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Becoming … 2019

Becoming … 2019

Becoming … 2019
January 04
13:32 2019

Eva Reinoso Tejada

I was patiently waiting for Michelle Obama to appear, at one of the nosebleed sections of the Pepsi Center. I came to see her in Denver a few days ago, after I had read about half of her new book “Becoming”. My expectations were high: The book is great, descriptive, funny and very revealing. As thousands of people, mostly women, made their way to their seats of a sold-out venue, the music was pumping, and the giant screens were flooded with pictures of the Obamas, pictures of the Robinsons, and a clear message: What are YOU becoming? As a natural reaction, I started to answer that question silently in my mind, looking for the ‘right answer’. Trying to flow with the positive vibe, I was aiming high, looking for ambitious answers. Maybe, I could say “I am becoming wiser”, or “richer”, or “more influential”, or “a famous writer or even a rockstar”. But any of those sounded true. I just didn’t know what I wanted to become. That was a bit unsettling. At this time in my life, I should probably have it all clear and figured out. Then the video started showing other people’s answers, and I heard things like: “A civil engineer”, or “An independent woman”, or “An Air Force Pilot”, another said “assertive”, or even “healthy”, and even a comedian who answered, “fat and happy”. That is when I understood what I was supposed to answer.

We are always becoming something. One of the things Michelle Obama emphasized in her book and her presentation was that “We are always becoming something.” As I understand it, ‘becoming’ is a dynamic process that never ends, or it should never end. If am becoming something today, and I get to become what I wanted, what else can I do after that? I have to set up a new “becoming” goal. We are work in progress and there is no final destination to arrive, other than death.

One of the passages that surprised me the most on the book was when she realized that she hated being an attorney and doing the work of an attorney. She had spent many years of her life and invested money and energy in “becoming” an attorney, because it sounded the right thing to do, just to realize after it was all said and done, that her heart was not there. Then she changed careers. She moved on to do work that brought her fulfilment, along with a pay cut. That is a brave move. I am not sure that I would do that on my own, unless circumstances forced me to do it.

And that brings me to what I think is the biggest learning: I can choose what I am becoming every single day of my life, and I can even change my mind or my focus on what to become. Maybe on a challenging day, I am becoming stronger. Or on a day when I feel sick, I am becoming healthier. The thing is that if I realize that I am becoming something every day, I can make choices that align with whatever I am becoming. There are only two obstacles to this, in my opinion: Fear and apathy. Fear, because it paralyzes us, and apathy because it kills our soul.

I love the teachings of Michelle Obama as much as I love her inspiring life story. And every morning now I ask myself: What am I becoming today? Then I try to live my day in alignment with whichever answer I gave myself. This is a nice exercise not too different from looking yourself in the mirror and doing your hair every morning. Let’s become something every day of this beautiful shinny brand new year 2019! Happy New Year!

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Edición Virtual | #340 | 6 de junio 2019

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