There is a fun little website called Proust that helps you build your own autobiography by asking interesting questions and letting you answer, add pictures and share with friends. I thought it would be a fun thing to take some of those questions and answer them with you here from time to time.
What is Your Security Blanket?
I am probably the only person I know who isn’t really bragging when I say that I have an addiction to reading. (Ok maybe I am bragging just a little.) Seriously, it is has been a real problem for me, including me being the worst book store employee ever. I’ve always loved reading and used to get in trouble in school for reading when I was supposed to be doing something else, usually math. As I got closer to middle school though I started using books as a crutch for avoiding interacting with people. By the time I was in 8th grade I was reading about a chapter book a day. I walked to my classes, picked up my book and read. When class started I put it down to do whatever work I had to do and then picked it up again as soon as I could. I read on the bus, I read in the car, I read at home. It was the perfect drug for me, simultaneously allowing me to escape my reality, avoid awkward social interactions, and receive the praise and admiration of adults. This continued throughout most of high school, although it lessened a little each year. As I matured I was forced to admit that no matter how much I loved reading, it was not always a healthy habit and I did start to make a real effort to learn to make small talk at parties instead of hiding in a corner. I forced myself to sit and eat my lunch while observing the world around me instead of spending it in an imaginary world. Gradually it has gotten to the point where I am much less compulsive about reading and its been ages since I’ve tried to read while at a stop light. (Don’t judge, I was at a really good point in the story.) Today I have gotten much better about being able to be in the world and I don’t dread social interaction anymore. But I still feel like I have a real problem just sitting. My brain craves constant stimulation, something I’ve come to realize is more a symptom of a mild case of ADD than a trait to be proud of. Even at this point, the idea of eating a meal alone without anything to read is torture to me. I still rarely leave the house without a book, although now it is often a book on my phone and I am much less quick to pick it up.
In case you are wondering, the picture is of one of the many books I remember reading during middle school, The Juniper Game. I loved the book and it is one of the reasons I always had Juniper picked out as a girl name for potential offspring.