I think it’s safe to say I will always be a student. Give me a book, a movie, a podcast, really anything, and I will find a way to learn. Sometimes I gravity towards them without realizing they are what I need. But recently, I found a book that I almost didn’t buy truly impacting me: Girl, Wash Your Face*. A New York Times Bestseller and frequent social media quote, I wasn’t sure that this book was for me. So whether you’re on the fence about reading it or you just want that motivation push, here are the 7 things I learned from Girl, Wash Your Face.
“YOU BECOME WHO YOUR SURROUND YOURSELF WITH. YOU BECOME WHAT YOU CONSUME.” (8)
I talk a lot about energy. It’s been a thing in my life lately. But whether you realize it or not, you’re often a product of the people and environments you are in. I had this mini-revelation after our DC trip. I was in a funk. And my attitude needed to be checked because if I wasn’t careful, I was going to pass that energy along to other people. For me, I know there are things I won’t be able to change in my life because of certain circumstances. My living situation is one of them and is challenging at times.
However, it’s become more and more important for me to pay attention to who I’m spending time with and what I’m consuming. This means filtering Youtube content I’m watching or even opting to spend less time with certain people. I’m responsible for me and how I behave. And if changing what I’m consuming can help me to better energy into the world, then I’m all for it.
“I WILL NO LONGER BREAK A PROMISE TO MYSELF NO MATTER HOW SMALL” (15)
I don’t think I realized how often I was letting myself down until Girl, Wash Your Face. All these dreams and goals I set for myself, I wasn’t achieving because I wasn’t showing up for me. And I know this will be a work in progress. There are years of habits and training I’m working to change within myself. But I like to look at it this way: am I being the person I needed when I was growing up?
In a lot of ways, adult Savannah has a long journey to go at being there for herself. However, the idea of letting down the kid version of myself is incredibly motivating. So when I make a promise, I make it to her. I never want to lose that part of myself that had dreams so big she wasn’t afraid to dream them. And if that means making a promise to my inner kid, then I hope she gets everything she every wanted.
“NO IS ONLY AN ANSWER IF YOU ACCEPT IT” (55)
When I think about the people in my life that hear “no” most often, I think about two people. My friends who are pursuing their dreams of acting and my friends kids who never give up despite a firm no from mom. Toddlers are stubborn, you know? And if you ask my closest friends, they will tell you nothing brings me more joy than seeing my friends crushing it. When they hit goals, book movies and tv shows, or when they finally get the call back, I’m so excited for them I could burst! But all that joy didn’t come without a ton of no’s beforehand.
Girl, Wash Your Face showed me that sometimes the no’s in our lives aren’t so obvious. Maybe it’s not getting a certain job offer or not seeing progress the way you wanted in a certain area. But that doesn’t mean we have to accept the no. I think sometimes we need to celebrate our “no” because it’s the opportunity to learn. If I want something, if I really want something, then I need to take every chance to learn and grow until I can make it happen. So hearing no doesn’t mean never. It means I need to try things differently until I get a yes. And if you need a little more inspiring to get past your own no, I’ve been loving the #shareyourrejection tag floating around. I think the current CCO of DC Comic’s would probably agree.
“GOD HAS PERFECT TIMING” (106)
As I sat in Target flipping through Girl, Wash Your Face, I’d pretty much decided to pass on this book. Everyone was talking about. I’d seen the quote from the last page of the book multiple times in my news feed. It was in my Amazon cart to maybe buy. I’d even picked it up and put it down once at Sam’s in the last week. But there was one lie I couldn’t get past. It was the one lie that made me change my mind, put the book in my cart and come home to finish reading it in 2 days. My lie: I should be further along by now.
Turning 28 last month had a lot of arbitrary meanings for me. It’s the age I always thought I’d be married by. It also meant I’ve been out of high school for 10 years. But here I am, living with my parents, trying to build a business and feeling like maybe my 4 years in college and 3 years busting my butt in film were for nothing. What has even changed? However, I was quickly reminded that I am where supposed to be. The timing of my life isn’t someone else’s. And maybe that means I take a break from social media more often or just put my head down and focus on my work. But I am where I’m supposed to be and focusing on trusting God’s timing is the best thing I can do for me.
“SOMEONE ELSE IS PRAYING TO HAVE THE KIND OF CHAOS YOU’RE CURRENTLY CRYING ABOUT” (123)
We all have our own chaos. Somedays, my chaos looks like running loads of errands for my parents, between trying to grab photos, write blog posts and make sure everyone is fed according to their different diets. But Girl, Wash Your Face reminded me, this brand of chaos is something someone else might dream of having. Yes, I’m running errands and cooking all the things but it’s because I have parents who are alive and need me. Sure, I’m trying to make things happen for the blog but this business is my dream and I’m so thankful I’m getting the time to build it. In my life, I have so much to be grateful for and sometimes I just need to take a moment to remind myself of that.
“I WAS MAKING MYSELF SMALL. I WAS PERFORMING JUST ENOUGH TO GAIN YOUR ATTENTION BUT NOT TRULY BEING MYSELF FOR FEAR OF WHAT EVERYONE MIGHT THINK OF THE REAL ME” (128)
Childhood was a challenging time for me. I was called fat, told I got things because someone pitied me and just generally verbally abused. And while I don’t remember much of what kids said, I think the one thing that always sticks around is how I felt. Because somewhere deep down inside, the things I thought and was told as a kid are still there. But I don’t want to be small anymore.
Me, the real me, is probably someone I’ll spend my life getting to know. From a life long obsession with movies, eating good food and my dog, I’m an ever changing person. But I can’t be afraid to be me. And if I’m going to succeed at this career, then I have to be willing to let people see the real me, freckles and all. I was not made to be small. You were not made to be small. We were not made with these gifts and talents only to hide them. So even if half the world doesn’t understand, don’t hide. Girl, Wash Your Face and remember you are beautifully and wonderfully made. And you have so much to offer.
“SOMEONE ELSE’S OPINION OF ME IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS” (146)
One of my favorite movies as a teenage was A Cinderella Story. You know the one with Hilary Duff & Chad Michael Murray. For years, I’ve loved the quote on the wall in the diner “Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” Until Girl, Wash Your Face *, I didn’t realize how much of that fear I was letting control my life. And setting this boundary, the idea that someone else’s opinion is none of my business, has been a mental game change.
At the end of the day, I don’t need to know what someone else thinks about me. Because that fear of what their thinking is only keeping me from playing the game. And at the end of the day, this is a game I want to win. Use that mute button. Unfollow that person. Deactivate your account. Whatever you need to give yourself the space, but at the end of the day you don’t need to know. Someone else’s opinion, no matter how negative or positive, is none of your business.
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