My Drug of Choice

Friends and readers! This post will be a little lighter; but it’s something that excites me every day. I have already been thinking of ideas for other posts that will be more controversial coming up so stay tuned :). First I would like to talk about those passions that I mentioned in my last post. After thinking a bit on it I added a few more and came up with this list of things that truly get me excited about life. Here is the list in no particular order:

  1. Books
  2. Elderly people — mainly the “Greatest Generation”
  3. People I love
  4. Veteran’s issues
  5. Mental Health
  6. Nature
  7. Learning

Where It All Began

Today I want to talk about books! DON’T roll your eyes! I LOVE, adore and cherish books. This love affair started when I was quite young. While other 3 year old girls were pushing their dollies or stuffed animals around I had a little red, plastic grocery cart bursting at the seams filled with books! There are pictures to prove this. I’m not sure why I loved books at such a young age but I think I can thank my Mom. I remember her always reading. I remember her encouraging me and my sisters to always read. We would always do the summer reading programs and Book IT when I was a kid and get our prizes for reading certain numbers of books. Then when I started getting older my parents wanted me to know what it was like to have a job so when I was 11 or 12 I started volunteering at the local library; where I was surrounded by books. I LOVED it. I was already a reader by this point and this little volunteer gig allowed me to see all the new books the library brought in and have first pick at them! I loved the feel of the books, being surrounded by books and the smell of the books. Oh man, there is nothing better than the smell of books! To this day that smell calms me.

I also very distinctly remember my Mom sharing the books she loved with me. Once I got old enough to read the same books she read she would share some of her most treasured books that she loved with me and let me read them. If I wasn’t hooked already, this sealed the deal. I remember the first “grown up” novel she introduced me to was A Gown of Spanish Lace by Janette Oak. What a thrill that was! I could imagine myself immersed in the story of the novel and being friends with the characters. There were twists and turns and surprises and I was a little sad when I finally finished the whole thing.

Escaping from Reality

Kathleen Kelly
Jo March
Margaret Tate
Anne Shirley

I guess you could say that books have been my drug. For me, books mean an escape from reality. They allow me to imagine myself in another time, another place and even perhaps as “another self”. Perhaps this ties in to why I can’t seem to feel like I will fit into one career or one “dream job”. I can imagine myself doing and being “a great many things” as Jo March (a fellow book lover) would say. There are days when I want to throw everything away and live like the pioneers. There are days when I want to hole up in a small little town and become engulfed in the community and its comings and goings. There are days when I want to live in a society where survival is my struggle and first world problems are a thing of the past. There are days when I want to be an immigrant first coming to America when the country was so new and possibilities were everywhere. There are days when I want to leave everything behind and work in an orphanage across the ocean. And then there are days where I want to be a writer. Oh to be a writer! But there are other ways to love books too. Writing, editing, creating, reading! All of the above! I suppose that is why some of my favorite movies have main characters that in some way love books and surround themselves with them. I love Kathleen Kelly from You’ve Got Mail; Jo March from Little Women; Margaret Tate from The Proposal; Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables and Belle from Beauty and The Beast.

A Lifelong Love Affair

As I grow older I am beginning to learn just how deeply my love of books goes. When I was picking out a college major at the ripe young age of 18 I didn’t even think about a career with books. And every interest inventory I took and continue to take always tells me the same thing: I should be a social worker or a teacher or a human service worker. Why? Because I do love people. I love working with people and I love helping people. I’m also pretty extroverted. Looking back I might’ve told my younger self to stick with books. Own a book store; become a librarian, even a historian; be a book editor…somehow surround yourself with books. Surround yourself with books because books are part of your core. Books are a passion of yours. Books take you on adventure, after adventure, after adventure. Books can be friends. Books can be revolutionary. Books are how we learn, and imagine and dare to think about new things and ideas. Books can touch your soul. I will leave you with one of my new favorite quotes:

“The person you will be in 5 years is based on the books you read and the people you surround yourself with today.”

I would like to add this disclaimer: I am happy with my life and do not hate my decision to go into human services and lots of days find a lot of satisfaction in my job. Aside from job stuff: my life is wonderful. There is nothing significant that I would change or life alerting decisions I have made that I regret. I just like to daydream…I guess that goes with the reading :).

Next blog: Christian Catchphrases that I Hate…and Why. :)

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