Looking back, it seems like I always had my nose glued to a book. I consider myself to be a bookworm, but now find myself reading less and less things for pure enjoyment.

I can’t remember the last time I cracked open a new novel and read it from cover to cover, relishing the feelings I would feel as my eyes pored over the words.

I love books. That is something I have always known about myself. I love the physical types much more than the electronic ones. The way that the paper feels underneath my fingertips, the possibility of getting a papercut from turning the pages too quickly, the weight I feel while carrying the book wherever I go…these feelings are all irreplaceable to me.

And then there is the world that opens up to you. Here is someone’s life work (or side work). Here is someone that had many ideas & formulated something that is now forever imprinted; something that would last. I’m not only talking about the actual physical book because eventually paper does degrade. No, I am talking about the transferance of ideas from the writer’s mind and heart to the reader’s. Whatever experiences the characters go through (in fiction books, anyway) could resonate with the reader in a way that nothing else could.

For example, the novel I’m currently reading and slowly absorbing has transported me back to the past, only 155 pages in. The title and cover does give the indication that it is indeed a love story, but whether it is a happy and/or sad one is unknown. The story reminds me of a much earlier time, of my own experience with puppy love and how thrilling, simple and easy it all seemed.

(I won’t give anything about the story away here. I am only writing about the lessons I’ve been learning from this book alone. These are my ramblings, if you will.)

Back when I was young — 15 years young,  that is, love and relationships seemed to be easy to figure out and finagle. There was so little at stake and not really much to think  about. It was a protective little bubble.

I think that when you’re young, life is so open; the world is huge and the possibilities are as endless — “the sky is the limit.” But as you grow older and reality closes in on you, you start to realize that your world starts shrinking. Opportunities start becoming limited. Friends are few and far between. Time seems to speed up and before you know it, the future you imagined for yourself when you were young is just that – your imagination at work. You start to realize that everything is work, life itself is work, hard work. Grueling, rough, and sometimes hardening.

The love that I experienced when young was nothing compared to what I see around me now. I was wrong in my approaches, I see that now. All the experiences I had were only that — experiences. I expected too much out of them; I laid all my expectations on the people I met when it would’ve been better for me to turn my focus inwards, towards my own faults and shortcomings and work on figuring out what those were and how to improve them.

Well, it’s all happening now, at a time when I feel the strongest; the most strong I have ever felt in my entire life. I don’t mean that I don’t have weak moments, because by God, do I. No, I only mean that it takes less time for me to crawl and then stand up after I get knocked down. It takes less tears, anguish and suffering during those times when it feels like everything is going wrong (you know what I’m talking about!). I can swallow my pride a lot more often now when the situation calls for me to admit that I was wrong. Now, I consider logical side more than emotional side when it comes to making decisions.

“Better late than never,” no?