Reading to escape?

I read as soon as I wake up. I read for longer hours when I know I have a long day ahead, even if it means cramming some of my work late in the evening. I read to ward off the feeling of anxiety and restlessness that’s been dawning on me — and most of us — since this whole quarantine thing.

I’m not where I thought I would be at this stage in my life. I’m sure no one is, either. At this stage, we thought we would be studying, working towards our goals, traveling, catching up with loved ones. We made up these metaphorical milestones, but they become bleaker as the days of the week mesh into each other, as we spend days, weeks, months in our homes. There will be times when the weight of it all crushes us. These are the moments when it’s impossible to live in reality; or as they say before the pandemic, to “live in the moment.” Some moments are not the reality I want for ourselves.

How can we be in the moment we DON’T LIKE the moment? 

In times like this, we see the best and worst in people, and when the worst overcomes the good, retreating to the world inside our books can be the difference between nihilism and believing in humanity again. Whenever I read, no matter where I am, all is right with the world. It’s my safe space, as I’m sure it is yours.

By reading, we are reminded with what the humans can do, and what we can achieve if we put our minds together. Because if a person from this reality can conjure a better — even more magical — world apart from our own, how bad can this reality be?

Reading isn’t only our greatest escape; it’s also our greatest weapon to face our reality. It keeps us grounded, knowledgeable, emphatic, and more-equipped to face the challenges of the day. And after battling with frustrations, depression, and the feeling of inadequacy at the end of the day, we can always go home to reading to remind us that all is well, and there’s still something to hope for.

Remember then: there is only one time that is important– Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power.

Leo Tolstoy

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