14.04.2019

20+ inspiring quotes from BECOMING MICHELLE OBAMA


1. ,, Now I think it's one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child- What do you want to be when you grow up? As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that's the end."
2. Since stepping reluctantly into public life, I've been held up as the most powerful woman in the world and taken down as an "angry black woman". I've wanted to ask my detractors which part of that phrase matters to them the most- is it "angry" or "black" or "woman"? I've smiled for photos with people who call my husband horrible names on national television, but still want a framed keepsake for their mantel. I've heard about the swampy parts of the internet that question everything about me. A sitting U.S. congressman has made fun of my butt. I've been hurt. I've been furious. But mostly, I've tried to laugh this stuff off.
3. There is a lot I still don't know about America, about life, about what the future might bring. But I do know myself. 
4. My father, Fraser, taught me to work hard, laugh often, and keep my word. My mother, Marian, showed me how to think for myself and to use my voice.
5. They taught me to see the value in our story, in my story, in the larger story of our country. Even when it's more real than you want it to be. Your story is what you have, what you will always have.
6. There were days when I felt suffocated by the fact that our windows had to be kept shut for security, that I couldn't get some fresh air without causing a fuss.
7. There were days, weeks, and months when I hated politics. And there were moments when the beauty of this country and its people so overwhelmed me that I couldn't speak. 
8.  There were queen bees, bullies, and followers. I wasn't shy, but I also wasn't sure I needed any of that messiness in my life outside of school.
9. Meanwhile, from my bedroom window, I could observe most of the real-world happenings on our block.
10. Our neighborhood was middle-class and racially mixed. Kids found one another based not on the color of their skin but on who was outside and ready to play.
11. But I'd learn many years later that my mother, who is by nature wry and quiet but generally also the most forthright person in the room, made a point of seeking out the second-grade teacher and telling her, as kindly as possible, that she had no business teaching and should be working as a drugstore cashier instead.
12. My parents talked to us like we were adults. They didn't lecture, but rather indulged every question we asked, no matter how juvenile.
13. As we grew, we spoke more about drugs and sex and life choices, about race and inequality and politics. My parents didn't expect us to be saints.
14. The color of our skin made us vulnerable. It was a thing we'd always have to navigate.
15. I've said before that my father was a withstander, a man who never complained about small things or big, who cheerily ate liver when it was served to him.
16. It would not be our dad who'd throw us over his shoulder with Herculean grace and carry us to safety.
17. My father was not accustomed to being helpless.
18. I usually marched home with four or five other girls in town, all of us talking nonstop, ready to sprawl on the kitchen floor to play jacks and watch All My Children while my mom handed out sandwiches. This, for me, began a habit that has sustained me for life, keeping a close and high-sprinted council of girlfriends- a safe harbor of female wisdom.
19. Failure is a feeling long before it becomes an actual result. It's a vulnerability that breeds with self-doubt and then is escalated, often deliberately, by fear.
20. I only knew that when I showed up at home, there'd be food in the fridge, not just for me, but for my friends, I knew that when my class was going on an excursion, my mother would almost always volunteer to chaperone, arriving in a nice dress and dark lipstick to ride the bus with us to the community college or the zoo.
21. In our house, we lived on a budget but didn't often discuss it's limits. My mom found ways to compensate. She did her own nails, dyed her own hair (one tie accidentally turning it green), and got new clothes only when my dad bought them for her as a birthday gift. She'd never be rich, but she was always crafty. When we were young, she magically turned old socks into puppets that looked exactly like the Muppets. She crocheted doilies to cover out tabletops. She sewed a lot of my clothes, at least until middle school, when suddenly it meant everything to have a Gloria Vanderbilt swan label on the front pocket of your jeans, and I insisted she stop.
22. Her goal was to push us out into the world. "I'm not raising babies," she'd tell us. "I'm raising adults."
23. "Handle it how you think best."
24. It was another small push out into the world. I'm sure that in her heart my mother knew already that he'd make the right choice. Every move she made, I realize now, was buttressed by the quiet confidence that she'd raised us to be adults. Our decisions were on us. It was our life, not hers, and always would be.
25. Much of my energy in those days was spent inside my own head, sitting alone in my room listening to music, daydreaming about a slow dance with a cute boy, or glancing out the window, hoping for a crush to ride his bike down the block. So it was a blessing to have found some sisters to ride through these years together.
