I grew up reading, most of the first 18 odd years of my life were spent that way. It was either textbooks or others, science fiction was a favourite genre. But also, Dickens, Alexandre Dumas, Hardy, Oscar Wilde, Nabokov, Somerset Maugham, Goethe, Sartre, Daphne du Maurier, George Orwell, Vonnegut, Murakami, Jane Austen, Ivan Turgenev, Gogol, Roald Dahl, Wodehouse, Tolkien, Pushkin. I loved studying, learning, we didn’t watch much TV, no internet, I was never social, so friends never took up much time. Learning. This has always ever been my motivation to do anything. And then I stopped reading. More or less. I had saturated that form of learning, sitting in my room, creating my own space-time warps, I needed experiential learning. I was more than afraid of stepping out of my comfort. This was also when the anxiety, depression, disillusionment all started seeping in. But I needed to learn through people, my interactions with them, emotions, actions, beliefs, understanding, disappointment, the sheer confusion of it all. I had grown up with plenty of disappointment, my family life had been quite turbulent. But I had no choice in it, therefore no responsibility and was safe in that. I was allowed to blame, to be angry. But as I grew the lines started to get blurry, very blurry. I looked around me, at this overwhelming chaos, and I wanted a way out. It was then that I started to see the chaos within me. The real learning began.
But to come back to my precious books. COVID 19 appropriated the perfect situation for me to start reading again. Living uncomfortably for many years I am more or less back to where I started. My awareness, my consciousness, my peace. And ironically the seeds of real love. (I have used the word ‘real’ more times than I would have liked to, in this post, but I can’t think of another one, and I am no Jenny Lawson to start making up words)