Michelle Obama


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Michelle Obama

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in Chicago, Illinois, The United States
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February 2019


Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama is the wife of the forty-fourth President of the United States, Barack Obama, and is the first African-American First Lady of the United States.

She was born and grew up on the South Side of Chicago and graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School. After completing her formal education, she returned to Chicago and accepted a position with the law firm Sidley Austin, and subsequently worked as part of the staff of Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, and for the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Michelle Obama is the sister of Craig Robinson, men's basketball coach at Oregon State University. She met Barack Obama when he joined Sidley Austin. After his election to the U.S. Senate, the Obama family
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Michelle Obama You know, I think it’s expected that a First Lady will write a book after her time in the White House. I started considering it during my time there, …moreYou know, I think it’s expected that a First Lady will write a book after her time in the White House. I started considering it during my time there, even spending some time recording my memories in real time. But somewhere along the line, and I’m not sure exactly when, I decided that I didn’t want to write a memoir just because it was expected of me—I wanted it to be something I was excited about doing, something that felt personal to me.

So I started to think about the kind of book I’d like to write, and more than anything else, I decided I wanted to contribute something that people could apply in their own lives. Because if I wasn’t going to do that, what’s the point of writing a book at all? Over the many months of the writing process, that’s the sentiment that kept me motivated. And that’s why I’ve been so overwhelmed by the response to my memoir—my interactions with readers have been so positive and meaningful. It’s been more than I ever could have imagined.(less)
Michelle Obama I’m so sorry for your loss, Michelle. It's interesting you mention Suzanne while asking about career swerves because losing her was certainly one of t…moreI’m so sorry for your loss, Michelle. It's interesting you mention Suzanne while asking about career swerves because losing her was certainly one of the major events that caused me to reckon with my path. Suzanne was a free spirit; I was a box-checker. But we were dear, dear friends. She represented a part of me that was always there but I’d usually ignored or pushed aside in my focus on sticking to the path I thought the world was telling me to pursue. Losing her at a young age was absolutely devastating. And her death, coupled with the loss of my father shortly thereafter, caused me to really rethink that path I’d been pursuing. I was sitting in a sky-rise office, doing legal work that wasn’t fulfilling to me, and I couldn’t help but ask—what’s it all for?

Of course, you don’t need to suffer a major loss to prompt a reappraisal of your career. Almost everyone I know has switched paths somewhere along the line. So what I’d say is that reevaluating your career is good. Doing so shouldn’t be a cause for anxiety—it’s a way you can reaffirm who you want to be.

If there’s some part of you that’s questioning your career, it’s important to listen to that. Our hearts sometimes know ourselves better than our minds do. For me, that meant pursuing a life of public service—a path I’ve been able to maintain since that major swerve. But even since I made that change, I’ve shifted roles and jobs as my life demanded it. There are times when you can work 60 or 70 hour weeks for less pay, and there are times when you may need to make more money or be home more consistently for your family. Knowing that at the outset—that any career change will probably be followed by more changes, in varying degrees—can help you keep things in perspective if and when you start to re-evaluate things once again. (less)
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Michelle’s Recent Updates

Michelle Obama answered Sharmishtha Balwan's question: Michelle Obama
To me, using your voice is one of the most important things we all have to learn—and everyone’s path toward figuring it out is different. I was lucky. My parents started me off from a sturdy foundation. They didn’t believe children should be raised i See Full Answer
Michelle Obama answered Tatiana's question: Michelle Obama
Thanks for this question, Tatiana. For the most part, I’m not someone who spends very much time thinking about things I have no control over. In fact, a big part of the experience of writing this memoir was recognizing the beauty in each step of my j See Full Answer
More of Michelle's books…
“Now I think it’s one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child—What do you want to be when you grow up? As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that’s the end.”
Michelle Obama, Becoming

“You can't make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen.”
Michelle Obama

“If you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”
Michelle Obama, Becoming

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