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It is just starting to sink in for me that Michelle Obama is leaving The Whitehouse. I’ve never been one to “crush” on people. I don’t ascribe worth and value to people like that. michelle-obama-1129160__340To me the wino is just as significant as the CEO. But for some reason, I’ve delighted in the presence that is Michelle Obama for the last eight years. She represented so much for me as a woman and as an African American female. Her poise, her grace, her ability to remain collected under pressure, her sense of responsibility, her intelligence… everything that she was reminded me of my own shortcomings and inspired me to be more.

She was a new model for what it means to be black and female, never hyper-sexualized, always authentic. She possessed an ease and confidence that we all should aspire to. And not that we care what men think about women, but I’ve heard many over the years comment about how they’d give up all their sexy and provocative women if they could find just one woman like her. She gave us a new narrative… Be strong. Be smart. And never apologize for it. And we all found it appealing.

She showed us what it looked like to take care of family and be supportive of your husband’s dream. She did that while maintaining her own voice the entire time. Many women get lost in their husband’s ‘shine.’ She never did. And she was one of the greatest communicators of our time. Glimpses of her were rare, but whenever I saw her giving a speech on T.V, I would drop whatever I was doing only to be completely captivated by her, unable to move from the television until she left the stage.

For me, she embodied what it means to be a woman, feminine yet fully capable. And I was always moved by the way The President seemed to light up when he was asked about her or when she walked into the room. I just watched a clip of him being interviewed in which he was asked, who is the smartest person you know? Without hesitation he said, my wife. He was also asked what’s next for the Obama’s and he commented that he relied on her to figure out things like that. A balance of power in the marriage for sure and he’s never been shy about admitting it.

I know she’s tired. And I can only imagine what it’s been like to give up eight years of your life and eight years of the short and precious formative years you have with your children, but I can’t help but hope that public life eventually finds her again. Her persona is one for the world stage. And while she’s accomplished so much as First Lady, working tirelessly for our forgotten Veterans and empowering others via education (I for one love the Let Girls Learn initiative), I feel she still has much to offer us and I hope her work isn’t done.

So… with reluctance we say Goodbye to you Mrs. Obama. Goodbye and Thank You. You have served us well and we will miss you. You have modeled so much for us and inspired us in so many ways. We are all changed in some way because we knew you. You have earned a place in our hearts. And I, for one, am extremely grateful.

Until we meet again,

Tonya

Tonya Lampley is a fiction author and Certified Life Coach. She is passionate about living life to the fullest and uses skills learned from her work as a coach as well as lessons from her own journey to write articles providing tips for successful living and to tell stories of hope and personal triumph. Her debut novel was titled A Taste of Love and was a National Indie Excellence Awards finalist. Her short story titled Birthday Surprise received honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest Short Story Contest. For more information about Tonya and her works please visit www.TonyaLampley.com.

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