I waited awhile to read the bestseller, Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. For awhile there, it seemed like every woman my age was reading it. I have mixed feelings on the book. Overall, I like it and recommend it. I agree with the fundamental statement that Rachel Hollis makes:
I preach it to my students, family, and friends. We can’t control the things that happen around us. We can only control us and how we react to those things.
The problem I have with the book is not what she’s saying, but how she says it. She makes statements as if they are declared facts. I know that is supposed to be motivational, and it obviously is to many women who want or need to hear it. But sometimes the world is gray. It isn’t black and white, and that’s okay. I think it also may have something to do with the fact that I Iistened to the audiobook. She is so emphatic in her statements. Each chapter starts with a lie that women tell themselves or that Rachel believed at some point. She then tells stories about her life that show how she was able to move past that particular lie.
There are a lot of ways that I’m so different from Rachel. I am not a workaholic. I am not an extrovert. I prefer downtime laying in bed reading a book to many things. Unlike many women, I prioritize sleep over almost everything. Sometimes I feel like I miss out on things in life due to sleep, but we’re also told that we need more of it. Conflicting messages! Her love story between her and her husband is interesting in that it is not typical or what you’d identify as normal or healthy. But we do each have our own story, and we are not perfect. I can relate to that.
When she talked about not accepting no as an answer and working for your dreams, at first, I could not relate. I do not dream of creating some successful business or being a famous author. But that’s okay. Part of taking ownership of our dreams is that they can be as big or small as we would like them to be. My dream is to travel. I think about vacation all the time. I think about going to new places and experiencing new things. I think about fun. So Rachel inspired me to create an online vision board to remind me of what I’m reaching for. The world! When I was young, I created a poster that said I would have travelled around the world by the time I was 40. That isn’t going to happen, but I can keep shooting for the stars! My husband (the practical one in our marriage) is always talking about budgets. I do need a practical person to balance me out sometimes. But I also need to remember to live my dream. We only live once! So I made myself a travel vision board and put it as the background on my laptop.
Goals are great, but it is important to give ourselves grace. Rachel acknowledges that sometimes life does not go as we planned, and we need to sit back and think about the things that we have accomplished. Celebrate the small moments.
She does talk about being healthy and taking care of our bodies in a way that could potentially be construed as judgmental. I know she wants us to love our bodies and treat them with respect, but this can be another mixed message because I also want to enjoy life and therefore food. Another example of how the world is not black and white.
At the end of each chapter, she lists the things that helped her in her quest to stop believing that chapter’s lie. Here are a few of them that speak to me and that I can get behind: