reading as an escape.

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{for le blog aesthetic // not mine}

“Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real.” – Nora Ephron

When I was fifteen, I moved two states away from everything I’d ever known to complete uncertainty.  We didn’t know anyone in this new state except relatives, half of whom moved away soon after we arrived.  I didn’t have any real friends for the first two years of living in this new state.  It was one of the darkest times of my life, and I barely made it out with all my sanity.

Too often, the struggles we go through are downplayed by others.  “Someone, somewhere, has it worse,” they tell us.  “You should be grateful you’re not them.”

As if pain and suffering is a contest.

But just because someone is going through something worse doesn’t negate the fact that you’re going through a hard time, too.  Like Cherry Valence tells Ponyboy in The Outsiders, “Things are rough all over.”

I believe that everyone should be able to have a way out of their individual struggles.  It doesn’t have to make sense for anyone else.  It could be theatre, painting, stamp-collecting – anything that gets their mind off of what they’re going through.

For me, that way out was reading.  Those years after my family moved were the most solitary times I’ve ever experienced, but they were also some of the most full, because I got to know so many fictional people.  I found a renewed love for reading, and even started writing again because of it.  My own relatives called me a bookworm and said I spent too much time with my nose stuck in a book, but I didn’t care.

Reading was my escape, just like it is for so many other people, and that’s something that should be encouraged.

{PS: I wrote this a few weeks ago and just remembered to post it.  My life is crazy hectic right now, hence the lack of posts, but I’ll try to come back soon with stuff worth reading!  Thanks for always reading my posts – it means a lot to me.  Until I’m back, you can follow my craziness on Instagram, Facebook, and sometimes Twitter.)

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9 thoughts on “reading as an escape.

  1. Ashley, thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. Because you’re willing to be transparent with us, those of us who went through similar trials are able to connect with you–and what a wonderful thing that is! As I think we already talked about, I moved when I was 16 (*going on 17*) to NC from TX a few years ago and it was one of the hardest transitions of my life. But so many wonderful things came from it! And for sure, both the books I wrote and read (and NETFLIX) were my escape and I think that is one of the many blessings that came from this trial. You have a talent of putting together such a poignant post in as few words as necessary! You are my inspiration! 😀 ❤

  2. “Words are life, Liesel.”

    I relate to this on so many levels–even now, even today, as an adult. Reading will always be my escape. And I will always love it ❤

  3. Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape? …If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we’re partisans of liberty, than it’s our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can! -J.R.R Tolkien

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