If you’re new to this blog, I’ll let you in on a not-so-secretive secret: I love the Obamas.
I remember taking an overnight bus from New York to DC in 2009 for President Obama’s first inauguration, and waiting for hours in the frigid cold to see America’s first black president get sworn in.
I remember making the return journey to DC in 2013, this time with tickets to the inaugural parade and an inaugural ball in which Barack and Michelle Obama made an appearance.
I remember visiting the White House during the holidays in December 2016, right before the Obamas left, and seeing how they decorated their home so beautifully and opened it up to others.
And I remember buying Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming, pretty much as soon as it became available and reading about her experiences from childhood to becoming FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States).
Which brings us to May 2019.
I had previously tried to get tickets to see Michelle Obama on her book tour when she made not one but two stops in Brooklyn last December, however I missed out. So, I got the next best option, which was tickets to see Michelle Obama in Fort Lauderdale, Florida during the last weekend of her 30+ city tour.
Now, I think it would’ve been understandable if Michelle Obama had appeared tired or maybe not as enthusiastic since this was the tail-end of a truly whirlwind book tour. But she didn’t look tired at all. In fact, she looked amazing: hair, dress, makeup, purple nails... all flawless.
As for the conversation, which was moderated by NPR’s Michelle Norris, it was beyond my expectations. Michele Obama and her candid, funny, open, real, inspiring stories and thoughts were beyond my expectations. Quite simply, I LOVED it and am so glad I made the effort to see Michelle on her book tour before it ended.
She covered everything, including what it was like growing up on the south side of Chicago, the importance of investing in children, how she ticked the boxes in her aspirations to be “successful” but how she was never quite happy with her path, how meeting Barack Obama forced her to look at what her passion was before she got swallowed up by his passions, the incredible role her mother has played in her life, how crucial it was to have a group of girlfriends she could rely on no matter where she was in life, what it’s like raising kids in the White House, and so much more.
Here’s a shaky clip of one of my favorite moments:
And, being the studious little blogger that I am, I wrote down some of my favorite quotes, which I’m sharing below:
“We spend so much time trading stats instead of stories.”
“We are otherizing other people and running from them [...] and all they are, are us. There is no right way to be American.”
“Sometimes you have to write your future in pencil.” (Michelle Norris said this)
“What is my purpose? Why am I here? What gives me joy? What gives me passion?”
“It’s important for us to push and use that leverage. If you’re in a position to push for other women in the workplace [...] we’ve gotta make some changes in the workplace to support families.”
“Asking for what I wanted was an important lesson that, a lot of women, we don’t do for ourselves.”
“It takes so little to make a kid feel special.”
“If we (older women) want society to value us, we have to value us.”
Looking forward to my next Obama moment!