I decided to take a break from being political (I know, right?!) mostly because I'm a little weary from the struggle of trying to find ways to rise up and fight the system or whatever. So, I'm going to talk about something awesome instead. Growing up, I was a super avid reader to the point where my parents had a hard time keeping me supplied in books. This continued up until I started college and had little time for my own personal reading since I had so many English classes requiring me to read other books. Then I got out of college and life became very busy so I didn't have much time to read the (literally) hundreds of books that were lining the giant bookcase in my library. Sure, I'd read a book here or there, but I didn't have the time to commit to devouring literature the way I used to, and finishing a book took forever because I was tied up doing other things. But, lately I've felt like I've been missing my old reading habits and I've realized that 2 years without a vacation and an incredibly rough year in general have left me feeling really frazzled and in need of some escape, so I decided that I'd pick up some books and roll back into my old habits. I've been starting slowly, picking up a variety of Young Adult books that I've been meaning to read for a while now. I figure that picking up something short and not overly heavy in a literary sense will at least let me get through the books more quickly than I had been. The last "literary" novel I read took me over 6 months to finish, but I blame that on the fact that I felt like I was trudging through the text waiting for it to get interesting. Since I make a rule to finish a book if I start it, it took some time. Thankfully this hasn't been the case with my recent collection of books. I have swiftly whipped through Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and The Hunger Games trilogy, and I just started John Green's Looking for Alaska. Easy reads? Sure. It doesn't matter, they've all been great so far, and hard to get enough of. And, what's more, I feel myself getting back to where I used to be, where I consider not going out with friends because I desperately want to finish my book. I sit around thinking about the plot while I'm in the car, or when there's a lull at work, working everything over in my brain and trying to pick apart the strings that weave together the tapestry of a story. It's the first time in a while that I've felt like me, the whole me. Not just the fractured pieces of me that I've been trying to harness together for months now because some really awful events left me shattered, but an actual whole and working me. Bit by bit, story by story, I feel like the words aren't just putting the plot together, they're knitting me back together one tiny piece at a time.
This rekindling of my book obsession has triggered something else. I used to write. Not blog write, but actually write. I'm not saying I was a great writer, but I was harnessing this need to be creative and channeling it into something that felt good to do, I was taking the words that are constantly abuzz in my head and making them into something useful, something tangible that made me feel like I could turn ordinary words into something beautiful. Then one day, I just...stopped. I stopped writing and the words dried up and I was left with nothing. I never took the time to think about it, but I am realizing that maybe I stopped writing around the same time I stopped reading. I stopped craving words and at the same time, I stopped producing them. Now that I'm back with my nose buried in a book, I find myself overflowing with this strange desire to not just take in creativity, but to actually create something. I'm not sure what, at the moment, but it's building in me like a geyser, very slowly right now but I think if I keep this up, it's going to overflow into something, which I can hopefully be proud of.
So thank you Suzanne Collins, Steig Larsson and John Green for lighting a fire that had gone out long ago. I needed it.