I love to read and I am a very self-aware self-help reader. Not self-help books per se, but I read because it provides a certain therapy for me. I suppose I feel like I will find life’s answers hidden in an obscure book that I stumble upon. I’m a sucker for a good story, and if it happens to be a true one- even better. There is a quote from a memoir called Still by Lauren Winner that floored me when I first read it because it encompassed exactly how I feel,
“When something needs to be fixed, when I need something to change, my first and abiding instinct is to read. I think I can read my way to a solution Or at least an evasion.”
While I don’t believe this is inherently bad (it offers depth, perspective, leads to growth,etc.), reflecting on it has led me to the realization that I do a pretty horrible job of trusting myself. In light of some big life decisions I have ahead of me, I find that I keep inhaling books with other people’s thoughts, stories, insights, and opinions in order to form my own. I’m the girl who has documents on her computer saved with quotes and excerpts from books. I’m the girl who you’ll find sitting on the couch armed with highlighter and inkpen, ready to make her mark. I know that I must have my own gut and intuition but I become paralyzed at the thought of giving myself permission to accept that it is right or true. I am a chronic over analyzer. I must excessively research. I must calculate the best solution. I must learn from everyone else’s mistakes so I don’t make my own. I’m terrified of doing the wrong thing. This means I don’t take risks. I get comfortable living in a state of ambivalence. You get the picture.
I’m not sure that there is really a point to this. It’s more of a confession or a 20-something realization that will hopefully catapult me into becoming more self-assured, gutsy, and confident, with more fiction on my reading list.