As a child, I was the kid in class with the highest Accelerated Reader (AR) points. My star on the bulletin board far surpassing all the other children in my class. I was also that nerdy girl who competed on a Battle of the Books team and read every single book on the list. Reading was one of the greatest joys of my childhood.
Reading transported me to another world.
A world far away from the violent screams of my ex-stepfather.
Far away from the home I lived in that was heated by a measly kerosene heater and sheets hung up in the doorways to keep every last bit of warmth from escaping.
Far away from my hand-me-down clothes from the girls I went to school with.
Far away from the nightmares that plagued me by day.
Far away from the panicked pleas of my mother to please not hurt her.
Far away from the world where my father took his own life.
Books were my escape.
In a different sense, they still are. Reading is my own version of self-care. When I want to make time for myself all I picture is a good read and a beverage (coffee or green tea preferred). As a new mother, reading time is scarce. Between my regular work and my two side jobs I stay busy, add my coursework in the mix and reading time is almost nonexistent. However, I know as well as anyone- you make time for the things you want to make time for.
So here I am, in 2018, making time for reading.
I decided to follow the Books-A-Million Book Club list for the non-fiction and literary selections.
I started a bit late so I’m wrapping up January’s pick for the non-fiction category and will shortly be moving along to February’s selections. If you need a review just let me know and I will try to get to you.
This is one of my self-care strategies for Randy’s deployment and just for life in general.
Although I am no longer that 2nd grader with a time traveling machine that transported me as soon as I turned the page- I am a 29 year old woman who enjoys diving into another world.
Trauma may have been what facilitated my love of reading; but escaping reality is what maintained it.
Books help balance me. They ground me. They saved me as a child and they delight me as an adult.
What’s your escape?