Do you remember the first time you came home from college? Walking into your home probably felt comforting and, for lack of a better word, right. It just felt good to be back in a familiar place full of memories and your own personal support system. I’m sure that the second you opened the door and walked across the threshold relief poured through you. You felt happy.
I had that feeling this week when I walked into my old high school’s library.
I can sense the wheels screeching to a halt in your brain right now; you felt this feeling walking into a library? How is that even possible? Although it’s strange, it is completely true. To really understand, you might have to read the whole story. Hang with me, people.
This week, I began my journey of passion-based learning. I finally decided that I wanted to spend my 4 hours a week doing something that I truly loved and could learn from. So, naturally, I decided that I was going to read. I learn something new every single time I open a book. I learn empathy, respect, and creativity. I learn about new places and take exciting journeys. I feel immense joy through the characters. I feel immense loss through them as well. Basically, books are just amazing.
To begin, I looked through my TBR (to be read) list and found the books that I really wanted to read. This list acts as a guide within my reading life, and I’m more than excited to cross some off of the list as well as add onto it. Goodreads serves as the home of my TBR list. This allows me to keep an electronic list that I can access on any device. I added to my list and got a sense of what I wanted to dive into for this project.
My next step was to beg my dad to give me permission to get books out of the school library. Due to my work schedule, making it to the public library was really difficult for me this week. After I got the go ahead, I headed to my old high school around 8 p.m. one night to try to find some books quickly and head home. I thought that I could be in and out quickly because of the many hours I spent working in it as well as just utilizing it in my high school days. I was tired, stressed, and ready for bed.
However, I was wrong. How could I have possibly thought that I would be in and out quickly? I walked in and was immediately comforted. I felt the peace that comes with walking into a space that holds so many memories for you. I walked through the stacks of books and immediately began pulling out numerous, different titles that caught my eye. Some books were on my TBR list while others were just wonderful surprises. Soon, I had stacks of books waiting for me.
I spent over 2 hours in the library. 2 hours of pure relaxation, searching, and reading. I sat in the mushroom chairs and read. I laid on the floor. I took my shoes off. I sat criss cross applesauce on the carpet. I walked around with a book in my hand. I spent those 2 hours lost in the bookshelves that I used to care for when I worked as a TA in the library. I spent those hours devouring books in a place that has always been a refuge for me. Finally, around 10:30 pm, I forced myself to go home. I felt rejuvenated and ready to take on the rest of my week.
My remaining time (plus more) was spent voraciously reading at home. I finished The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith and began reading The Brilliant Light of Amber Sunrise by Matthew Crow. (Be sure to check out my Goodreads reviews!) My time spent in the library this week cleared my mind and excited me. I felt nostalgia and it comforted me. The library is truly my happy place. I can only hope that my upcoming weeks will be just as great as this one.