I’ve been stuck with regard to writing. Reflecting on why, I realize the main reason is self doubt. Questions floating around in me include why bother? Will anyone benefit from my words? Does anyone even care about what I have to say? I needed something or someone to validate that sharing my story via this blog matters. And that being consistent matters. Then there was something that happened to make me realize we all have stories, thoughts, & ideas that need to be shared.
Last Tuesday, November 13th I purchased an autobiography that I’d anticipated since summer. The title is Becoming and the author is former First Lady Michelle Obama. Like many I adore and am inspired by her. She is the model and example of a professional, wife, and mother that many African American women strive to become. In an explanation during various interviews, Mrs. Obama stated “we are always becoming.” This seems so simple but it is very honest and true. There isn’t a specific point in life where we stop growing as a person or there shouldn’t be. My writer self also walks the road of becoming.
Reading the book, I am pulled into a similar beginning and family dynamic. I grew up in a loving two parent home but as an only child. My family lived in rented apartments for most of my childhood, only purchasing a greystone two story flat during my Sophomore year of college. One of the most common experiences that I have to Mrs. Obama is attending a magnet high school. She attended Whitney Young Magnet school and I attended Hyde Park Career Academy (now named Hyde Park Academy). She traveled from the South Shore area of Chicago to the near West Side. I traveled from North Lawndale area of Chicago to the South Side.
I am only in the early part of the book, having put down reading other books such as For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics and Ruth Bader Ginsberg: A Life. Lately I have chosen books that highlight the life of women and their achievements. However, there is something extra special about Becoming it has stirred up in me memories I have put away. They are good memories of the person I dreamed of becoming when I was a teenager. I was a list maker and checked off goals as I accomplished them. Attending a good high school, attending a good college, earning my degree, finding a good job, etc. have been goals I accomplished. But somewhere during adulthood I stopped making lists and just focused on simply existing.
I have an interesting life and I don’t want it to sound like I haven’t accomplished anything beyond my childhood goals. What I do want to make clear is at one point I was very focused on accomplishing goals and more purposeful with the process. This is what Mrs. Obama’s books has reminded me about being purposeful in becoming a better me. I am currently in a life transition looking around trying to determine how to navigate a road I wasn’t trying to drive down. And part of the navigation was documenting it through this blog.
Finally, just as is explained early on we are all becoming each and every day. While we have breath we have purpose. It is up to us what our purpose will be and how we will attain what’s needed to be successful. Most people want to be happy and do well in life. Paying bills, having viable employment, feeling safe these are all basic things most humans want out of life. But also striving for our best self should be included in our goals. Well that is it for now…I think I will go make me a list, which will include showing consistent love to this wonderful blog platform.
Share below how you are becoming a better you. Or what do you consider to be your best self?