On Tuesday, January 10, 2017, the 44th President of the United States gave his final address to the nation from Chicago, Illinois. Barack Hussein Obama‘s last day as President of the United States was yesterday. I have to be honest, I haven’t had the heart to watch his entire address. I’ve only watched a few clips of it. Each time, I’ve gotten teary eyed and turned it off.
This couple has had such a profound affect on me. I don’t think I ever thought I would see a Black President in my lifetime. I didn’t even consider it. When he was elected, I was stunned and elated. That was just the beginning. During these eight years, this couple has survived endless criticisms and attacks while remaining true to themselves. They are the poster couple for handling adversity with grace and class. This is the part that stands out to me the most. Someone blatantly lies? No need to get worked up. Just politely pull out your receipts and keep it moving. Someone clings on to their mis-education of the truth for dear life? Just smile and go about your business. Not every opinion needs a voice and not every argument deserves a response. As my First Lady so eloquently said, “When they go low, we go high.”
One of the things that particularly gained my attention when President Obama was first elected, was the intense scrutiny of his wife. Michelle Obama was vilified and immediately made out to be the stereotypical “Angry Black Woman.” It upset me so much! I mean this really bothered me to my core. This woman graduated from both Princeton University and Harvard University. If she hadn’t earned some respect, how on earth could I? The thought made my head spin. But as time passed, I witnessed Michelle LaVaugn Robinson Obama make progress every day and really step into her own. I loved it and I appreciated it. Often I hear the media focus on the youth and the Millenial generation. Well I am a proud Generation X’er and she spoke to me in every speech and with every move she made. She didn’t just speak about what we should do, she exemplified it.
Michelle Obama’s journey made me rethink my entire adult life. Unknowingly, I had internalized all of the world’s limits on Black women. Before I even tried something, I would hear the world in my head say, “You can’t do that! You’re a Black woman. ‘They’ will never let that happen.” As a result, I really didn’t try. Are you reading this clearly Dumplin? There were things that I imagined that I never even tried. And then I watched Michelle Obama. It’s amazing to me how someone I have never even met has had such an impact on me. I watched this amazing and resolute woman take things one day at a time. She made small tweaks when she needed to. She supported her husband. She took care of her daughters, and she took care of herself. She did what she wanted to do and not what America wanted her to do.
Then I discovered the lovely site Mrs. O Wears (now Mrs. O) and fell in love! Her outfits made me so happy! I have to tell you, I even loved reading about the outfits I hated. It wasn’t just about the clothes for me. Instead, reading this site was proof that one could step into uncharted waters and still be themselves. Don’t want to wear sleeves? Don’t! Don’t want to wear ridiculously high-heeled shoes? Don’t! Want to show the world that you are a beautiful curvaceous woman who works hard at staying in shape? Go for it! My mind was blown. She followed the rules but broke them at the same time. I mean have you ever seen a First Lady look so good?
I mean come on!
I could go on and on.I love @BarackObama but I love him more because he married @MichelleObama Click To Tweet
The lesson here? Nobody knows what the future holds. NOBODY. So don’t let anybody (including me) block your dreams or your vision. They are between you and God and that’s it. I look at Barack Obama and his phenomenal wife and am reminded of the power of having tunnel vision, not listening to people who are operating in fear, and the power of following your own path.
I can’t wait to see what The Obamas do next. I also can’t wait to see what you do next!