标注 – 第 9 页（位置 #132-134）
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.
标注 – 第 20 页（位置 #302-303）
Everyone on earth, they’d tell us, was carrying around an unseen history, and that alone deserved some tolerance
标注 – 第 29 页（位置 #444-445）
He wasn’t interested in complaining. He was the sort of person who accepted what came and just kept moving forward.
标注 – 第 36 页（位置 #545-546）
Whatever sweet scenes you might witness on a playground, beneath them lay a tyranny of shifting hierarchies and alliances. There were queen bees, bullies, and followers.
标注 – 第 39 页（位置 #586-588）
Now that I’m an adult, I realize that kids know at a very young age when they’re being devalued, when adults aren’t invested enough to help them learn. Their anger over it can manifest itself as unruliness. It’s hardly their fault. They aren’t “bad kids.” They’re just trying to survive bad circumstances.
标注 – 第 40 页（位置 #605-605）
most people were good people if you just treated them well.
标注 – 第 43 页（位置 #653-654）
My father, I remember, made a point of saying that sex was and should be fun. They also never sugarcoated what they took to be the harder truths about life.
标注 – 第 43 页（位置 #658-659）
The color of our skin made us vulnerable. It was a thing we’d always have to navigate.
标注 – 第 59 页（位置 #902-906）
These were highly intelligent, able-bodied men who were denied access to stable high-paying jobs, which in turn kept them from being able to buy homes, send their kids to college, or save for retirement. It pained them, I know, to be cast aside, to be stuck in jobs that they were overqualified for, to watch white people leapfrog past them at work, sometimes training new employees they knew might one day become their bosses. And it bred within each of them at least a basic level of resentment and mistrust: You never quite knew what other folks saw you to be.
标注 – 第 70 页（位置 #1070-1072）
Every move she made, I realize now, was buttressed by the quiet confidence that she’d raised us to be adults. Our decisions were on us. It was our life, not hers, and always would be.
标注 – 第 72 页（位置 #1094-1097）
Some of my girlfriends, meanwhile, looked like they were eighteen, walking around in short-shorts and halter tops, their expressions cool and confident as if they knew some secret, as if they now existed on a different plane, while the rest of us remained uncertain and slightly dumbfounded, waiting for our call-up to the adult world, foal-like on our growing legs and young in a way that no amount of lip gloss could yet fix
标注 – 第 75 页（位置 #1137-1140）
Much later, my mother would tell me that every year when spring came and the air warmed up in Chicago, she entertained thoughts about leaving my father. I don’t know if these thoughts were actually serious or not. I don’t know if she considered the idea for an hour, or for a day, or for most of the season, but for her it was an active fantasy, something that felt healthy and maybe even energizing to ponder, almost as ritual.
标注 – 第 79 页（位置 #1208-1211）
There were about nineteen hundred kids at Whitney Young, and from my point of view they appeared universally older and more confident than I’d ever be, in full command of every brain cell, powered by every multiple-choice question they’d nailed on the citywide standardized test. Looking around, I felt small. I’d been one of the older kids at Bryn Mawr and was now among the youngest of the high schoolers.
标注 – 第 88 页（位置 #1347-1349）
He pushed back against the feelings of failure that permeated so many African American communities, urging people to quit with the self-pity and take charge of their own destiny. “Nobody, but nobody,” he’d yell, “is too poor to turn off the TV two hours a night!”
标注 – 第 93 页（位置 #1425-1426）
failure is a feeling long before it’s an actual result.
标注 – 第 94 页（位置 #1439-1442）
All of them have had doubters. Some continue to have roaring, stadium-sized collections of critics and naysayers who will shout I told you so at every little misstep or mistake. The noise doesn’t go away, but the most successful people I know have figured out how to live with it, to lean on the people who believe in them, and to push onward with their goals.
标注 – 第 110 页（位置 #1673-1677）
I also learned that being rich didn’t protect you from failure. Around me, I saw students flaming out—white, black, privileged or not. Some were seduced by weeknight keg parties, some were crushed by the stress of trying to live up to some scholarly ideal, and others were just plain lazy or so out of their element they needed to flee. My job, as I saw it, was to hold steady, earn the best grades I could, and get myself through.
标注 – 第 112 页（位置 #1706-1710）
I see now that she provoked me in a good way, introducing me to the idea that not everyone needs to have their file folders labeled and alphabetized, or even to have files at all. Years later, I’d fall in love with a guy who, like Suzanne, stored his belongings in heaps and felt no compunction, really ever, to fold his clothes. But I was able to coexist with it, thanks to Suzanne. I am still coexisting with that guy to this day. This is what a control freak learns inside the compressed otherworld of college, maybe above all else: There are simply other ways of being.
