Girl Wash Your Face
Rachel Hollis

by

Nina Calhoun

Chapter 1
Summary

This chapter begins by stating the first lie that the author had to confront, that is, ‘something else will make me happy’ (Hollis, 2018). Hollis lived a life full of challenges that denied her the opportunity to be happy but found comfort in a misconception that when she grew up she would find something, or some other life that will make her happy. She narrates several struggles in life that made her unhappy both as a child, and as a grown up. For example, she wet her pants while playing with friends, and had to douse herself with a bottle of water so that her friends could not know what happened (Hollis, 2018).

This simple act made her hate herself because she had not accepted the person she was. She also grew up in a family with challenges characterized by cries, and fights (Hollis, 2018), an environment that could traumatise a child. Hollis (2018) states that “father handled stress with anger while mother handled stress by going to bed for weeks at a time”. This then means that there was no environment of peace, and sobriety but a traumatic environment that was not conducive for the development of a child. The demise of her brother (who committed suicide) further provided challenge, and compounded her problems.  Based on the photographs she posts on social media with her husband, however, people see her as a person leading a relatively better life (Hollis, 2018).

Analysis

It is these challenges she passed through that made her hope that something else will one day make her happy. For example, she hoped that one day she would get a better life away from their family, especially when she completed her education. Later in life, Hollis came to recognize this lie, and discovered the truth that one is in control of her own life. She, not her family, or environment, is thus responsible for what her life becomes. She states that “…your life is like a ship, and you are the captain, such that storms will toss you around, and water will enter your vessel…the best thing to do at this moment is to fight to throw off all the water bucket by bucket” (Hollis, 2018). Like a captain, she meant that one is in full control of her life, and ought not to give up in the times of challenges but to keep trying to salvage every unpleasant situation. To overcome her struggles, Hollis recognized the lie, discovered the truth, and took corrective measures. For example, she stopped comparing herself to people, surrounded herself with positivity, and started to do only those things that made her happy.

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