I visited my parents this weekend. They are planning on having a large garage sale in late summer/early fall. I’ve done a good job of getting rid of most of the stuff I had around their house. Mostly everything that is left there can be given away. And I’ve told them that before, but the only things I couldn’t let myself give away were my books.
I have A TON of books. I wish I was exaggerating, but their weight probably actually amounts to a full ton.
That’s only some of them.
Some of you may know this about me, but I wasn’t a very cool kid…at least by other kids’ standards. School pretty much sucked for me. I wouldn’t say I was terribly bullied, but there were definitely bullying moments. I had a couple of really close friends and some other good friends, but they weren’t particularly cool either. So school wasn’t terrible, but it could have been better.
Ok. I’m being nice. It totally f*cking sucked. I should be grateful because it could have been worse, but it still completely sucked. I wouldn’t go back for anything. I know it’s partly my fault that I hated my life then, but I was a teenager. What did I know? If only I had met my therapist five years earlier. Then I probably would’ve rocked school.
But it’s pointless to dwell on “if” statements. I’m not upset about how my life turned out because it’s freaking awesome!
Books…they kept me going through all of that middle school and high school crap. I read. That’s what I did. I’ve always been a reader. I was identified as the girl who read. I identified myself as that. My grandma would read to me at night when I was little and I’d beg her to teach me how. I was so frustrated that I couldn’t read yet. But I learned. Then I devoured books. I still devour books. “To read” is too light. I devour. I’d get in trouble in elementary and middle school for reading during class and during recess. I’m still bitter about the recess thing. My dad would make me stop reading as punishment. Books were my life.
I wouldn’t say the books I was reading were great books. I read A LOT of trashy romance novels. They’re cheap. The library only has so many books that are interesting…at some point you have to start buying your own. Romance novels did the trick most of the time. Plus, you could usually find boxes of them for only a few dollars per box on garage sales.
Looking back, my book addiction probably wasn’t healthy. I definitely avoided socializing. I escaped reality and problems instead of facing them. They were a coping tool…and eventually they weren’t a big enough coping tool. Then I started starving myself and that’s where all of that therapy came in. I got away from books for awhile until I graduated college, but I still probably read more than most people. I read quite a bit now, too. Kindle’s are amazing inventions.
So why did I decide to tell you all of this?
Well, I gave my parent’s permission this weekend to get rid of my books. I went through a good portion of them and kept only a few. For example, I couldn’t let go of my copy of ‘Gone with the Wind.’ I wasn’t able to make it through all of them…mostly because I couldn’t find the rest of the boxes, but I’ll get to them before my parents have the garage sale.
As I was going through them choosing which ones to keep and which ones to give away, my heart was breaking. I was giving away pretty much my entire life during middle school and high school. It was also kind of cathartic though. I’ve put that life behind me. I’m no longer that girl with zero confidence and extreme shyness who beat herself up if things weren’t perfect and just wanted to fit in. Those books were the last thing from middle and high school that I was still holding on to. It was like giving up a teddy bear or a blanky.
I could go on and on about how much they meant to me and how much I still love to read and how happy it makes me, but you probably get the point.
I read…past and present tense.