Untamed by Glennon Doyle(book review)
I found this book through two fabulous women in my circle (Andrea Burke & Bay Quiney). Glennon, the author, is married to the wonderful women’s soccer player Abby Wambach. I had seen a graduation speech Abby gave and loved that, but don’t follow her too closely. Additionally, I actually saw the two of them via Verizon. Our CEO of our Media Group was interviewing them in a series about mental health and COVID, as well as helping her talk about her book. I didn’t love them during the interview, to be honest. I didn’t think they were sharing anything overly unique and they were extremely happy. Now that I’ve read her book, I get it. I think by now, many of you have probably seen the quote “You are a goddamn cheetah.” You’ve probably seen it all over your female friends’ instagrams, facebooks, etc. I assume someone, somewhere is making t-shirts with that phrase on it. If she’s not, or someone else hasn’t yet, that’s my idea, don’t steal it. I’m doing it tonight. I buy two types of books: those I can’t WAIT to read and those I can read before I go to bed. Typically the “can’t wait to read” books are inspiring & motivating self development books and they keep me up at night...Do people actually buy them and read them before bed? I don’t believe it can be true at all. I bought this book thinking it would be a “before I go to bed book.” Not quite. That infamous quote is in the prologue and the book takes off from there. Not all of it is AMAZING(thank god). But it is worth the read. It’s geared towards women and we can certainly relate, but if you can get past some of the female specific references, innuendo and directives, it’s worth a read by all genders and humans. As many books are, it’s basically about how she learned to know herself and now stays true to herself instead of getting lost in society’s expectations of her and the rest of us. I don’t want to give away how she goes about knowing or finding herself, but it is truly unique and involves a closet. Some people run, some walk and some people find themselves in tiny spaces...Again, even as she’s knowing herself, her story isn’t completely unique. But, most self development books are not truly groundbreaking. Most of them say the same thing, but because each human both understands the information and intent differently and can only understand it when they are ready, this is not a bad thing. If you are ready for that understanding, her tale will get you there. And then there’s the stroll down what she does after she has actually come to know herself. She seems to have raised inspiring children and it was not at all by accident. Every time they stay true to themselves and they don’t give in to expectations, including hers, she celebrates them. Also, not unlike other books, she talks about how important it is for children to see their parents being their best selves. Staying in a marriage or at a job you don’t love, does not set a good example for them, even if your words intend to do others. Children pick up on actions much more than words and they will decide what love and work are supposed to look like. I’m sure many of us experience effects from this. It wasn’t our parents fault at all, they didn’t know better. Ours is one of the first generations to really have options, or at least to understand that there are options. My dad probably did have more options than he thought, but his parents had close to nothing, so he did what he thought best, to ensure that wasn’t the case. The internet was just being born, so he didn’t know that MANY MANY MANY people can actually make money doing what they like, not just the lucky few. Now, we know...or are beginning to really know this and wonder what it means for us. I don’t have children, so I haven’t sought out books on this topic, but a fair bunch of books I’ve read have talked about this. What I found most interesting in Glennon’s, is that you get to see the impact it has on the children, who they are turning out to be, because of the way she’s raising them and who she forces herself to be, honest about marriage and work. That’s the differentiator here, you see the payout, the worth of doing it. While I have many page corners folded for excellent quotes and food for thought stories, she also has some entertainment sprinkled throughout. She has a couple of truly amazing and hilarious bits about her space being invaded by doorbells, phone calls and texts. If you are a super social person and thoroughly connected to the world, you may be offended by what she has to say. By someone who almost has to be hunted down with a super sonic scope used by a highly trained assassin, I could totally relate! “For example, I would die for you but not, like...meet you for coffee.” If you are reading this and a friend or family member of mine, I’m sure you think I must have written it...I loved that I wasn’t the only person out there like this and I felt proud of myself, as I haven’t gotten to the point of 100+ unread text messages...yet… She spends a lot of time on feelings, expectedly. She does have some good insights and ways of looking at them. Again, some new and some explained a little differently. She also talks about depression and anxiety, again, a little expectedly. I’m not sure if it’s my age or something else, but all of a sudden I’ve realized that even if I know what I’m going through and what my mental state is like with my ADD and anxiety, other people don’t know what it’s like. These types of topics have only grown in “popularity” in recent years and even then, the first bunch of years felt like the discussions were more geared towards we, the defective, and how we can fix ourselves rather than directing towards those out here, in the world, interacting with us and what they might be interested in knowing about us to be aware of and even...potentially...assist us. I am fully, 100% responsible for myself and my actions and reactions. But--my boyfriend now understanding that I can get lost in things, good or bad, for hours, is a freakin’ god send. For all the timers and reminders, nothing beats a hot human presenting himself in front of you, to pull you out of wherever you are, good or bad place. Her descriptions and stories about her mental health are another reason I’d recommend the book to pretty much anyone. I think that there is a benefit to understanding how different humans exist. If you don’t have any insight into what a person with depression and/or anxiety goes through, this book will provide much color. True, we all experience things differently, but it gives you insight into the colors, if not all the shades that exist. For those interested, she includes a few short stories about her interactions with famous stories. She has this amazing little story about Alicia Keys and Adam Levine, where she finally figures out that it’s about doing what the f* you want. Another great one is about her interaction with Oprah. Even if it’s not surprising that they talk about Maya Angelou, it’s still a good read. As are the others.
I probably could have included a page full of quotes I loved, but I really didn’t want to ruin it for you. I’ve never written a book review before, only those book reports in school where a significant portion of it needed to be spent proving to the teacher you had read the book. But, as a sucker for good quotes, I couldn’t leave you with NONE. That seemed ridiculous. So here are three from nearer the beginning, that don’t ruin anything for you. “There is a life meant for you that is truer than the one you’re living. But in order to have it, you will have to forge it yourself. You will have to create on the outside what you are imaging on the inside. Only you can bring it forth. And it will cost you everything.” pg. 64 “We must unleash ourselves and watch the world reorder itself in front of our eyes.” pg. 65 “Women have to almost die before we give ourselves permission to live how we want.” pg. 108