I always write “reading” in every time I need to fill a “hobby” column in a curriculum vitae or a form. However, its intensity has been going up and down from time to time, so I’m not an all-time keen reader; but I mostly am. The books I’m reading have somehow shifted than before, though. I used to read more fictions, but lately, ever since I had a smartphone, I tend to read e-textbooks, especially the ones with case examples. It feels more or less like reading a novel, but added with some theoretical explanation. It can still be surprising and inspiring, but no sick plot twist or such that would probably leave me feeling shocked or “paralyzed”, and I kind of like it better that way. I don’t know, maybe I’m getting old so I no longer like surprises and prefer to just stay safe :p
|those books I read these last few weeks|
Anyway. While I think people think that I genuinely like reading –which is true to some extent- my reading habit these last two years has been mostly formed by a ‘defensive’ and trying-to-survive stance instead of the exploratory one. Of course the two are hardly clear-cut stances; sometimes they take the appearance of each other, sometimes they’re happening at once in different proportion from time to time; but.. yeah. I think it’s been mostly a defensive state.
I defend myself from the discomfort of not knowing by reading. Of course I could’ve done the easier way by telling the truth that I don’t know, but these days I feel that people just don’t believe me when I said I don’t know. Reading helps me to know more; that way, I can say “I don’t know” less, hence the reduced discomfort.
I defend myself from the pain of heartbreaks and disappointments by trying to find the explanations of the ‘etiology’ or ways to do the so-called healthy ways of problem-solving from those books that I read. It can be counter-intuitive; sometimes I just feel like going angry and blurting things out while crying, but it doesn’t happen because there are ways; better ways to deal with those ‘misfortunes’. Although I occasionally wonder if it’s somehow deprived me of human contact, but.. there are just times when a proper human contact to deal with these things are just not possible. At some rare occasions, immediate human contact that should’ve been ‘therapeutic’ could even cause even more heartbreaks and disappointments, and in that case.. (binge) reading is the most feasible option, I suppose. It’s not the healthiest option, of course, since sometimes it delays me from doing things I should’ve done, but .. it helps me working things through. It helps me to at least have some explanation of those non-therapeutic human contacts.
I also find reading as a kind-of-okay replacement of the music-related-activities I could no longer do due to the current time, financial, and skill constraint I’m currently having. It also helps me to feel okay about not going out or traveling; something I used to regularly put on my to-do-list every time I see a vacancy on my schedule. As I’m currently saving for some things, refraining myself from going out (to a frequency that’s nearly zero) has apparently a pretty good way for doing so. Reading makes me feel like I’m still able to do a hobby I consider important without having to be depleted of financial resources and that energy that’s usually needed for traveling. As having a hobby means I have something to wake up to every day despite the knowledge that there’s a cruel world out there ready to crush me anytime *dramak*, so yes, it can be a pretty good survival kit :D
Reading also help me to appear more serious when I’m somewhere out in the public place, so people care less about doing some chit-chatting because lately.. I find it as too much of a stimulation. Haha. Simply going out and observing things around have been quite a lot of stimulation as I’ve somehow ‘sensitized’ to more details of things that I’m observing. Added with chit-chatting, there could be times when the stimulation just feels overwhelming and I’d rather just stay home XD
Yeah. I do wish I could sing some more. Travel some more. Go out and have way much more fun. Maybe meet more people, try more things. It’s just with my current situation ----the demands I’m facing, my current level of resources, my unfinished ‘self-psychoanalysis’ and ‘mourning’ for some things.. I guess I’d still opt to reading for one of my important means of surviving. Well. In addition to looking for some consolation from my immediate and closest friends, of course. They’re still the best that happen to me. Always have, and maybe always will :D