On Tuesday night, I had the absolute pleasure of attending the opening night of Michelle Obama’s Becoming tour. As if that wasn’t an opportunity enough in itself, Oprah was the moderator and Y’all know how I love me some Oprah! Aligning with the release of her new book, Becoming, the conversation included stories of meeting former President Barack Obama and life in the White House but didn’t focus solely on her experience as the First Lady. She also shared her struggle with transitioning from single Michelle Robinson – strong, driven, focused – to her identity being recognized as “Mrs. Obama and the journey of “becoming” who she is today as her best self, as her OWN self.
Now, this event and the sharing of her story could not have come at a better time as 2018 nears its end. Staying on theme, if I had to summarize 2018, I would call it the Year of Discovering. Discovering Kayla and all she entails (values, passions, purpose, challenges, fears, authentic voice, etc.). And if 2018 was the Year of Discovering, cliche perhaps, 2019 is certainly the Year of Becoming. Over the past 12-months, I invested so much time in uncovering who I am and what that means in the goal of putting everything into motion once the I got my footing. At this moment I can proudly say I am stronger, more confident, more focused…I am KAYLA. Someone who was lost and nowhere to be seen a year with no one to blame but myself. There are two points Michelle Obama learned in her journey of Becoming that have resonated with me that night and have always served as my “gut check” during times I feel unsettled:
- You are responsible for your happiness – It is no one’s job to make you happy or shape how you view yourself. It’s is your own responsibility and INCREDIBLE power to cultivate your own sense of self, happiness, and fulfillment. To put that burden on others is not only unfair but incredibly selfish and irresponsible.
- You are responsible for putting yourself at the top of your agenda – Speaking from experience, as women we tend to put everything, especially the needs of the men in our lives, before ourselves. This isn’t to say we as women should go on the “Nope, I’m looking out for Number One and Number One only so get on board or get lost” train…unless that’s your MO then, by all means, rock on sista. What we should be doing is making sure we do not lose ourselves in the process of supporting others. Whether that’s work, partners, friends, whatever it may be. Never ever lose YOURSELF.
So I guess the next question is, who is Kayla Becoming? Stay tuned…