When I was in college in a big city, I used to like to get away. I liked to find a place to be anonymous. I was terribly homesick and longed for authentic community. I worked full time and was in school full time and was constantly around people. I longed for the solace of the mountains, for long hikes with my dad out away from humanity. I hated my apartment, the campus, even the commute (which I later learned to cherish). Where could I get away?
Since about age 9-10 I’ve found books to be my getaway. I have lived a thousand lives through the characters I read about. I would get lost in my fantasies. The realities of the story became my realities. Not having time to read like I used to, I found a 45 minute window one semester where I was in between clients in the same general neighborhood. There was a local library and wanting to get out of my car, I stopped and went inside. I would find a beloved book from those fantasy years and go curl up in a comfy library chair in some corner. I would read as long as I could then put the book back on the shelf and get back into my car to travel to the next student I was to work with.
For those blissful 45 minutes once a week I was completely lost. I adored that time. I loved the ability to get lost in another reality, far from my own. I loved the anonymity of the library. No one there knew me and no one cared to interrupt or try to talk to me as long as my head was down in my book. In fact, no one even knew I was there. I felt like I could go and disappear completely and for that season and those precious minutes I needed to pause my existence. It kept me alive!