For the longest time -- from that moment in June 2003 when I was handed the rolled-up blank piece of paper that symbolized my college diploma, until roughly 5 days ago -- I couldn't stomach the thought of reading another book. Which is not to say I didn't read anything during that time. Somehow, reading always sneaks itself into life. Mostly I read short stories -- stuff from One Story, which my pal Jarrett got me a subscription to for Xmas, stuff in the Atlantic Monthly, the New Yorker, whatever. I have a sense that I did read a few actual books during that time, but I can't remember what they were. I also read a lot of blogs and news, though those things don't seem to qualify as "reading" in the sense that I mean it. Anyway, I basically went more than two years without even wanting to walk into Border's to browse the new releases -- something I used to do weekly, if not daily.
At last, however, the spell seems to have broken. I now have a beautiful pile of books sitting beside my bed, and I can't wait to get through each one of them.
The stack at present:
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Fast Food Nation
Children Playing Before a Stature of Hercules
Don't Get Too Comfortable
Eragon is the book I'm looking forward to the most. Pure candy. And hopefully it will serve as inspiration for my newest writing project. I'll be reading it and Zen at the same time (while finishing off Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa-Puffs, which I'm about done with), and I'll be writing my memoir and my new "fantasy novel" simultaneously as well. My brain seems to enjoy being spread around lately.
My brain is hungry.
My body is hungry.
My creative urges are hungry.
I almost feel like I'm back to a form of myself that I haven't been in years. It's nice. There's a sense of contentment waiting just out of reach. And that's not a bad thing. I didn't used to be able to feel it at all. But if I can get my writing projects done by my self-imposed deadlines, get my grad-school apps in order, keep losing weight (down about 8 pounds since joining weight watchers, and more than 10 since I started tracking it on the blog), and keep my freelance marketing gig going, I suspect I might actually start enjoying life again. Weird how such a simple thing like happiness can be so elusive, but it's been avoiding me for years without me even realizing it until recently. Anyway, positive strides are being made.
I wish I were funny again, though. I vaguely recall being quite witty, especially in writing. Now, it's a farce if I manage it at all. And my writing is suffering, I think, as a result of it. Hopefully that quality will return as my brain, body, and creative passions become more and more fulfilled.