Over the past few years my naivety was pulled out from under me as friend after friend and even a few family members showed their darker sides.

I felt shock as words like “snowflake” and “bigot” were hurled at each other from people who I genuinely respected and admired. Social media became the breeding ground for the” right” versus” left” war as people dug in their heels more and more deeply in defense of their opinions.

I grieved over the loss of respect for some of my friends, not because their opinion differs from mine, but because of the weapons of insults and indignation they used against one another.

Political strife has been embedded into everyday life. Scrolling through social media, channels on television, listening to podcasts, even ads on YouTube are all filled with political views, the latest scandal, or one side mocking the other.

Because of all of this, I had intense reluctance at the idea of picking up any book that might be political in nature. Why choose a book that would drag me back into that world when I want to read something that will help me escape it?

However, after many great reviews, I finally made the decision to try Michelle Obama’s “Becoming

Putting any politics aside, this book was one of the best I have read in a long while, if for no other reason than I can only imagine the bravery it must have taken to write it.

Everyday I work with women, who strive to be strong, fearless leaders. They build 100 followers on social media and they are thrilled. They build 5,000 followers and the pressure begins to grow. They create a following of 10,000 and suddenly it becomes more and more difficult to determine what should be shared and what should be kept behind the mask. After all, they are trying to present themselves as strong, fearless leaders, right?

In “Becoming” I admire the bravery of being incredibly transparent about her mistakes, downfalls, and lessons learned. She is not sharing her poor decisions or insecurities to 100, or 500, or 10,000 people but to millions around the world.

Starting with her earliest childhood days, each chapter builds on one another as she explains how decisions, mistakes, culture, and family molded her into the next stage of her life. As I followed along with her story, I felt myself nodding along with her thoughts, remembering all of the moments I had felt those emotions too.

From having a miscarriage, to marriage counseling, to worrying about if other people thought she was a good mother, to trying to balance work and motherhood, I found that this was one of the most relatable books I have read in a long while.

{I have been trying to add more of my favorite books and recipes to my scrapbook which will eventually be given to my kids}

Below are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

“I’ve been lucky enough now in my life to meet all sorts of extraordinary and accomplished people. … What I’ve learned is this: All of them have had doubters.”

“I now tried out a new hypothesis: It was possible that I was more in charge of my happiness than I was allowing myself to be.”

“My job, I realized, was to be myself, to speak as myself. And so I did.”

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s the power of using your voice.”

“For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.”

“There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others.”

You can download this book for free with Audible by clicking here.