This I Believe

Erin - Virginia Beach, Virginia
Entered on December 4, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

A Whole New World

I’ve been to England for a wedding, Ireland during a revolution, and Scotland to wander the highlands. I’ve seen the beaches and vineyards of California, climbed Mount Everest, and sailed the Pacific Ocean. I lived in Verona once and in London every month. I’ve been courted by Mr. Darcy, and swept off my feet by English lords. I’ve attended battle school with Ender and studied philosophy with Aristotle. This weekend I’m going to be a duchess. It’s a passion of mine; I love to read. I believe that reading is an opportunity to escape from everyday life.

Growing up, my house was always hectic, with both parents working full time, three younger siblings, and what seemed like a menagerie of animals. My mother handled her frustrations by yelling at everyone in her sight, so early on in my childhood I learned to stay in my room. There I discovered that reading allowed me to become consumed in a whole new world. The problems in my life seemed to drift away as I turned the pages. The chapters began to fly past and the next thing I knew, it was supper time.

By the time I was a teenager I was a voracious reader. Like the typical adolescent, I felt teen angst. The whole world was against me, nothing I did was ever right, no one understood. So I escaped into the wonderful world of books. In that world, I became a strong, independent, intelligent woman who knew what she wanted. There was no acne or yelling parents, only rolling hills, beautiful horses to ride, and an idyllic existence. I absorbed myself in this world often, missing it when I was away for too long.

As an adult, I have discovered that reading is still an integral part of my life. My mother always gave me a hard time for reading, making comments like “I wish I had time to read.” I remember thinking to myself, “Why don’t you have time? Just sit down for a few minutes and read.” When I became a mother myself, I realized that finding time for me was not so easy. As a new mom I found it shocking that I could barely read one book a month. When the demands of daily life began to pile up, I found I missed my old friends. For me, nothing in the world is more relaxing and soothing than reading. Where else can you go to another time and place and become a new person? Reading truly is the best stress reliever. Even if I only have a few minutes to grab for myself before my son starts clinging to my legs, I enjoy reading a few pages. I find myself excited about the next time I can pick my book up and return to the journey. As life goes on, I may have less time to read, but I can always find time for Mr. Darcy.