Ah. Reading. The word itself is like a breath of fresh air.
A lot of my recent posts have been very “book” heavy. Whether it’s gushing about my favorite author, binging Booktube videos (mainly Ariel Bissett, if I’m being honest), or scrolling endlessly through Barnes and Noble, I feel like I’m constantly surrounding myself with books or book-related things every day.
You would think as someone who studied English literature that I would be doing this all of the time, but oh no.
As much as I love reading and discovering stories, both old and new, my time at college REALLY burnt me out. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed all of my classes, but the overwhelming workload and constant anxiety to finish each book for each class was not the best for my mental health.
Now, I could go on about the faults in my academic experience, but that’s for another time.
In short, I associated reading with a chore and work rather than a luxurious past time. Because of this, I would typically end up falling asleep while reading or just not picking up a book up in general.
However, rather than consistently forcing myself to try and read again and again, I decided to save myself from the headache and take a break. I took a few months to destress, play some video games, and just be kinder to myself because I was beating myself up over not reading (of all things) so badly.
Dumb, I know.
But, alas! My itch to grab a book off of my shelves has finally resurrected!
Now, I can’t keep my nose out of the pages, and I’m actually enjoying myself in the process! Who knew time and patience was all I needed?
Currently, I’m in the middle of Dante’s Inferno, and I just started Stephen King’s 11/22/63 (which I am already loving).
I use to put a lot of pressure on myself to finish a lot of books, but sometimes that’s just unrealistic for me. I don’t know exactly where this panic of having to read a lot came from, but no matter where it developed (probably college), I’m ready to break that habit because, honestly, it’s stupid.
Why am I rushing to get all of these books read when I have an entire lifetime to do so?
In that moment, when I asked myself this question, a very important lesson about patience and time seemed to hit me in the face. I realized that I had developed a false sense of “time” and how much we truly have in a lifetime.
(Well, technically “time” is a social construct, but we’ll keep up the positive vibes for now.)
Perhaps it’s my persistent anxiety, but I always seem to feel as if I don’t have enough time to do anything, whether that’s reading a book or cleaning the house. I always seem to avoid activities that require quite a bit of time (commitment issues much?), but that ends today!
From now on, I’m going to try my best and not think about time so much. Of course, it’s pretty difficult to do that with the continuous reminder of death during this pandemic in the US, but, at the end of the day, all you can do is try.
So, with my rekindled love of reading, I’m ready to escape from the crumbling country around us into an infinite amount of worlds locked away on my bookshelves.
It’s time to stop hassling myself over not finishing unrealistic expectations and freaking out about the limit of time, and to start having some damn patience!
I hope everyone is doing well in these tough times, and remember: STAY HOME