I wonder how a few words strung together have the power to make one believe in something, anything. I wonder how a single line captivates us so much that we stop reading it mid-sentence, closing the book & taking a pause because what we just read made us feel things we didn’t know we were capable of feeling. These words and these stories have transformed, inspired and created a whole generation of people who feel a little less burdened, and a lot more carefree. I’ve always had an over-active imagination. Growing up, I found myself struggling to contain them, thinking something was wrong with me. I was filled with ideas, some were crazier than I would like to admit, but there were quite a few. It didn’t matter how or where, my head would always be like a movie, with characters playing their part, almost like reading from a script. The only problem was I didn’t know what to do with this huge cast that was living rent free in my head. Books were there. I had access to them. But I didn’t turn to them frequently. They didn’t catch my attention. My mother would dread summer vacations since I’d be dancing on her head, crying over how bored I was, and how summer vacations should not even be a thing. It was almost hilarious because my brothers would spend hours on video games or going outside to play. I would accompany them, play for hours but still come back wanting something more simulating, something that would hold me down.
And just like most great things, I picked a book out of nowhere. For the first time in my life, the stories in my head seemed real. I don’t think you understand the power a 12year old feels when she realizes that the things in her head weren’t crazy after all, and that impossible, magical and even extraordinary things happen in books and nobody thinks you’ve lost it.
I was invincible. I didn’t know what to do with this newly recognized power. I was going crazy just thinking about it. I started devouring books, anything I could get my hands on, and finished it in a day, ready for another book.
I often wonder what life would’ve been like if I wasn’t an active reader? To be honest, I shudder to even consider such a possibility. If life with its rocky roads, and curvy turns has thrown me off guard & made me lose balance then books with terrific healing power and warm embrace have helped me prepare for the uncertain.
Words, well, they’re not just words after all.