I read for entertainment.
I read to learn.
I read to immerse myself in the beauty of words.
I read to pass time.
I read to gain insight.
I read to feel the heartbeat of other's passions.
I read to see the extraordinary.
When I was 11, I spent most of a summer with family in Arizona. My grandma, ever concerned that vacations should be scheduled and planned and full, went to a library sale and picked up some books for me to read.
In those books was a story about a girl with a butterfly tattoo on her hand. I don't remember all of the intricacies of that story, but I remember that the girl had a mysterious past, a wall around her heart, and a butterfly tattoo on her hand as the only outward sign of feelings.
I felt her story strongly, as if it were my own. Even though my life contained no real mystery (only secrets held tightly) and my wall was not so visible, and there certainly was no butterfly tattoo on my hand.
I pull stories into my soul. Even after the book or blog post or newspaper article has long since been read, the stories sit there, waiting to come out of the dark cobwebby places and into the light of my mind to be mulled over and remembered. That girl with the butterfly tattoo lives in my mind.
I do not dream. I don't play the "what if I won the lottery game", or imagine myself with a super power. I am too much of a realist (a pessimist), or a believer in my own state of persistent ordinary. Deep, deep within my soul, I yearn for the extraordinary...for butterfly tattoos and mysteriousness, for passions realized, for triumph and overcoming, for travel, for a story. But I don't expect. I don't allow myself to dwell on those thoughts. I don't wish. I never dream. I stopped asking.
Is it wrong that at 28 I have a list of things I'm too old to do? I am sure it might be.
I can not seem to make myself understand how someone picks up and changes their life. I tried it once, and it didn't work.
I have too much time with quiet, with my thoughts, and no time to - become a ballet dancer, or build a passion for roller derby, or get a butterfly tattoo, or do a back flip, or become a Trekkie, or build something, or learn how to work on a carburetor, or train dogs, or be mysterious, or model in an art class, or leave the country, or ski, or learn Russian, or grow my own food, or...
I sit in the nothingness of ordinary.
I know as bloggers, we all say we write for ourselves, or to make friends and build connections, but I'm not doing any of those things today. I'm hitting publish on this post because I want to send my words out there into the void, and maybe let a little bit of myself go along with them. Proof that, even for the second it takes to hit that button, I was alive.