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Opening up on ‘The Michelle Obama Podcast’, the former FLOTUS was joined by her husband and ex-US President Barack Obama for a detailed discussion on her life, and time in the White House. The highly anticipated series began with Michelle offering insight alongside Barack about how they used their experiences of attending elite colleges to support citizens during their time at the helm of the US. The Obamas spent eight years in Washington, during which time they were acclaimed for the introduction of Obamacare, while also overseeing the capture and assassination of terror figure Osama bin Laden.
But during a heartfelt moment of reflection, Michelle opened up on the challenges she experienced and “loneliness” endured while growing up on Chicago’s South Side, working as a junior associate for law firm Sidley Austin.
She said: “I was on the track. I was checking my boxes. Because I was doing what I thought I needed to do because I was a poor kid. So, I didn’t feel like I had the option to just go off and do other things.
“But I also had a limited vision of what I could be because schools don’t show you the world, they just show you a bunch of careers.
“But I came to learn the same thing you learned that while working on the 47th floor in that fancy law firm making all that money, that it felt lonely.”
The experience, Michelle told listeners, was “isolating” despite having “this amazing view of the southeast side of the city”.
But even in those reflective moments, Michelle said she “never felt further from that neighbourhood than when I was sitting in that office working on briefs”.
Michelle would later go on to become one of the world’s most influential figures, and in part thanks to her bestselling memoir ‘Becoming’, a millionaire in her own right.
Her comments surrounding her early days as an adult echo her thoughts on life growing up in Chicago, which she detailed in her 2019 autobiography.
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She wrote that she became frustrated with people always asking her what she wanted to do while growing up, despite not knowing exactly where she wanted to be.
She said: “I used to tell people that when I grew up, I wanted to be a paediatrician. Why?
“Because I loved being around little kids and I quickly learned that it was a pleasing answer for adults to hear.”
But the 56-year-old added: “I was ambitious, though I didn’t exactly know what I was shooting for.
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“Now I think it’s one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child – ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’
“As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that’s the end.”
Michelle’s husband Barack would become the first ever black President in the nation’s history and win for a second time in 2012.
His administration ended in 2016 after Republican Donald Trump controversially beat Hillary Clinton to the White House.
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