What did I do to deserve this? A Saturday afternoon not running around, scrambling to complete assignments or get projects together. I have showered, I have eaten, I have rested, the kids are down for their naps, and then, like a ray of sunshine creeping through a crack in a window (of opportunity), I suddenly find that I have time to read.
I got this from Kevin for my birthday and started on a chapter almost immediately. And then, at lightning speed, we got to August and I have neglected to upkeep my book-reading habits.
I read Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things eleven years ago. I was living in New York, 23, and had never felt so hungry for the world and the knowledge I thought I could amass from living so far away from my home; starving for the experience that everything and everyone else around me seemed to have. It took me a long time to realize that I had mistaken that hunger for a worldly discovery for something else. I was hungry. But it wasn't the need to "see the world", it was the need to see myself. And in that time of complete wide-eyed naivety, it was through the pages of Roy's book that I saw who I was. And in turn, who I wanted to be.
At 23, I was living by false truths that I had told myself about the world and the people that I loved then. When you're blind, it doesn't matter if others can see. You trust in the words that you hear and you live by your instincts and what you feel. So even though you live in a world made up of a myriad of intentions, catalysts and uncovered emotions, you only trust what you think you know. For me, it turns out it wasn't much.
It was there in that book that I was reminded that everyone is human. Seems like a silly reminder but the truth is we forget all the time - always expecting and demanding a new standard from our parents, partners, children, friends. She reminded me that everything can change in a day; that a single choice could change the course of your future forever. That life will always be a battle of the heart and mind, and that a different winner would be deserving of that win every single time.
Eleven years on, and twenty years after The God of Small Things was written, I find myself at a new byroad. I can't pinpoint exactly what my options moving ahead are but I do feel like I need some guidance. I'm curious to find out if her writing is still as invigorating and filled with teaching as it was so many years ago and I guess there's only one way to find out.
Off to read.