I used to read voraciously, to the point that my Mom was worried about me. I read so much -so many things! My world was made up of narratives, the voices in my head sounded like Roald Dahl and Teddy Geisel. I tore through The Work and The Glory in Junior High, and High School consisted of me browsing bookstores for books I could carry around in my Pepto Pink back pack -books that gave me an essence of awesome, just by holding them.
I couldn't make it through Silas Marner, and couldn't finish 1985, but I wrote smashing critiques about how awful I felt they were.
I memorized slam poetry, giggled through Jane Austen's SPOT ON characterization and tried very hard to pretend like I was dark enough to love "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."
That didn't get me much but some extra attention from a concerned principal.
I guess it is a compliment to my acting skills that he couldn't see through the facade?
Anyway, somewhere between then and last year, I just quit reading. The narratives in my head grew quieter and quieter still. I didn't realize how much I missed them because I wasn't myself. And anyone who isn't me and isn't accustomed to constant narrative streaming in the background of life WOULDN'T MISS IT.
Maybe it's because I quit reading the right kind of books and started reading sabotaging self-help books.
All it took was a baker's dozen of those to sell me on a life without books forever. Throwing the baby out with the bath water has always been a favorite trick of mine.
Whatever the reason, my heart or my shoes, I quit reading. I quit buying books.
I let go of an integral part of my identity.
I didn't realize it. I realized somewhere along the line that I wasn't buying books, but I didn't realize FULLY what was going on until a few days ago when the voices came back.
The constant narration is BACK, and I can't write enough. I can't put my keyboard down. I have books in my hand again -new books, books that I BOUGHT with the money I made at my job!
I'm basically 17 again, sans back pack and cuckoo's nests.
I think the word I'm dancing around here is "restoration."
I'm looking forward to my next paycheck because I've got a few books in my cart. Isn't it great being a grown up? I don't have to wait for other kids to finish reading the book I want... I can just BUY it. The problem I'm running into now as an adult is setting boundaries for STOPPING.
And now that I'm finding and reading all of these great books, I keep giving them away because apparently I assume that everyone isn't reading great books.
But it doesn't matter. What does matter -what really does matter -is that one of my favorite pieces of me came back this week, and I think there needs to be some sort of ceremonial cake eating.