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Thanks Michelle Obama for “Becoming” – A Gift to Women

November 16, 2018

Inspiration, Wisdom and Honesty for Women and Females Today

When I picked up the book “Becoming” by Michelle Obama, it was the title that grabbed me. Don’t get me wrong I have admired Michelle for many years since she came on the nation’s stage. I love her strength, intellect, humor, role model as a mother and her general goodness. I listen to podcasts with her and think how much I would love to hear her in person or to meet her one day. She is a shining example of what a great woman looks and acts like. I am excited to get to know her better in her memoir.

Today as I stepped out into the foot of snow in my lawn in Syracuse, New York I said to my husband, “I think I am a snowman (really a snowwoman) if you put me in this setting with my bald head, button nose and two eyes which look like coal. All I’m missing is the cob corn pipe!” Somehow I find acceptance and joy in laughing at myself in this drastic alopecia condition having lived 53 years with dark, brown flowing hair, long eyelashes and perfectly designed eyebrows that never needed tweezing. I also miss the periodic waxing of my mustache handed down in my Italian genes. I don’t even have that beauty to stare at anymore. All the hair is gone – gone like the warm summer breezes and leafy trees leaving Central New York with a bald, snow covered canopy of white fluff.

Every time I look in the mirror I wonder what ‘I’m becoming.’ I can’t quite tell yet. I’m morphing before my own eyes….and the eyes of the world as I step into the light talking about my condition. Yesterday when a local NFL player named Tim Green disclosed his ALS diagnosis, I hurt for him knowing his diagnosis is so much serious than mine and how he will go through his own transformation and ‘becoming’ with this disease. I also reminisced about the beautiful female Paralympics athletes I saw rolling across the stage at the Women’s Sports Foundation Gala in October. How brilliant they looked, in beautiful gowns with gorgeous smiles in wheelchairs, on the glitzy stage being recognized for their stellar contribution in sports. I am sure they contemplated how they would “become” after their accidents; as I’m sure our American military heroes and heroines feel after losing limbs in war.

Ten years ago after losing 75% of my hair to alopecia and struggling with its loss, I went to my trusted therapist in tears after a doctor told me I’d be completely bald in a month. My counselor said to me, “Tracy, don’t you realize you lose your looks as you age and you won’t have control over your body at some point?” I never thought of it. Who does?

But there is truth to the fact, we age every moment from birth, every hour, every day and every year. We can try to stay as health as possible through eating right, exercising, choosing a career we love, loving the people in our life and cherishing every moment we have on earth; but we can’t stop genetics or fate my friends. ‘Becoming’ is accepting all that we are and what life has given us….or what we make of life.

‘What we make of life’ is what ‘Becoming’ is in my mind. We become what we want to become. We grow, develop and transform into what we desire, focus on or choose to do. My head might be colder this winter but my spirit is brighter knowing I’m accepting ‘becoming’ into a new space within my extraordinary life. Becoming means a blessing to me now. Thank you Michelle Obama for helping me see that.

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