I used to be someone who loved words. I read constantly, and I was always finding things – phrases, metaphors, entire chapters – to love. It seemed like ever novel or poem had some little surprise in it; even the terrible ones had something to offer, even if it was just a new word or an exclamation I’d never heard.
People move forward all they time, they change. Can people ever progress by moving back?
I don’t read much anymore. I try to make myself. I can read sometimes, if I plan out my day to give myself pockets with nothing else to do – an hour in a waiting room before an appointment, a bus ride. Sometimes I read at home, always with the TV or a movie on. I can’t focus on anything anymore; I need two or three things happening at once to feel occupied.
These are my theories: alcohol abuse destroyed my attention span. Or I became too disconnected over time – so swallowed by shame and fear of emotions that I couldn’t even risk the connection of reading someone else’s words. Or I simply read too much in too short a time frame, killing all the surprises.
I miss the little bookworm kid I was. I miss stumbling across passages so shockingly beautiful that I had to read them over and over. I miss reciting my favorites to myself before falling asleep, or when stuck in traffic. I miss the connection, the comfort, the emotion.
People shed identities every day, but can you ever take one back?
Are our old selves dead and gone, or are they still hiding in us?