I Am Becoming

Have you read the book Becoming” by Michelle Obama? Whew, she is a powerhouse! She is poised, well spoken, driven, determined, kind, confident, and a beautiful wife and mother. I read the book shocked that I never knew much about her or the life of a First Lady. It is HARD! She put her law career and aspirations on hold to support her husband. Her life changed over night when her husband was elected and her family life changed as well. She learned a lot of lessons, was unfortunately at the brunt end of a lot of terrible jokes, and she handled it all in the public eye with A LOT of grace.

I was thrilled to see that Netflix released a documentary of her book tour. I cried basically the whole time while watching {which really comes as no surprise since I can be found crying at Target when I hear strangers say nice things to each other.} Michelle Obama is so down to earth and intentional when meeting people at her book signings. She looked at people in the eyes, learned their names, and listened to their stories.

When someone is vulnerable enough to have their life thrown in the public eye through a Presidential race and election, there may be things about their past that they’d want to hide. She did not hide. She very clearly stated her faults, what she has learned, and what she is continuing to learn. Basically, she shares how she is becoming the best version of herself day by day. Now, she can pursue her own goals and dreams after supporting her family’s goals and dreams for years.

I want to be that strong.

I want to be that confident.

I want those powerful female qualities to straight up manifest in me – not only for me, but for my husband and my son.

After watching the documentary, I thought about my best friend who just “virtually” graduated from Law School. I reached out to her to celebrate over the phone. We shared the ups and downs of how it has been a hard, long, but beautiful journey! We shared our joys in life and our struggles. I was quick to share a struggle/joy with her. I said that I had to have a really hard conversation with a friend/colleague … and this whole situation is totally out of my character. She is one of those friends that knows me better than I know myself. She knows I’d rather suffer to death (literally) rather than kindly confront someone to say that I am upset or uncomfortable. In my previous jobs, I made myself miserable by suffering in silence, not standing up for myself, not believing I was good enough or smart enough. I had felt very oppressed, disrespected, and ignorant by my superiors and peers. I suffered silently through it all, so much so that it made me very physically ill and I forgot who I really was to my core.

I finally had enough.

It is something I think about often now {therapy has been a huge help} that I am out of those life altering situations. What could I have done differently to stand up for myself? How could have changed the situation so I was not so miserable? I didn’t know then what I know now. I do not want to be a person who suffers in silence to the point of sickness. I do not want to devalue myself and my gifts to the point that I lose myself.

This not the woman I want to become.

I shared with my best friend that I have had some uncomfortable conversations with a friend/colleague. It was making me upset, stressed, belittled, and doubtful of my knowledge and my worth. I was so terrified to speak up and share that I was upset because I was sure it was not the persons intention to speak to me in such a way that made me feel those things… so I can just suffer through it, right? Well, I learned from my past mistakes of silence, so I called. I spilled my guts, I stood my ground (I did not cry) and it was amazing! I had a such a positive and fruitful conversation! I did not feel attacked or belittled – I felt heard, seen, and appreciated. They apologized and I forgave them. Overwhelming PEACE. Lord, the immense peace I felt after having this conversation!

My best friend was thrilled that I finally stood up for myself. I listened to my gut, I followed it, and it changed my anxiety to peace. She said, “I love the Breana you are becoming.”

You know what, me too! It only took a weird amount of trials and tribulations, that I would not wish on anyone, but I think I am finally seeing my worth, how my contributions matter, and that people actually value me, my time, and my gifts that I have to share with the world. It is still so surprising {and healing} to hear myself say this now because I’m still in that awkward puberty phase of not knowing exactly how to be proud of myself or love myself without sounding like a braggy high horse ninny, but ya know, baby steps.

I think women have been taught over time to stay silent, stay tamed, “do your duty,” sacrifice, and lose yourself in the service of others. I’ve come to realize that I truly have been my own worst enemy! Trying to please everyone, fit in the boxes, stay silent, fit the mold, be the dutiful sacrificial wife and mother, lose yourself, put your dreams and goals on hold for the good of the other.

These are things I do not want my son to see in me.

I want him to see that his mother is kind, strong, confident, loving, compassionate. That his mom actually finds herself in the service of others. That his mom has opinions, ideas, and knowledge to share. That his mom has goals and a life worth living. Being his mom is my greatest joy in life and I want to radiate that by example – by living my life to the fullest. I heard a quote today that says, “The greatest burden a child must bear is the unlived life of the parents.”

I want him to see that his mom and dad are pursing goals and dreams. I want him to see that we fall and fail, but we are brave enough to get back up again. Even though life is hard and sometimes we have to have really hard conversations, they are worth having because the hard conversations bring hard truths, but also bring a lot of peace and a lot of grace.

It has taken a while, but I love the woman I am becoming.


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