26. I understand now that even a happy marriage can be a vexation, that it's a contract best renewed and renewed again even quietly and privately- even alone.
27. I had peers who were always a step or two ahead of me, whose achievements seemed effortless, but I tried not to let that get to me. I was beginning to understand that if I put in extra hours of studying, I could often close the gap. I wasn't a straight-A student, but I was always trying, and there were semesters when I got close.
28. We were happy- happy with our freedom, happy with one another, happy with the way the city seemed to glitter more on days when we weren't thinking about school.
29. Like me, she could be frivolous and goofy when we were with a larger group, but on our own, we’d get ponderous and intense, two girl-philosophers together trying to sort out life’s issues, big and small.
30.  I’ve been lucky enough now in my life to meet all sorts of extraordinary and accomplished people—world leaders, inventors, musicians, astronauts, athletes, professors, entrepreneurs, artists and writers, pioneering doctors and researchers. Some (though not enough) of them are women. Some (though not enough) are black or of color. Some were born poor or have lived lives that too many of us would appear to have been unfairly heaped with adversity, and yet still they seem to operate as if they’ve had every. an advantage in the world. What I’ve learned is this: All of them have had doubters. Some continue to have roared, stadium-sized collections of critics and naysayers who will shout I told you so at every little misstep or mistake.
31. The noise doesn’t go away, but the most successful people I know have figured out how to live with it, to lean on the people who believe in them, and to push onward with their goals.
32. I hoped that someday my feelings for a man would knock me sideways, that I’d get swept into the upending, tsunami-like rush that seemed to power all the best love stories. My parents had fallen in love as teenagers. My dad took my mother to her high school prom, even. I knew that teenage affairs were sometimes real and I hoped that someday my feelings for a man would knock me sideways, that I’d get swept into the upending, tsunami-like rush that seemed to power all the best love stories. My parents had fallen in love as teenagers. My dad took my mother to her high school prom, even. I knew that teenage affairs were sometimes real and lasting. I wanted to believe that there was a guy who’d materialize and become everything to me, who’d be sexy and solid and whose effect would be so immediate and deep that I’d be willing to rearrange my priorities. I wanted to believe that there was a guy who’d materialize and become everything to me, who’d be sexy and solid and whose effect would be so immediate and deep that I’d be willing to rearrange my priorities.
33. You don’t really know how attached you are until you move away until you’ve experienced what it means to be dislodged, a cork floating on the ocean of another place
34. Some of my peers felt their otherness more acutely than I did. My friend Derrick remembers white students refusing to yield the sidewalk when he walked in their path. Another girl we knew had six friends over to her dorm room one night to celebrate her birthday and promptly got hauled into the dean's office, informed that her white roommate evidently hadn't felt comfortable with having "big black guys" in the room. There were so few of us minority kids at Princeton
35. My to-do list lived in my head and went with me everywhere. I assessed my goals, analyzed my outcomes, counted my wins. If there was a challenge to vault, I’d vault it. One proving ground only opened onto the next. Such is the life of a girl who can’t stop wondering, Am I good enough? and is still trying to show herself the answer.
36. I was a box checker—marching to the resolute beat of effort/result, effort/result—a devoted follower of the established path, if only because nobody in my family (aside from Craig) had ever set foot on the path before. I wasn’t particularly imaginative in how I thought about the future, which is another way of saying I was already thinking about law school.
37. This may be the fundamental problem with caring a lot about what others think: It can put you on the established path—the my-isn’t-that-impressive path—and keep you there for a long time. Maybe it stops you from swerving, from ever even considering a swerve, because what you risk losing in terms of other people’s high regard can feel too costly. Maybe you spend three years in Massachusetts, studying constitutional law and discussing the relative merits of exclusionary vertical agreements in antitrust cases. For some, this might be truly interesting, but for you it is not.
38. Maybe during those three years you make friends you’ll love and respect forever, people who seem genuinely called to the bloodless intricacies of the law, but you yourself are not called. Your passion stays low, yet under no circumstance will you underperform. You live, as you always have, by the code of effort/result, and with it you keep achieving until you think you know the an swers to all the questions—including the most important one. Am I good enough? Yes, in fact I am.

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