标注 – 第 121 页（位置 #1851-1855）
Beneath my laid-back college-kid demeanor, I lived like a half-closeted CEO, quietly but unswervingly focused on achievement, bent on checking every box. My to-do list lived in my head and went with me everywhere. I assessed my goals, analyzed my outcomes, counted my wins. If there was a challenge to vault, I’d vault it. One proving ground only opened onto the next. Such is the life of a girl who can’t stop wondering, Am I good enough? and is still trying to show herself the answer.
标注 – 第 123 页（位置 #1874-1875）
Life on Euclid Avenue had taught me—maybe forced me—to be hard-edged and practical about both time and money
标注 – 第 125 页（位置 #1907-1912）
the affirmation was overwhelming. I was applauded just for getting in, even if the truth was I’d somehow squeaked in off the wait list. But I was in. People looked at me as if already I’d made my mark on the world. This may be the fundamental problem with caring a lot about what others think: It can put you on the established path—the my-isn’t-that-impressive path—and keep you there for a long time. Maybe it stops you from swerving, from ever even considering a swerve, because what you risk losing in terms of other people’s high regard can feel too costly.
标注 – 第 132 页（位置 #2010-2011）
What struck me was how assured he seemed of his own direction in life. He was oddly free from doubt, though at first glance it was hard to understand why.
标注 – 第 132 页（位置 #2020-2021）
He was breezy in his manner but powerful in his mind. It was a strange, stirring combination.
标注 – 第 142 页（位置 #2175-2177）
Barack, I knew, wrestled with what he wanted to do with his life, which direction his career would take. He had an uneasy relationship with wealth. Like me, he’d never had it, and he didn’t aspire to it, either. He wanted to be effective far more than he wanted to be rich but was still trying to figure out how.
标注 – 第 146 页（位置 #2234-2241）
Barack intrigued me. He was not like anyone I’d dated before, mainly because he seemed so secure. He was openly affectionate. He told me I was beautiful. He made me feel good. To me, he was sort of like a unicorn—unusual to the point of seeming almost unreal. He never talked about material things, like buying a house or a car or even new shoes. His money went largely toward books, which to him were like sacred objects, providing ballast for his mind. He read late into the night, often long after I’d fallen asleep, plowing through history and biographies and Toni Morrison, too. He read several newspapers daily, cover to cover. He kept tabs on the latest book reviews, the American League standings, and what the South Side aldermen were up to. He could speak with equal passion about the Polish elections and which movies Roger Ebert had panned and why.
标注 – 第 147 页（位置 #2251-2252）
This, I was learning, was how Barack’s mind worked. He got himself fixated on big and abstract issues, fueled by some crazy sense that he might be able to do something about them
标注 – 第 147 页（位置 #2252-2255）
Until now, I’d hung around with good people who cared about important enough things but who were focused primarily on building their careers and providing for their families. Barack was just different. He was dialed into the day-to-day demands of his life, but at the same time, especially at night, his thoughts seemed to roam a much wider plane.
标注 – 第 162 页（位置 #2479-2480）
home was where he didn’t feel the need to prove anything to anyone
标注 – 第 163 页（位置 #2491-2495）
His long-lasting friendships with his high school buddies showed his consistency in relationships. In his devotion to his strong-willed mother, I saw a deep respect for women and their independence. Without needing to discuss it outright, I knew he could handle a partner who had her own passions and voice. These were things you couldn’t teach in a relationship, things that not even love could really build or change. In opening up his world to me, Barack was showing me everything I’d ever need to know about the kind of life partner he’d be.
标注 – 第 171 页（位置 #2614-2616）
I was not, by nature, especially introspective. The whole exercise of recording one’s thoughts was new to me—a habit I’d picked up in part, I suppose, from Barack, who viewed writing as therapeutic and clarifying and had kept journals on and off over the years.
标注 – 第 172 页（位置 #2637-2639）
He had ideas for writing a book about race in America and planned, he said, to find work that aligned with his values, which most likely meant he wouldn’t end up in corporate law. He steered himself with a certainty I found astounding.
标注 – 第 173 页（位置 #2642-2644）
In the presence of his certainty, his notion that he could make some sort of difference in the world, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit lost by comparison. His sense of purpose seemed like an unwitting challenge to my own.
