Michelle Obama – M – A to Z Challenge

When Barack Obama was President of the USA, I didn’t pay much attention to American politics. Okay, I was studying politics, but I danced around US politics and electoral matters in general. I thrived on topics such as political thought, international relations, the EU, but I wasn’t interested in how people voted. Because back then I took these things for granted.

People mostly voted for the right people. Everyone was in shock when Bush won a second term, but what was there to be shocked about? He hadn’t been a lucky president. Today, with Donald Trump being the 45th president of the USA, Brexit in limbo, the yellow vests in France and the shocking rise of populism, I realise how lucky the world was to have the Obama family in the Whitehouse for 8 years.

On Tuesday, I went to see Michelle Obama in Paris. She was here for her Becoming book tour. It was the first book that I read this year, and it was so inspiring. If you are stuck, pick up that book, read it, be inspired, move. Who are you becoming?

So I was lucky that my dad feels like spoiling me at the moment, he not only gave me an amazing book for Christmas, he also bought me a ticket for Michelle Obama’s Parisian tour-stop. My book in my mom’s handbag (just in case I could get an autograph, one never knows), I could observe other women on the metro holding on to theirs, we were going to see the woman that will inspire generations of girls, women, boys, men, humans in the years to come.

The venue was almost full, there were a few empty seats, that should have been filled. I was excited, it felt just like going to a concert when you are 20.

When the lights went out and Michelle Obama’s guest got onto the stage, to present themselves and to tell us who they were, I almost fell off my chair.

On stage, was a friend of my dad’s. A person he wants me to meet, a person he is continuously praising. We were meant to meet briefly, but the Yellow Vests made that impossible on Thanksgiving. It was Apollonia Poilane, a baker, a very inspiring one that is.

And what can I say about the interview? It was amazing! I had read the book, so many of the anecdotes were known to me. So many important topics were touched upon, family, parenting, nurturing a girl’s flame, infertility. Of course, they started with a mention of Notre-Dame, who had burnt the night before. Michelle Obama was also questioned about Paris, the first place she ever travelled to outside of the USA. She still has her rituals from back then, having cheese-crêpe.

The arena was left with a message. Be proud of who you are, tell your own story and be proud of it, speak the truth, and become a better version of yourself.

So who am I becoming?

3 years ago, I tried answering the question “who am I?” Now, I will try to answer the question “who am I becoming? “

#iambecoming …

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Reading your book, your autobiography was mind-blowing, empowering! Thank you, Michelle Obama, for having written down your life for others to get to know you as a person.

I have a weakness for well-written biographies and autobiographies. When I have the feeling that I can witness a person’s life without any filters added, when I have the feeling I can really get to know a person, then I love reading the biography or autobiography (the latter have it far easier as we all know our own lives best).

This autobiography is just brilliant. It is super well written! When I finished the book, I had the feeling that I personally know the former First Lady of the USA, and that does mean something.

So, thank you, Michelle, for sharing your story. The story of you before your husband. The story of you with your husband and behind the scenes of the story we all think we knew, but that honestly, almost no one has a clue about.

This book was the first that I read in 2019, it was a Christmas present, and as it is a must-read book I read it straight away.

Becoming has turned into a sort of guide for me. It is empowering for young women. The book made me bring my reflexions of the past half year or so a bit further. Now, I am ready to jump, to take the next leap.

Like Michelle Obama when she was longing for professional change, I am now taking up networking, to test the waters, to see if something is out there.

And maybe Becoming will lead me and many other girls and women to make a difference. To find that power that keeps them going, to give them structure, a mission, a place, a purpose.