I am a tiny bit obsessed with people and their “becoming” (or their unbecoming, which I really, really LOVE).
I’m re-reading Oprah’s interview with Michelle Obama from the December 2018 issue O Magazine. They are discussing Michelle Obama’s fabulous new memoir “Becoming.”
So many points in her story have her questioning what the hell is going on. What the hell is she doing. And she figures it out…
“I spent my of my childhood listening to the sound of striving.”
“I take you on a journey of who that little striving star-getter became, which is what a lot of hard-driving kids become: a box checker…I wasn’t a swerver. I wasn’t somebody that was going to take risks. I narrowed myself to being this thing I thought I should be. It took loss – losses in my life that made me think, ‘Have you ever stopped to think about who you wanted to be?’
Oprah responds, “What I loved about this is, it says to every person reading the book: You have a right to change your mind.”
And she talks about her law degree and work at a law firm and confesses to her mom, “I can’t do this for the rest of my life.” Her mom disagrees.
And she talks about Barack as being the opposite of a box checker and how he was swerving all over the place.
And she freely talks about marriage counseling and how it wasn’t what she expected. “It was about me exploring my sense of happiness. What clicked in me was that I need support and I need some from him [Barack]. But I needed to figure out how to build my life in a way that works for me.”
Gaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh. There’s so much more here I could dissect. It’s marvelous to read her truths.
And it is such a lesson in inquiry about life. Are you happy? Peaceful? Satisfied? Fulfilled? If not, what needs to change? Often, people think fulfillment will come from fame or money or something outside themselves.
Really, though, contentment comes from three sentences from Oprah in this article: “What was so valuable to me – and I think will be for everyone else who reads the book – is that nothing really changed [with Michelle and Barack because of marriage counseling]. You just changed your perception of what was happening. And that made you happier.”
I could die happy right now for having read this lesson. So simple. Not necessarily easy. But life – and achieving happiness – can really be that simple.