标注 – 第 173 页（位置 #2647-2648）
One, I feel very confused about where I want my life to go. What kind of person do I want to be? How do I want to contribute to the world?
标注 – 第 174 页（位置 #2668-2671）
Suzanne’s sudden death had awakened me to the idea that I wanted more joy and meaning in my life. I couldn’t continue to live with my own complacency. I both credited and blamed Barack for the confusion. “If there were not a man in my life constantly questioning me about what drives me and what pains me,” I wrote in my journal, “would I be doing it on my own?”
标注 – 第 184 页（位置 #2811-2815）
We’d talked in abstract ways about how each of us viewed marriage, and it worried me sometimes how different those views seemed to be. For me, getting married had been a given, something I’d grown up expecting to do someday—the same way having children had always been a given, dating back to the attention I’d heaped on my baby dolls as a girl. Barack wasn’t opposed to getting married, but he was in no particular rush. For him, our love meant everything already. It was foundation enough for a full and happy life together—with or without rings.
标注 – 第 191 页（位置 #2914-2916）
Life is short and not to be wasted. If I died, I didn’t want people remembering me for the stacks of legal briefs I’d written or the corporate trademarks I’d helped defend. I felt certain that I had something more to offer the world. It was time to make a move.
标注 – 第 199 页（位置 #3049-3052）
There’s something innately bolstering about a person who sees his opportunities as endless, who doesn’t waste time or energy questioning whether they will ever dry up. Barack had worked hard and dutifully for everything he was now being given, but he wasn’t notching achievements or measuring his progress against that of others, as so many people I knew did—as I sometimes did myself
标注 – 第 200 页（位置 #3056-3057）
In a nutshell, Barack believed and trusted when others did not. He had a simple, buoying faith that if you stuck to your principles, things would work out.
标注 – 第 200 页（位置 #3065-3069）
He absorbed my worries, listened as I ticked off every financial obligation I had, and affirmed that he, too, was excited to have children. He acknowledged that there was no way we could predict how exactly we’d manage things, given that neither of us wanted to be locked into the comfortable predictability of a lawyer’s life. But the bottom line was that we were far from poor and our future was promising, maybe even more promising for the fact that it couldn’t easily be planned.
标注 – 第 210 页（位置 #3212-3218）
When something sets me off, the feeling can be intensely physical, a kind of fireball running up my spine and exploding with such force that I sometimes later don’t remember what I said in the moment. Barack, meanwhile, tends to remain cool and rational, his words coming in an eloquent (and therefore irritating) cascade. It’s taken us time—years—to understand that this is just how each of us is built, that we are each the sum total of our respective genetic codes as well as everything installed in us by our parents and their parents before them. Over time, we have figured out how to express and overcome our irritations and occasional rage. When we fight now, it’s far less dramatic, often more efficient, and always with our love for each other, no matter how strained, still in sight.
标注 – 第 222 页（位置 #3394-3396）
Chaos agitated me, but it seemed to invigorate Barack. He was like a circus performer who liked to set plates spinning: If things got too calm, he took it as a sign that there was more to do.
笔记 – 第 222 页（位置 #3396）
标注 – 第 239 页（位置 #3658-3659）
my husband did become a politician. He was a good person who wanted to have an impact in the world, and despite my skepticism he decided this was the best way to go about it. Such is the nature of his faith.
标注 – 第 243 页（位置 #3715-3717）
On our date nights at Zinfandel, Barack and I often continued a conversation we’d been having in one form or another for years—about impact, about how and where each one of us could make a difference, how best to apportion our time and energy.
标注 – 第 251 页（位置 #3843-3844）
You don’t dangle an opportunity in front of him, something that could give him a wider field of impact, and expect him just to walk away.
标注 – 第 259 页（位置 #3962-3966）
My hope was that they’d grow up to be bright and energetic, optimistic like their father and hard-driving like their mom. More than anything, I wanted them to be strong, to have a certain steeliness, the kind that would keep them upright and forward moving, no matter what. I didn’t know a thing about what was coming our way, how our family’s life would unfold—whether everything would go well or everything would go poorly, or whether, like most people, we’d get a solid mix of both. My job was just to make sure they were ready for it
标注 – 第 263 页（位置 #4027-4028）
But no matter how it panned out, I knew I’d at least done something good for myself in speaking up about my needs. There was power, I felt, in just saying it out loud.
