An Open Letter to Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama,

On November 4th, 2008, I was nine years old. I remember sitting with my mom on her bed and watching the election results come in. I remember she started to cry, and I remember realizing that I was watching something very important- something historical. 

I have grown up with your husband as my President, and you as my First Lady, and I couldn't have asked for something better. Over the past eight years, both of you have constantly spoken that kindness and helping people are two of the most important things. I have never liked conflict, and I think that was why this most recent election was so hard. But there you were, speaking about kindness and going high when they go low, and that made everything much easier. 

Aside from showing kindness to so many people, you have spoken about education. I come from a family of teachers, which has its pros and cons. However, I have never doubted that education is important, and I have tried my best to do as well as I could. Seeing someone speak so passionately about education was, and still is, inspiring to me. Thank you for showing that education and doing well in school is just as important as excelling in music or sports. 

Throughout much of my childhood and early teenage years, I was afraid of looking silly. I didn't want anyone to laugh at me, and to avoid this I also avoided trying things that would have made for excellent stories. Seeing you, as someone in a position of power, not be afraid of looking silly was a wake-up call of sorts for me. Why should I be afraid of looking silly when the First Lady does it and people love her? Thank you for showing me that I don't have to take myself so seriously. 

In your last speech as First Lady, you said that you hoped you made us proud. I can't speak for everyone, but I know that you made me proud to be both an American and a woman. I am so thankful that for the last eight years, I have had you to look up to. You have shown so many people what strong looks like, and I will be forever thankful for that. I promise to continue to try hard, and be kind to people. I promise to keep finding good, and to always find something to laugh about. I also promise to never forget these past eight years. Everything that you have done made this country better. And I promise, that for the rest of my life, I will do everything I can to make the world around me as good as it can be. 

Thank you,

Claira Eastwood