2020 Reading List: Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

Once again, I picked this book to read because I needed something light and fun. I needed to get my mind off the coronavirus, the quarantine and isolation, the illnesses and deaths reported in the news. I needed an escape. I figured that since I liked Rachel Hollis’ book, Girl, Wash Your Face so much, I would also enjoy this one in a time of worldwide crisis.

First I will say that Girl, Stop Apologizing, by Rachel Hollis, is a better read for a time of personal crisis. I am not in personal crisis, although maybe I will be by the time the quarantine is over.

I wanted a book that would take my mind off everything, and instead, I felt trapped by my inability to take action. Hollis is incredibly motivating. She writes her books like she is writing to you personally, like she knows you. And she delivers her truths like a punch in the gut. She has a way of making you realize that even if you thought you were doing okay before, or if you were fine with not doing okay before, you have so much potential and you better get off your ass and go do better.

She weaves her personal experiences seamlessly into a self-help book that doesn’t feel all holier-than-thou and not relatable. Rather, she reminds you that she, too, was once in the trenches. She was once at the bottom of the hole, looking up and feeling like progress is impossible. She’s not here to judge, she’s here to reach a hand down from the top and help you find the first foothold.

My problem with reading this book, at this time, was that I felt so inspired but I also felt like I couldn’t do anything about it right now. I wanted to go figure out my life goal and write down my plan to get there and rip up all my excuses. I wanted to be my authentic self and live my dreams. But I am stuck in my house during a worldwide pandemic with a newborn. I am tied to my couch with feeding and rocking and napping and Netflix. I am in a hamster wheel of eat, burp, sleep, poop, repeat. The baby, not me. Well, me too I guess. At this time, it feels never-ending. It feels like there is no way I could chase my dreams, let alone have dreams.

At least Hollis specifically recognizes this. She literally says, moms of newborns, I’m not talking to you. So again, bad time to read this book.

But, if you are in personal crisis, this book might help! It might help more if we’re not experiencing a pandemic, but nonetheless, it will be useful. Use this time as your planning period so that when we’re released from isolation you can go out and crush your goals!

The second problem I had with this book and the main reason why I docked it a star, is that it seems fairly repetitive of her last book. Girl, Wash Your Face is framed as “the lies you tell yourself” and why you’re actually awesome, while this book is framed as “be yourself and accomplish your goals” and why you’re really awesome. At the end of the day, both books are inspiring you to stand in your truth, be yourself, live your own life, don’t listen when others judge you, and chase your own dreams.

Each one is totally inspiring, completely relatable, and ultimately readable. But if you were looking for a new message, you won’t find it here. You’ll simply find a reiteration of Hollis’ one core takeaway – no one can live your life but you, so make it a life you want to live.

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