“Toxic Reader”

I am a reader. Perpetually confused about whether to read more or write. Luckily, both work in favor of my mental health. I can read over 30 books a year which I understand is not a big number, but it is good for me.  I usually start a book and then quickly start to calculate the pages left. You know like basic subtraction. 342 pages in total and I already finished 85 so now just have 257 to go. I make it a game, to finish a certain number of pages each day and achieve some random-unimportant-totally ignorable target of completing the book in X number of days. And then on top of it, I celebrate by buying more books entirely overlooking the big stack of unread ones on my bookshelf and the desk. I call it my toxic trait.

Over the years I have realized I am always looking for ‘what next?’

And then something happened. The last book I read was an amazing one. Thriller with ghosts and twists with a vivid atmospheric description of Iceland. I mean it was a whole package. And so, I decided to break my pattern of calculating and feeding my restless behavior of fastening the process to get to the end.

Because here I identified a significant sign. I have been doing this fast-forward thing all my life for almost everything. And quite honestly, it has cost a lot. Mental health issues, relationships, and professional growth to name a few. I sit with moments for maybe a minute and then start planning for the next one. As if I will miss something/someone if I don’t move faster. And so, I have a distrust for anything/anyone that does not move at my pace. I get restless or start fantasizing about ‘the end’. It could be anything. Something as simple as putting kids to bed. Like everything needs to be rushed and put into a time frame otherwise something bad will happen or I will be a failure who took too long. I mean that is what my brain is telling me. I forget to enjoy the process/ the hardships I have crossed to get where I am today. I have always belittled my achievements comparing them to my present situation. But not accepting that I have grown as well. And that I was a different person back then.

So, thought will try to break my pattern and concentrate on my growth. However long it takes to break the cycle. I am going to try to accept this journey as it is. Tough, exhausting, and sometimes irrelevant, but still worth it. No more counting the pages to reach the end. The story will end and it will all make sense. I just have to accept the pace, my pace.

Happy reading!

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