Epiphany: Reading

As I was walking through the library, an epiphany dawned on me slowly at first but then gained weight, eventually smacking me hard in the face, stupid Ashley you knew this all along, why are you only know acknowledging it…

I need to consume more. Not like consuming food, but consuming books, news, art. Just by walking around book shelves, titles called out to me like they were waiting for me all along, to find them. “Over here! I have some morsel of the universe to share with you! Won’t you just stop for a bit to hear my story?-“

I wrote a post a while back about why I was slightly scared of books. And I still am, but my creative writing and English courses are making me think differently. Of course, yes, books are influential and they do have a message to share. But why run away from this? In a way, I’ve been keeping myself in a protective bubble by not reading novels. (Well, that and I’ve been managing my time poorly) But the thing is, by reading novels, my universe expands and becomes more colourful.

After all, life isn’t stagnant. We’re meant to grow and change. We’re meant to dwell in the land of excess, as my creative writing TA once told us. Obviously yes we’re going to all die one day, but what about what happens in between? The people we meet, the lessons we learn, the loves we have, the pains we have? Aren’t stories just a reflection of this? In a way, isn’t reading a story a way of living with someone else, regardless if they’re fictional or not?

And maybe that’s why it takes so much from us, because by reading that novel, we invest in their life, as much as we invest in a friend’s life in real life. And yes, there is that risk that it might not work, but either way, that relationship changes us and teaches us.

Sorry, I’m not quite sure where I’m going with this, but it’s just a beautiful epiphany. And with it, of course, comes a fair share of consequences. If I really want to read more, I need to manage my time better. It makes me remember my roommate Erin, who often dedicated the last part of her day, before she went to sleep, to read, instead of say cramming in homework time or mindlessly surfing the web. It’s such a simple, easy thing to do and is simply wonderful to me. I always envied her for her ability to do that. I always brushed off my potential to do that because I was busier, but if I want it enough, I can do it.

So I suppose that’s what it boils down to, then. How much do I value this epiphany, how much will I let it change my life?

~ajc

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