I had the privilege of meeting with one of the authors whom I had read at 19. I had emailed sort of my review of his book to him before he insisted on seeing me in person.
“How old are you?” he screamed the moment he saw me.
“Are you sure you are the one I have been emailing?”
I was too embarrassed to answer any of his questions, while other people around looked at us.
“you sound like you are 15 years older” – he said, thirty minutes into our discussion.
“Books taught me,” I said.
Books taught me that standing up for something prevents me from falling for any and everything. I have been told how I would often insist on doing certain things while I was a little girl. E.g; I wouldn’t let my bare feet touch the floor, I never pulled my slippers off anywhere.
You know how people would leave their footwear at the door of the people they visit and how you were told to pull your slippers off when the floor is being mopped.
I couldn’t adhere to such instructions, I wore my footwear everywhere I went. So maybe I have always stood for something even before I developed the culture of reading, but books helped to boost this trait.
Books taught me that fear is a connector. I have had a lot of fears in my life, I still do. I have learned that regardless of a person’s wealth, physical abilities or age, we are all connected by the fact that we each have fears.
Books have taught me that whatever I am feeling is valid. Somedays I am so deeply sad, and not able to point my finger on what it is I am sad about. Sometimes, I am overly joyous for the minutest of reasons. Over the years, I have learned to allow myself to feel all that I am feeling. Because it is OKAY.
Books have taught me that villains wear no uniforms. They come in the finest clothing, sugar-coated tongues, and appear to have their acts altogether, right before they move in for the kill.
Books taught me to appreciate other cultures. I recently learned that I like to travel around the world and interact with diversity. I will travel around the world.
Books taught me how sex can infect the mind, not just the body.
Books taught me to hope in the face of difficulty.
Books taught me to ask the deep questions. I can question any and everything.
I recently made a commitment to read a book every week, it has been a great journey.
I am still unraveling.