The December issue of Elle featured our favorite first lady Michelle Obama and our queen Oprah. This interview comes as her first memoir, Becoming. In her memoir, she talks about becoming a mother, finding her voice, and living in the White House. In this intimate interview on how life has changed since the White House, our future generation, and loving Barack.
Of course, there is always a takeaway from the wise words of Michelle Obama. Her optimism and hope for our country are what gives us hope for a better day. As much as we miss the first lady, we can still root for her on her new adventures. Here are the five things we learned from the interview of the year.
"If you view yourself as a serious person in the world, every decision that you make really does build to who you are going to become."
"I realized was that achievement mattered, and that kids would get tracked early, and that if you didn't demonstrate ability—particularly as a black kid on the South Side from a working-class background—then people were already ready to put you in a box of underachievement."
Michelle worked hard as a child and even harder when she got into law school. After she checked off all the boxes and graduated she felt like something was missing. Do you choose your passion? Or do you do what's going to make you a lot of money? Enter Michelle meeting Barack who was not a box checker.
"I feel vulnerable all the time. And I had to learn how to express that to my husband."
"I always thought love was up close. Love is the dinner table, love is consistency, it is presence. So I had to share my vulnerability and also learn to love differently. It was an important part of my journey of becoming."
You have to be able to grow with your partner to make it work. Michelle was very open with how Barack growing up away from his family made it easier for him to love then him being home every night. They are #relationshipgoals but like Michelle said: "whoa, people, slow down—marriage is hard!"
"So I had to take off my wife hat and put on my citizen hat."
"I knew Barack was a decent man. Smart as all get-out. But politics was ugly and nasty. I didn't know that my husband's temperament would mesh with that. And I didn't want to see him in that environment. But then on the flip side, you see the challenges that the world is facing."
You're going to make sacrifices in your life and in your relationships, but Michelle made the ultimate one. She didn't just share her husband with his job she shared her husband with the world. She did her civic duty because she knew her husband is what we needed in a time of turmoil.
"I continue, too, to keep myself connected to a force that's larger and more potent than any one election, or leader, or news story - and that's optimism. For me, this is a form of faith, an antidote to fear."
You have to stay strong in a time where that seems impossible. We have to focus on our future generations that will hopefully learn from our mistakes.
"We have to feel that optimism. For the kids. We’re setting the table for them, and we can’t hand them crap."
"We have to hand them hope. Progress isn't made through fear. We're experiencing that right now. Fear is the coward's way of leadership. But kids are born into this world with a sense of hope and optimism. No matter where they're from. Or how tough their stories are. They think they can be anything because we tell them that. So we have a responsibility to be optimistic. And to operate in the world in that way."
We have to feel optimistic about our country... Michelle said so.
To read the full interview go to Elle.