Lessons From The Birthday Girl
Happy birthday to Michelle Obama who turns 55 today! She came into the spotlight back in 2008 as the First Lady to Barack Obama but has since become so much more.
She was born in Chicago in 1964 and went on to study law at Princeton and Harvard. She then went on to work at a law firm called Sidley Austin which is were she would meet Barack. Fast forward through her time in the White House where she used her position to advocate for the health and education of children and now her book, Becoming, is out and is one of the highest selling books on Amazon. We stan.
Michelle's life and accomplishments are honestly an inspiration to us all. She's smart, determined, successful, and has great style! We're still not over those sparkly thigh highs.
In honor of today being her birthday, here are 5 things we can all learn from Michelle Obama:
Don't listen to others when they try to tear you down.
In her book, Michelle remembered her time applying to college. Her first choice was Princeton but when she asked her guidance counselor for a letter of recommendation, she was told she wasn't "Princeton material" despite the fact that she was in the top 10% of her graduating class. Of course, Michelle called bull on that and asked her assistant principal for the letter. "I wasn't going to let one person's opinion dislodge everything I knew about myself," she said and that's a mindset we can all benefit from.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
Michelle decided to go back to work after having her first daughter, Sasha, and got an interview at a local hospital for the role of Executive Director. She was unable to find someone to care for Sasha at such short notice but instead of letting that deter her, she just took her baby right along to the interview and had the secretaries watch her while she met with the president of the hospital. She even ended up getting the job offer but what's more important is that she wasn't afraid of making it happen the best way she knew how.
You can't rely on others to make you happy.
Despite how happy and perfect Michelle and Barack seem to be together, they are not the "perfect" couple that they've been made out to seem. Just like any other couple might face, they hit a rough patch earlier on in their marriage and they sought out counseling to work it out. Although she went in thinking that the counselor would chew out Barack for what he was doing wrong, she ended up realizing that she had been placing a burden on him that he would never be able to solve: making her happy. You're responsible for your own happiness and you can't be upset at others for not being able to fix that. It's important to value yourself and there's nothing wrong with wanting to take care of yourself and your needs.
Watch how your significant other acts around others.
Okay so maybe Barack and Michelle aren't perfect but after 26 years together, it's fair to say that they've got it pretty figured out. For everyone looking to find their own Barack, do what Michelle did: pay attention to how a potential partner acts around others. The way that person is outside of your relationship can be huge to seeing who they truly are as a person and how they'll likely treat you as their significant other. Any signs you might ignore in the beginning are usually the same signs that you end up leaving them for so pay attention to their character as a whole because it's extremely telling.
You are more than enough.
You may not have it all together, you may be a work in progress, but you are still worthy, capable, and strong. In a letter to her younger self, Michelle wrote about the fears and doubts she experienced when she entered college. Many of her classmates had more money, more status, and more privilege than her which could intimidate anyone, including her. But in times when you seem to "lack" much of what those around you have, focus on "everything that your story has given you." No one is the same and no one can offer the world what you can offer. At the end of the day, Michelle summed it up best: "You're more than enough. You always have been and you always will be."
Michelle knows who she is and because of her confidence and determination, she's been able to accomplish so much and reach so many people. She's not just the former First Lady. She's a writer, mother, activist, leader and a great role model for everyone who is still on their own journey of becoming. Here's to the birthday girl!