Just Who Will You Be?

Big Question. Little Book. Answer Within.


By Maria Shriver

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  1. ebook $9.99 $12.99 CAD
  2. Hardcover $30.00 $39.00 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around April 15, 2008. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

“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 never too late to become the person you want to be.

Now the question for you is this: Just who will you be?




Not too long ago, I was whining to my teenage daughter. “I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up!”

She took me by the shoulders, looked me dead in the eye, and said, “I hate to break it to you, Mom, but this is it for you! You are all grown up! You’re cooked!”

I jumped out of my chair. “Not so!” I shot back. “You may think I’m over, but I’m not done yet! I’m still a work in progress, and I’m writing my next act now.”

I told her, “You wait and see just who I will be!”

She rolled her eyes, turned up her iPod, and went off to find a saner person to talk to, like her little brother.

When she left, I wondered, “Is she right? Is this really it? Am I cooked? Am I over?”

Or do I get another shot at asking “What do I want to be when I grow up?”


Back when I was a kid, I spent a lot of time wondering just that: “What am I going to be when I grow up? What’s my life going to be like?” I worried about it, because all my friends seemed sure about their futures. They wanted to be doctors, lawyers, teachers, politicians. Me, I didn’t have a clue.

Then when I was sixteen, my dad ran for Vice President of the United States. (That’s me at sixteen on the back of this book cover at the 1972 Democratic National Convention.) I was lucky enough to fly in the back of his campaign plane with all the working journalists—the ones who were asking all the questions and seemed to be having all the fun. Right then and there, I discovered what I wanted to be when I grew up: a TV journalist.

I wanted to be the woman on your television screen, telling you what was going on in the world, telling you what you needed to know. I wanted to be that smart, successful TV newswoman.

At first, I was too scared to tell anyone about my dream, worried that people would think I was crazy. After all, back then there weren’t that many women on television. And I came from a family where everybody was in politics. So wanting to be a journalist was a weird choice, to say the least.

But after college, I set out to make my dream a reality anyway. I started at the bottom getting coffee and worked my way up to be a news producer, then a reporter, then a correspondent, then an anchorwoman. And I loved it. I just assumed I would be in TV news for the rest of my life. After all, that’s who I was. That’s what people called me: “TV newswoman Maria Shriver.”

But sometimes life happens to you, and—bingo!—your idea of who you think you are just goes up in smoke. That’s what happened to me.

One day out of nowhere, my movie-star husband announced he was running for Governor of California. Just sixty days later, he was elected. And because NBC News was worried that there might be a perceived conflict of interest between my news job and his political job, I was asked to resign.

Just like that my career was gone, and with it went the person I’d been for twenty-five years. And before you could say, “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore!”—I became someone new, someone they called “the First Lady of the State of California.”

“Say what?” I thought to myself. “The First Lady of the State of California? You’ve got to be kidding! That’s not me! I didn’t grow up wanting to be First Lady of anything!”

But there I found myself, and I didn’t have a clue what to do. And if that weren’t enough of a shock, then this little incident just about pushed me over the edge:

I was out shopping in Santa Monica with my son. Along comes a guy handing out leaflets. He gives one to my son and then motions to me and says to him, “Are you with that woman?”

“Yep!” my son says.

The man asks, “Is she a model?” I give my hair a toss.

“Naaaah,” my son says, looking over at me. “She’s a housewife.”

My neck snaps. My big beautiful movie-star glasses just about fly off my face. As the nice gentleman walks away, I grab my thirteen-year-old son’s collar and shriek, “That man just asked you if I was a model, and you told him I’m a housewife?”

He says, “MOM! That’s because you are a housewife!”

I’m still shrieking. “No, I am not, I am NOT! I’m a journalist!”


On Sale
Apr 15, 2008
Page Count
112 pages
Hachette Books

Maria Shriver

About the Author

Maria Shriver is one of television’s most respected anchorwomen, the recipient of television awards, and the bestselling author of What’s Heaven?, What’s Wrong with Timmy?, Ten Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Went Out into the Real World, and I’ve Been Thinking…: Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life, among other books.

Learn more about this author