Michelle Obama hated her life (and so can you)

Now reading: Homey Don’t Play That: The Story of In Living Color and the Black Comedy Revolution by David Peisner

Like millions of readers, I’m obsessed with Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming. The former First Lady, and my forever personal hero, has be applauded for her candor on topics such as being in the White House and infertility. While reading this book, I found Mrs. Obama relatable on one specific topic – discontent.

At the risk of sounding like a jerk, I am often unsatisfied and often find myself wondering, “What’s next?” or “What can I do I fix this mess I’ve made of my life?”. This emotion is often followed by guilt. “Really?”, I think. “You are so blessed to be educated, reasonably financially secure and relatively safe in every setting and you feel sorry for yourself?”

Listening to Becoming (yes, I’m an audio-reader and I believe that counts as reading), my ears perked when I heard Michelle say, “I hated being a lawyer.”

*Insert an audible “mmm” and head nod as I put up laundry here*

I have heard myself and my friends say this so many times. Sometimes I hate a single portion of something that I actually love but hating the single portion leads me to exclaim that I hate the entire thing. However, sometimes, I just hate a thing that I worked super hard to acquire. For Michelle, I was being a lawyer. I have several things about my life that I simply don’t like. Suddenly, Michelle Obama made me feel heard, seen and understood.

Michelle acknowledges that she felt guilty having these feelings because she worked hard to achieve and was privileged to be educated and financially secure. Bingo! I often feel discontented only to berate myself. How dare I feel sorry for myself when there are people who would love these problems?

Recognizing that other women feel the same way makes me feel less like an bougie jerk. The most important question after accepting that discontent is okay is what to do about it.

Michelle kept a journal to monitor her emotions and thoughts. I keep lists and check ins with friends. Countless in-person and phone chats with my besties, chats walking in circles in the kitchen with my roomie (why can’t we stand still?!) and Church on the Rocks sessions (AKA Margaritas with a chosen few) have helped me recognize patterns in my life. This year’s theme is execution. I won’t spend my time wishing things were different but will instead make little changes daily.

Because while it might be okay to hate my life today, it is not okay to hate my life forever.

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