As I pursue a degree in creative writing, reading has been the main element of my study. And, as I am still hesitant on whether I should major in fiction or non-fiction, reading all different types of writings has been the highlight of my daily life for three months now. Every time I pick up something to read, its proven to me that writing is the path to follow and the calling to fulfill.
Reading has been taking me to places I have never been, exposing me to worlds way different than mine, and introducing a whole new spectrum of emotions, feelings, thoughts, and questions stirred within me. Through reading, I am able to get out of my tiny, closed, and routine world, and dive into much bigger ones. Worlds I didn’t know exist. Worlds that made me question my calling and purpose in life. Reading made me forget about my anxiety and hurt, because they are nothing compared to others. Reading makes you get out of the self, the daily duties, probably dull life, and most importantly the ego.
Reading about a man who didn’t lose hope and had been looking for his wife who lost her life to Japan’s Tsunami in 2011, for five years, led me question my faithfulness and loyalty to my loved ones. Do I love them enough? Do I even care as I should? To know that he took diving classes for one year, and dove for 110 times in the deep water of the Pacific Ocean, just to be able to look for his wife’s body on his own, was overwhelming to take in. Reading about the Cascadia fault line zone earthquake that might hit our continent anytime, and that its impact will be triple of the Tsunami’s, is humbling and very alerting. Reading about the supremacist and mass murderer who killed a group of worshipers in a church in Charleston, SC, in 2015, just because of their skin color makes one question what are the reasons, background, upbringing, societal dilemmas, race problems, educational system, and culture that led eighteen years old to commit such a ghastly and subhuman act?
Reading has done me a great favor. It made me get out of the self and seep into others. Knowing about peoples’ traumas, the worlds’ catastrophes, and other life issues forces you to let go of the tiny, banal matters of your own, because the world doesn’t revolve around you. The world is not a Facebook post or an Instagram story. The world is not a beach picture, or a fine leaf perfectly drawn on a Starbucks coffee. The world is so much bigger. Way bigger than what we can even fathom.
Go grab that book that has been lying on your dusty shelf for days, months or even years. Open it and get ready to step in worlds different than yours. Dive in it as you explore news cities, different cultures, history, or maybe someone’s life. Reading is the gate to new adventures, life experiences, and learned lessons at no charge other than the book cost. Life has so much to offer and it’s on us to grasp whatever we may handle. And I promise you; you will be surprised how a few papers can impact your life, change your mentality, and alter your perspectives. Seize the opportunity, open that book, and explore the world around you. Who knows? You might be the difference you have always wanted to see in people.