In Love With Reading

Yesterday, I witnessed a good friend of mine take his first set of vows to become a Jesuit priest. He still has a long way and several more years to go but whenever I remember my friend and his chosen vocation, I’m driven to think Deep and Profound thoughts. I asked before why he was choosing to become a priest because I don’t think he even considered the idea until our last year in college. And you know what he said? It was because he felt God calling him. So off he went, moving away from his comfort zone and chucking all his other plans, and I’ve always envied his certainty that he’s doing the right thing. He’s set for life; his decision to become a priest will guide everything else that he does. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, it’s just that he already found the path that he was meant to take and from what I’ve seen, he’s loving the whole experience.

In comparison, I feel like I’m headed nowhere, like I’m in a boat in the middle of a large body of water and I have no idea where I should steer so I just go along with the flow. I have a feeling that I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’ve talked to my other friends and I’ve told them how jealous I am of people who know where they’re going. So what do you do when you feel lost? Anchor yourself with what you know and rely on what you love to keep you steady. I think that for me, those will always be my family, my friends and my books. Yes, you read that right, as cheesy as it may sound, I love my books and I love reading and I don’t think that will ever change. I may read less than I want to from time to time when life gets busy but I’ll always come back to it. I know for a fact that I would be a very lonely person if I didn’t read books. What would I do with all the hours that I put into reading and blogging?

I think it’s pretty obvious at this point that I’m passionate about reading, this blog is a testament to that. I’m not exactly sure how reading defines me as a person but I know that I wouldn’t be who I am today if not for the books that I read. I look for so many things between the pages that I read: for situations and emotions that I could relate to, for characters to love and sympathize with, for instances when I feel like a scene in a book aptly describes whatever I’m feeling in a way that I could never do, for made-up places that I want to explore, for happy endings even if they’re just in fiction. I could go on and on with this but I think you get the point. And when you think about it, books call out to us too. It may not be as momentous as being called to do a certain profession but it does happen whenever you feel urged to read a certain book. Books beckon readers to turn the pages, promising so much in words printed on ink (or showing up on the screen of an e-reader). Maybe I’m just comforting myself because at the end of the day, I’m still clueless, still trying to figure out what to do with my life. But one thing I can be sure of is that books are a significant part of who I am. Who knows, maybe someone out there is envious of my passion for books the same way that I envy my friend’s conviction in his vocation.

Photo from Tumblr

I think it would be fitting to end with a quote from another Jesuit priest, Fr. Pedro Arrupe:

โ€œNothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love and it will decide everything.โ€

10 thoughts on “In Love With Reading

  1. I like that quote. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I can relate to this, too — I think it may be Quarter Life! Anyway, this is very true, especially for us corporate people who do the same jobs day in day out. I find huge comfort in the books I read and the people I share it with, so even if real life is boring sometimes, books make it more exciting.

    There was one advice I got from a manager at work that I’m still trying to apply to my life: “Figure out a career plan and a life plan. Your career plan should support your life plan, not the other way around. It’s a means to reach what you want to do in life.” I still don’t know what I want to do in my life five, ten years from now, but I have a feeling it will be something about words and books. In a smaller scale, it’s like us keeping our jobs now and being good at it because it helps us fund our passions. ๐Ÿ™‚ Who knows where tomorrow will bring us, right?

  2. I’m pretty sure many people feel like that. The only time I didn’t feel like that was when I was a kid because I just knew that I had to go to college and then find a job, and my kid dream was just being independent. Now that I have that it’s kind of like: oh, hmm, what is after this? I think people just like having a purpose. I don’t know if reading gives me a Life Purpose, but it does make life more bearable and blogging about books also gives me a sense of productivity along with the friendships and general book love that comes along with it.

  3. Books definitely enrich my life and I can relate to your feelings about books calling to you. Love the photo and the quote too.
    There are lot of positive and fulfilling aspects about reading that keep me coming back for more.

  4. I can so relate. I feel directionless for the moment. But I do have plans of travels, adventures and jobs abroad; the only problem is I’m not ready to jump off my steady boat (a.k.a. stable job) and fall head first into the vast ocean that is the world.

    Seeing as more and more of my friends are settling into their futures, I feel pressured to do the same despite not knowing EXACTLY what I want. But whatever I end up doing and wherever that may be I know that I will always be a book-lover through and through.

  5. Hear, hear! I can so relate. The funny thing is that one of the things that define Fil-Chis like myself is what business/es your family operates. And the children usually expect to inherit these businesses from their parents, so from a very young age, a lot of Fil-Chis already know what they’re going to be doing in life. I’m not like that though. I have no family business to inherit, so now I’m blundering along trying to figure out what I’m going to do with myself, and feeling slightly envious of my friends/batchmates who are all set up with cozy little “sidelines” while waiting for their parents to retire and hand over the reins to them.

    You know I’m reading the Fever series right now, right? All thanks to that “call” that you mentioned. In this case, due to the shiiiiiiiiny acetate dustjacket on Shadowfever. In Darkfever, Mac mentions something about her parents coming from the hard work generation and her from the entitlement generation. I realized that there have been times when I’ve fallen into the trap of whining, moaning and groaning like an entitlement generation kid. Books can be eye-openers in this sense.

    But yeah, reading has definitely made life a lot more bearable for me. Whenever I can’t take the pressure from work or family expectations anymore, I grab a feel-good book to escape. I think that’s one reason why I read those vintage Harlequins/Mills & Boons from the 1950s-1970s(and mostly avoid the current ones, which seem to be all about sex, sex, and more sex), and why I love YA fantasy so much.

    Friends have come and gone over the course of my life, but my books have always been there for me when I needed them. That quote about books being the quiestest and most constant of friends is spot on. While it’s true that a book (being an inanimate object, as someone pointed out to me recently) can never love you back, it can still provide one with a soothing balm of escape that lifts ones spirits and literally chases all one’s worries away. In that sense, a book is a friend that will never betray you.

    Whew. Long comment. But it’s a topic that I feel very strongly about. Anyway, I’m closing with this quote:

    “A good book on your shelf is a friend that turns its back on you and remains a friend.” ~Author Unknown

  6. I really love this post! Right now with my life I’m kind of just floating along. Putting off grad school, working, haven’t really found my higher purpose yet. But similar to you I just have such a passion for reading, and I hope I can turn it into my purpose someday.

    However, I think it’s okay to not know what your purpose is. I think it’s okay to question. I don’t think there’s a cutoff point for that, you know?

  7. I love this post, Chachic. I think in a sense we’ll always feel like we’re trying to find our dream job or deciding what we want to be when we grow up when we’re in adulthood. At point you realize “this is it” and that you have to be happy with the way your life is and be grateful for whatever keeps you going, whether it be your job, or your religion, or your books. ๐Ÿ™‚

    These were very Deep and Profound thoughts. Thanks for sharing! I’m grateful for my friends, family, kids, husband and for my religion, though at times I still feel like I’m going nowhere as well.

    I ADORE the quote you posted. I think I will have to steal it. ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. Pingback: On Doing What You Love | Chachic's Book Nook

  9. Pingback: Books are my constant | Chachic's Book Nook

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