Finding Myself Again
Y’all, January went from being quite a lovely month to one of the most challenging I’ve had in a while for one simple reason: a gigantic reading slump. It was brought on by a flare-up, but even when the flare-up had calmed down, I just couldn’t get back into the groove. I’d pick up a book and not be able to focus long enough to read a single page. I went about twenty days without reading anything longer than a magazine article (do not ask me why my brain could deal with The Economist but not a book). It was terrifying; I began to fear that something had gotten permanently messed up, that I was never going to be able to read again, and that I was going to fundamentally lose myself. Without books, my optimism and sense of purpose in life flee, I start to feel bored and useless and petty. It’s awful. Thank God, on Tuesday something finally broke, and since then I’ve been merrily reading up a storm, finishing all kinds of books that I can’t wait to tell you about. And suddenly, I’m once again full of curiousity, hope, and wonder. I know it sounds trite, but I deeply believe that books have saved my life, or at least my happiness, which at the end of the day rather amounts to the same thing.
I hope that I never face such a long reading drought again (and I’d be grateful for any slump-busting suggestions you might have), especially at the beginning of the year when I don’t have a backlog of titles to blog about in the meantime! Apologies to those I owe e-mails to (including several who have sent lists for my new series: I’m up to six participants, which I’m thrilled about); I will be working my way through replying to them. In the meantime, you can definitely expect regular blogging to resume! I’ve begun re-building my cushion, which helped me get through the end of 2011 without a ton of breaks. But to end this post on a cheerful note, it’s amazing how magical books and reading seem after you’ve been deprived for awhile. All of the writing is so vivid, and I’m completely immersed in everything like a child again. It’s lovely, and a feeling I hope I can hold on to. Makes me just want to hug every book in sight!
P.S.: if you’re compiling your February ‘to read’ list, be sure to pop Feminism is for Everybody on it! I’ll be helping Amy co-host a discussion about it this month on A Year of Feminist Classics.