My 13-year-old self read all the time. I loved reading books that I could relate to or learn something from, books that could take me to another world or allow me to live in another person’s life for 15 minutes, or however long I felt like reading and lingering on those new mental visuals.
I even read some books I wasn’t allowed to read (ie. The Coldest Winter Ever and Boss Lady). These I guarded with my life… under my pillow, of course. I would have been in big trouble if my parents ever found out that I was reading about gangs, street life, drugs and hood love. However, they still taught me about real life stuff that was going on even my own neighborhood that I would, more than likely, never experience.
Another book I remember vividly is entitled The Skin I’m In by Sharon G. Flake. I think it was suggested by a teacher or parent, not sure. But as I read, I felt myself relating to the main character, Meleeka, and actually feeling like I knew her. I saw myself in her personality and struggles, being a black, shy girl with family problems who is not really socially popular. I always felt there was something about me that made me unlikable by the majority, but reading this book helped me to see that I’m not the only one, and that the only thing I lacked was self-confidence. It cracked open the window of curiosity and exploration of who I was. That’s what reading can do to you.
High School and College
As I entered high school and took on more difficult courses, my time for personal reading was greatly diminished. College, forget about it. However, I was introduced to a new level of reading and critical thinking. Although the books weren’t on my own reading list, I was still able to gain great insight and even rewire my brain to think differently on certain topics, all due to challenging my content.
Now I am an adult and still deal with some of the same personal issues as I did when I was in middle school. The life events I chose didn’t really give me time to care about actively improving the effects of me being an introvert, self-conscious, a people pleaser, an overdraft fee payer, indecisive, procrastinator.
I mean, yes I did mature and adapt to new environments which by default forced to me to improve on my flaws in some ways. Even so, those flaws still remained because I wasn’t conscious of them and didn’t purposefully give the renovation of them meaningful attention and energy.
The difference between now and just a few years ago, is time. Before, I was operating on auto-pilot, stretched every which way to fulfill the needs of others, getting little personal benefit in return. In contrast, now I have the time to watch myself make the same mistakes and get the same results over and over again. Now I have time to learn why I behave this way and read about others who did too but have learned to stop and commit to more determined and results-driven lives. I want that type of life.
Reading is a major part of my transformation.
And right after reading is application. That’s the definition of wisdom: applied knowledge.
I have a book list and would love for you to check it out and offer suggestions. These books include some that I have read and others that I really want to read. The topics reflect my personal goals and vary from self-help to personal finance to health and fitness. After I read each book I’ll write a blog post giving a review of what I’ve learned and how I will apply it.
I feel like I’m beginning my Marathon of Growth. Endurance is key. Join me, will ya? Click below to visit
Miss Jackson 🙂