• Samantha

Top Shelf: Glennon Doyle's Untamed

"When a woman finally learns that pleasing the world is impossible, she becomes free to learn how to please herself." - Glennon Doyle, Untamed


In honor of Women's History's Month, I've added Untamed -- Glennon Doyle's latest and best work yet -- to And She Writes’ Top Shelf collection. This powerful, intimate, and inspiring memoir made me laugh, cry, reflect and cheer. There simply aren't enough words to describe my transformational experience while reading this brilliant piece of writing.


Untamed has the ability to join the ranks of influential female-written memoirs, such as Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique. Doyle doesn't shy away from any topic or challenge in her life -- motherhood, marriage, sexuality, divorce, racism, addiction, mental health and many others. Each chapter is an essay, which she beautifully creates with stories, analogies, humor and connection. As a reader, I felt known in ways I never thought were possible. Her words spoke to my soul.


Doyle challenges us to face hard truths about our own lives by sharing her personal experiences and world perspective. Even when she touches on issues that many of us haven't yet thought about or reconciled with, her delivery is purposeful, thought-provoking, emotional and unforgiving.


It's hard to choose my favorite chapters because each one feels important. However, the prologue - Cheetah - sets the tone. It covered me in goosebumps. It made me want to yell "yes!" and it also made me want to cry.


Below are a few of my favorites quotes from the book:


"You will never change the fact that being human is hard, so you must change your idea that it was ever supposed to be easy."


"Privilege is being born on third base. Ignorant privilege is thinking you're there because you hit a triple. Malicious privilege is complaining that those starving outside the ballpark aren't waiting patiently enough."


"A woman becomes a responsible parent when she stops being an obedient daughter. When she finally understands that she is creating something different from what her parents created."


"This life is mine alone. So I have stopped asking people for directions to places they've never been."


"People aren't changing, after all. It's just for the first time, there's enough freedom for people to stop changing who they are."


"Every time you pretend to be less than you are, you steal permission from other women to exist fully. Don't mistake modesty for humility. Modesty is a giggly lie. An act. A mask. A fake game. We have not time for it."


To fully appreciate this memoir, you must read it -- cover to cover. This month is the perfect time to celebrate you as a daughter, sister, wife and/or mother. Doyle's essays inspired me to live authentically. To live my life according to me. To live... untamed.


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