Just Who Will You Be? Finished 8-3-19, 2.5/5 stars, 112 pages. pub. 2008
“I’ve learned that asking ourselves not just what we want to be, but who we want to be is important at every stage of our lives, not just when we’re starting out in the world. That’s because in a way, we’re starting out fresh in the world every single day.” Just Who Will You Be is a candid, heartfelt, and inspirational book for seekers of all ages. Inspired by a speech she gave, Maria Shriver’s message is that what you do in your life isn’t what matters. It’s who you are. It’s an important lesson that will appeal to anyone of any age looking for a life of meaning. In her own life, Shriver always walked straight down her own distinctive path, achieving her childhood goal of becoming “award-winning network newswoman Maria Shriver”. But when her husband was elected California’s Governor and she suddenly had to leave her job at NBC News, Maria was thrown for a loop. Right about then, her nephew asked her to speak at his high school graduation. She resisted, wondering how she could possibly give advice to kids, when she was feeling so lost herself. But in the end she relented and decided to dig down and dig deep, and the result is this little jewel. Just Who Will You Be Reminds us that the answer to many of life’s question lie within — and that we’re all works in progress. That means it’s nevertoo late to become the person you want to be. Now the question for you is this: Just who will you be? from Goodreads
Shriver struggled with why her nephew’s school wanted her to give the graduation speech and her ruminations on it were off putting to me. After she tries on many reasons she settles on her ‘celebrity’. She goes on to share parts of her life (she’s still married to Arnold at this point) and this book felt just as much a therapy exercise as an uplifting graduation speech. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it was a little short to do both well.