Keeta King’s Two Hours With Michelle Obama Over The Weekend
Getting to meet my FOREVER First Lady was one of the top things on my bucket list. Weeeelll, while I didn't quite get to scratch it off... I nicked at it a bit when I got to hear her speak over the weekend in Dallas on her 10-city book tour.
Well first of all, I'm still trying to catch my breath. It was a very busy and eventful weekend beginning with my daughter graduating from college. Yaaay for the "Dope & Degreed Diva"! The weekend ended with me getting to share the Michelle Obama experience with my daughter, best friend, god babies and my second mom.
Let me first just say that Michelle is as beautiful, if not MORE beautiful, off camera as she is on camera. Oh and did I mention how FLY to death she was?!?! Garb game ON point! Bawdy bad to the gawds! Yesss indeed. (If I lost you for a minute....consult with Urban Dictionary) I'm back!
My two hours with Michelle were shared with thousands of others. It was basically like sitting eavesdropping on my forever First Lady and her homegirl's conversation. Well, the "homegirl" was none other than Ms. Valerie Jarrett, President Barack Obama's senior adviser and a prior coworker/boss of Michelle's at the City of Chicago.
The conversation was real. It was raw. It was relatable. And it was POWERFUL! Wow. Below are 10 things I gleaned from getting the opportunity to hear the the very lovely Michelle Obama speak her truths.
1. Always be more assertive in advocating for YOU.
She talked about how she went into a job interview and asked as many questions as the interviewer. Why? Because she knew what she had to offer, and at the end of the day, a job interview is just as much about you as it is them. Do I want to work for you? Not just, "Do you want me to work for you". She also joked that she really didn't want the job, but got it AND everything she asked for in the interview.
2. It's OK to say, "No"
This one hit home! She talked about the fact that she couldn't do it all. She couldn't say, "Yes" to everything. So,although sometimes unpopular, she had to say, "I regret I will not be able to do it."
3. It is important to SECURE your place in society and know who you are.
She talked about how she went from "Michelle Robinson Obama," Princeton grad and Harvard Law School grad to "Barack Obama's wife". Once she became first lady, all the achievements and successes she had acquired throughout the years were out the window and forgotten because she was now "President Obama's wife". However, SHE never forgot who she was. So when she caught a lot of scrutiny from other women for not taking on a cause as soon as she stepped into the White House, yet choosing to raise her daughters, she rose above it and stuck to the plan.
4. Always put family first.
She shared that the first dates that go on her calendar are important and leisure dates for the family and herself. She advised to put work in the vacant spots because if not, work will completely consume your calendar and your family will end up with whatever dates are available.
5. She normalized counseling and therapy in Black household.
Michelle was very open about her and Barack going to counseling. "There were days I just wanted to push him out of a window..... I would've only pushed him from the first floor," she joked. She shared that counseling for her was initially all about "fixing Barack". She learned in the first session that there were things she, too, could fix.
"I tell people you see the nice pictures and fist bumps, but that's not the everyday reality of marriage. Marriage is work. There will be days you like your spouse and days you don't. If you've been married for 50 years and you've had 10 bad years, you're doing good!"
6. Do what fulfills you.
She recalled how after winning her over, she became really impressed with Barack's servitude and effect on the community.
I was at my firm sitting in my big, nice office on the 43rd floor and from my window, I could see my community.... a community I couldn't touch from where I was.
She knew she wanted to work in an realm of service and it was then that she made up her mind to get up every morning and devote her time and energy to doing what she loved... serving others. Amen to that, Michelle!
7. Do what works for YOU and YOURS regardless of what others may think.
When Barack was elected to Congress and had to move to Washington, the girls and I stayed in Chicago because that was what was best for our family. We didn't want to move the girls, plus I was the breadwinner at that time and my job was there. A lady called me to invite me to some events in Washington, and I told her, 'Oh I will not be coming to Washington very often'. And the lady replied, 'Well, when wives don't come, those marriages hardly ever work'.
Michelle said she looked at the phone like, OH NO SHE DIDN'T JUST TELL ME MY MARRIAGE ISN'T GONNA WORK. Moral of the story.... they knew what was best for their family and didn't budge on their plan although unpopular in the eyes of others.
8. Rise above what people say about you.
Republicans, media and other haters painted this ungodly ugly depiction of who she was. Portrayed her in cartoon sketches as a strong arm with big lips and a hard angry face. Michelle said she would see and hear the things people were saying and she was like, "Who is this person they're talking about. I don't recognize her. That's not me." Never did she take it personal because they had no clue who she was, but SHE NEVER FORGOT WHO SHE WAS.
9."It's hard to hate up close" (View video below)
10. It's the JOURNEY that makes you who you are, not the arrival at the destination.
She encouraged us to share our journey with other young ladies... with those of different races, religions, political views. We will find that we are NOT that much different.
Friends there are SO many nuggets I tucked away from those two hours, but to keep this from being a 5,000 word blog. I can only share the above. However, see a few pics below. I hope you're going out to buy the book, "Becoming".
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