Honestly, I think my dad makes me street smart, than the college and school combined. But then again  “college is for fun, not for learning” is what Elon Musk says.

I say street smart because I ended up buying a book that costs around 900 INR for 140 INR (although it was an e-book which did cost ~450 INR or so) It counts for some level of smartness. Right?

I’ve wanted to read this book for a year now. I’ve also come to realise there is more to this book than just becoming the first coloured woman to be the first lady of the US. It talks in detail about her childhood, her life at Princeton and Harvard, meeting Mr. Obama, switching careers to fulfill her passion, being a mother and her life in the White house.  It also talks about some of her very private and intimate struggling moments like her miscarriage and having a marriage counselling.

It is a story about a strong-minded girl who grew up to become one of the most powerful and influential black women.

Growing in south side of Chicago, her father was a worker at water infiltration plant (with MS), her mom stayed at home taking care of Craig (her brother) and her who later began working. Her brother was the extroverted, charming basketball player who later went to Princeton. Michelle Robinson was shy and studious kid, liked playing with her barbies, who also followed her brother’s footsteps to Princeton and later got her law degree from Harvard law school.

She talks about her love for jazz ingrained by Southside (her grandfather), loss of her father, her best friend and about the women that have inspired her till today.

She is very meticulous and has a systematic life planned for her over the course of time until one day a man with strange name whose reputation for brilliance preceeds him walked in late to her office and changes her life. This book shows how different Mr & Mrs Obama’s personalities are, their romance is endearing.

Leaving Sidley Austin, a law firm with high paying job to fulfill her passion was a very bold move, in spite of having massive student loans to pay. What left me in awe about this book is how this shy, studious person stood up to bullies and owned her presence in every room she walked into.

Her determination, strong will and compassion is something I wish to acquire someday.

Being continents away with different time zones and not even born. I was unaware of the racism and the geo-economic conditions of the Southside Chicago in early 1970’s until I read this book.  She also talks about male dominated Parliament in her book.

“An ocean of whiteness and an ocean of maleness” is how she describes the congressmen taking their seats while the President addresses a joint session of congress.

From being a Robinson to becoming Obama, from being surrounded by her neighborhood kids to being the only coloured woman in the room, there are several key takeaways from this book that truly inspired me:

  • Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.
  • Failure is a feeling long before it becomes an actual result – believe in yourself.
  • Do not let the ‘nay-sayers’ get to your head.
  • Own your presence in the room.
  • Life is short and not to be wasted.

Published by Ranjani Ravi

Choosing progress over perfection.

2 thoughts on “Becoming…

  1. I really liked the fact that you added ‘key takeaways’ for the book you read.

    Your other posts were really amazing too. Keep writing. 🖤


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