December 2019 Book Review-IT’S NOT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE by Molly Burke

It's Not What It Looks Like - Audiobook

I found this book through the joy of Audible. What struck me was the outfit, and yes, the shoes! After listening to Molly, her struggle and her story, I have now nominated Molly Burke as a Torch.

Molly Burke is a 25-year-old woman living in LA. She is a beauty-lifestyle-fashion blogger. She is living her best freaking life! The thing is, she is a blind woman–whom started having vision struggles when she was about 4. I cannot imagine what it would have been like to look your sight when you are still so curious about the world around you.

Oh! And Molly is a motivational speaker, running her own business!

Molly suffers from retinitis pigmentosa–being legally blind since age 5. As a mother, my heart broke. Yet, the cool thing about Molly? She hates when people feel sorry for her. Beginning life as a sighted child, and now needing a guide dog, Braille and other small helps to manage the world? But, she doesn’t like to be seen as disabled–only differently abled. She has her struggles like anyone else!

In this book, she wants the listener to learn what it is like to truly advocate and hold space for yourself–sighted or not. She also tells us about her being bullied in middle school and high school (who raises these wolves!). She talks about after truly being blind (she can still see some colors and shapes) at 14, she talks about her wanting to kill herself. She talks about her anxiety, depression, and even the loss of her first guide dog to cancer, Gypsy.

Molly reads her story with power and comfort, owning all her experiences. Good and bad. Even at the end of the book, she gives the reader/listener her favorite books–in audio form. In this book, from her story, Molly reminds me there are always things to be grateful for. There are so many things to be aware of–to realize people whom are disabled don’t need to be subject of what she calls ‘inspiration porn’. What is needed is understanding, empathy and for goodness sake, please don’t pet the service dog!

She is so positive, so bubbly, but that is a hard fought victory, I know. From her struggles with depression, and thoughts of leaving the world, I am happy that Molly is tenacious. That she is healthy. That she is dating! That she is utterly happy with where her life is–open for all that life and the world has for her. Even when she takes her dog, Gallup (pictured on the cover), to Starbucks with her face perfect, purple hair coifed, and in her heels.

Light the way, Molly. Light the way.

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