Today, I want to do another exercise in the process of self-discovery. Till date, my introduction resonated quite a lot with the audience’s taste. I even have developed interests and qualities that define the successful and reputed. Though I know, I don’t literally enjoy many of them.
One such interest is reading. I come from an academically inclined family and all my life, I, have witnessed my sister enjoying books. My peers advised me to absorb her qualities. She read books that inspire, motivate, biographies, essays and whatnot. These books happen to play a part in shaping one’s life and are believed to be a part of every great man’s library. The books that teach how to live. To summarize, these books are the ones read by every successful man, at some point of time.
I was 13 when I first tried a book other than academic. It was the tiniest of all the books in the library. It was one of the many abridged versions of “Pride and Prejudice“. The beauty with which Jane Austin described the emotions and characters in this work is incredible. I was and still am, in love with this book. Though now I have read the complete unabridged version and it has developed my taste for similar kind of works.
My next encounter in leisure reading was during my late teens. Though I was too caught up with academics but every time I traveled, I traveled with a companion. At that time my travel mate was James Hadley Chase, he wrote fascinating thriller novels and a young me would often find myself totally lost in his books. His “Trusted Like the Fox”, blew my mind away.
Later, college kept me busy and I gradually forgot about the leisure reading. Post-college when life started hitting me with lemons, my sister advised me to look for lemonade recipes in the motivational and inspirational books, such as “The Secret“, “The Master key System“, “The Law of Attraction” etc. I was so surprised to see that the same set of books worked for her but not for me. I have seen her attaining absolutely everything she desires using these books, but for me, they didn’t work that strongly. But, I, never accepted this. I always believed that they are working and I love them. I kept buying bulky biographies, just to stack them and read them without any love.
I enjoy fiction, romance, thriller and drama, but know these are not the books for great minds. I forced myself to like the biographies and long essays but all in vain. Whenever I opt for a motivational book, I find myself floating on the surface of it. I mostly end up reading something more fascinating and inviting than the self-help books. Perhaps, the reason why motivational books don’t work for me is that I don’t belong there.
For me, the words of Leo Tolstoy in “Anna Karenina” or Louisa May Alcott in “Little Women” are more influencing than any motivational book. I am not disregarding the motivational books at all. I have seen them work wonders for my sister. However, these are not books for me. In the past years, I have tried to make myself believe that I am more of a motivational and biographies person, a great mind, but that is not who I am. I tried to stay away from the books I love so as to invest maximum time in reading books giving life lessons. People admired my collection of motivational books and I was lured to enhance it. Even when the cost of this was to read these book halfheartedly and leave behind the ones I loved.
The constant urge to impress people had made me unjust to myself. This is one of my many facades. I ignored the books I loved and forced myself to be known, by the books I don’t even like. Though I do enjoy reading now, it is not what traditional “success reading” is about. Also, in my view, it’s not only books that deliver, I enjoy audio-books equally. I have been criticized a lot for enjoying audio-books, but who cares now. The thing that means most to me is the story and its description.
I have carried the burden of being someone else for quite a long time. By this post, I want to make peace with my true-self. There are several things, I force myself into, just to shine in public eyes. My journey towards my true-self has helped me to acknowledge this fact. I, hope to do justice to myself in the future.