标注 – 第 266 页（位置 #4075-4079）
When it came down to it, I felt vulnerable when he was away. Not because he wasn’t fully devoted to our marriage—this is and has always been a meaningful certainty in my life—but because having been brought up in a family where everyone always showed up, I could be extra let down when someone didn’t show. I was prone to loneliness and now also felt fierce about sticking up for the girls’ needs, too. We wanted him close. We missed him when he was gone.
标注 – 第 269 页（位置 #4114-4117）
It was possible that I was more in charge of my happiness than I was allowing myself to be. I was too busy resenting Barack for managing to fit workouts into his schedule, for example, to even begin figuring out how to exercise regularly myself. I spent so much energy stewing over whether or not he’d make it home for dinner that dinners, with or without him, were no longer fun
标注 – 第 276 页（位置 #4224-4225）
When I asked how we’d afford living expenses if we were going to have homes in both D.C. and Chicago, he’d said, “Well, I’ll write another book and it’ll be a big book, one that makes money.”
标注 – 第 286 页（位置 #4378-4379）
As a lifelong pragmatist, I would always counsel a slow approach, the methodical checking of boxes. I was a natural-born fan of the long and judicious wait.
标注 – 第 292 页（位置 #4467-4469）
For better or worse, I’d fallen in love with a man with a vision who was optimistic without being naive, undaunted by conflict, and intrigued by how complicated the world was. He was strangely unintimidated by how much work there was to be done.
标注 – 第 293 页（位置 #4482-4482）
the world could be brutal and random, that hard work didn’t always assure positive outcomes
标注 – 第 318 页（位置 #4875-4877）
As Barack often said, what we were doing wasn’t just about a single election. It was about making politics better for the future—less money-driven, more accessible, and ultimately more hopeful. Even if we didn’t end up winning, we were making progress that mattered. One way or another, their work would count.
标注 – 第 342 页（位置 #5234-5235）
Over the course of many visits she showed me that humanity is more important than protocol or formality.
标注 – 第 375 页（位置 #5743-5743）
No one, I realized, was going to look out for me unless I pushed for it.
标注 – 第 392 页（位置 #6007-6008）
If you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.
标注 – 第 405 页（位置 #6207-6210）
As long as I’ve known him, he’s been this way: extra-vigilant when it comes to matters of money and ethics, holding himself to a higher standard than even what’s dictated by law. There’s an age-old maxim in the black community: You’ve got to be twice as good to get half as far.
标注 – 第 419 页（位置 #6422-6425）
As long as I’ve known him, Barack has never derived pleasure from shopping, cooking, or home maintenance of any kind. He’s not someone who keeps power tools in the basement or shakes off work stress by making a risotto or trimming hedges. For him, the removal of all obligations and worries concerning the home made him nothing but happy, if only because it freed his brain, allowing it to roam unfettered over larger concerns, of which there were many.
标注 – 第 448 页（位置 #6857-6858）
every move and facial expression would be read a dozen different ways.
标注 – 第 454 页（位置 #6954-6960）
I was supposed to stand out without overshadowing others, to blend in but not fade away. As a black woman, too, I knew I’d be criticized if I was perceived as being showy and high end, and I’d be criticized also if I was too casual. So I mixed it up. I’d match a high-end Michael Kors skirt with a T-shirt from Gap. I wore something from Target one day and Diane von Furstenberg the next. I wanted to draw attention to and celebrate American designers, most especially those who were less established, even if it sometimes frustrated old-guard designers, including Oscar de la Renta, who was reportedly displeased that I wasn’t wearing his creations. For me, my choices were simply a way to use my curious relationship with the public gaze to boost a diverse set of up-and-comers.
标注 – 第 455 页（位置 #6976-6979）
I never expected to be someone who hired others to maintain my image, and at first the idea was discomfiting. But I quickly found out a truth that no one talks about: Today, virtually every woman in public life—politicians, celebrities, you name it—has some version of Meredith, Johnny, and Carl. It’s all but a requirement, a built-in fee for our societal double standard.
标注 – 第 467 页（位置 #7159-7160）
War, for me, had always been terrifying but also abstract, involving landscapes I couldn’t imagine and people I didn’t know. To view it this way, I see now, had been a luxury.
标注 – 第 483 页（位置 #7398-7400）
I knew from my own life experience that when someone shows genuine interest in your learning and development, even if only for ten minutes in a busy day, it matters. It matters especially for women, for minorities, for anyone society is quick to overlook
标注 – 第 517 页（位置 #7915-7917）
I was determined to be someone who told the truth, using my voice to lift up the voiceless when I could, and to not disappear on people in need.