all the while the question came popping up at intervals.
But one thing is to be understood and made clear. It wasn't about the questions, rather, it was about the answer. Young Michelle had no answers then, she basically worked to show herself approved with each feat giving birth to another up to the point where the answer became clear enough. Just as it was clear to me. That I'm enough.
Yes, I am enough, and so are you. That's the answer and that's the only thing that makes sense.
PS: The stories are culled from the book "Becoming" by Michelle Obama (Now confirmed to be my role model in the area of balancing motherhood, being a wife to a workaholic husband and a career woman + not going crazy😁)