Lately, I’ve been having a lot of trouble reading. Last week I started “The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller but I’ve only sat down to read it a total of two times and I’m on page 37. It’s frustrating to me because I know I want to read it, and I know I could get into it and get through it if I tried, but I’m just having a hard time with it. I got the book in April after hearing about it all over Tiktok but there were a bunch of other books I wanted to read so I pushed it off. I was also busy with school and other things in my life so I never had time for it. Now that it’s summer and I have a lot more free time, I find that most of my time and energy is consumed by scrolling through Instagram, Twitter, and Tiktok.
For a while, I had a really hard time reading physical books and turned to E-books as an alternative. I just felt like reading physical books was so much more difficult because you have to find the right position for your hand, the right position to sit, and the right lighting. Also, E-books are so convenient because you can just whip out your phone at any minute and start reading whereas when I read a physical book I feel like I need at least twenty minutes dedicated to just reading. I guess the problem is coming back.
The other day I tried to read, it was late at night so I turned on my bedside lamp and was laying sideways on my bed. I can’t read during the day since I feel like there’s not enough time to get immersed so I save my reading for the night. I messed around with my pillows for a while and tried to get into the right position but it just felt impossible since some positions would be comfortable but wouldn’t have good lighting and other positions would have good lighting but it was uncomfortable. I feel like this is my dilemma with reading physical books, it just takes too much effort and always has to be perfect. I feel like I spend more time worrying about if I’m comfortable and if I have enough time to finish a chapter instead of the actual content of the book. In a way, I know it shouldn’t be as complicated as I make it and I need to stop worrying about all this other stuff but it just feels impossible and I can’t stop being picky.
Okay, maybe I’m contradicting myself when I’m saying this but for the most part, I do prefer the physical thing. I was thinking about it last night when I was about to read and wondered why I enjoy buying physical books when I use ebooks way more? The answer was a lot more complicated than I thought. The physical books just seem so much more valuable, it’s real, it’s something I can hold onto and have forever. There’s so much more history in a physical book compared to an ebook, maybe that’s what makes it so special. I like annotating my books and filling them up with sticky tabs and notes and that’s only something I do with physical books.
Last night when I read (I found that my comfortable position is facing the lamp and my back against my squishmallow) there were some instances where I paused to reread lines. In these moments, I traced my fingers over the words and gave myself a moment to analyze them. On my phone, I’m so used to just swiping and clicking through things, with no real second to just pause. Whereas last night when reading, there’s an endless amount of time to just read and consume with no rush to see what’s next on the screen if I tap. I’m always on technology or consuming it in some kind of way. My phone is the first thing I grab in the morning and the last thing I put down at night. With all of this technology around me, I guess sometimes it’s just nice to get something that feels more real.
This morning I had to go somewhere in my neighborhood so I took a walk. The weather was nice and warm. I love taking walks but I rarely ever just take a walk for enjoyment. Plus when I walk, I feel uncomfortable going alone so it makes things a little bit harder. The simple things in life sometimes just outweigh all of this new and cool technology. In a world that is changing so quickly before our eyes, sometimes I just like to slow down and take a breath. In a way, technology kinda scares me. It feels like every day there is something new. Though I am an active consumer of technology, I do enjoy the simple old things as well. Things like physical books that are annoying sometimes and morning walks that I rarely take are some of the best things in the world.
I’m moving into my college dorm in exactly one more month! Recently I’ve been thinking about college and even though it’s a big change, I also feel a little unphased? I always thought about college and dorm life and now that it’s right around the corner, it doesn’t feel that cool anymore. When I was younger I always watched videos on Youtube where people would show off the stuff they got for their dorm and their college school supplies but now that it’s me, I realized it’s not that fun. It’s kinda stressful too. I’m packing things into boxes and bins and thinking about the things I’ll bring and the things I’ll leave at home. I’m not even going that far but still, it feels like I’m packing different pieces of my life into boxes and bins. It’s stressful.
I’m not even sure how I feel. On one hand, I’m excited. I think the thing that gets me the most excited is knowing I’ll be living “on my own.” I think it’ll be an interesting experience, to say the least. I’m also excited just because college is going to be a new experience. I want to see how it’s different from high school and I want to see how I change. I’m also feeling nervous. I don’t think it’s entirely sunk in for me that I’m going back to in-person learning. Covid changed me. This past school year showed me how unmotivated and lazy I am when there’s no type of pressure or accountability put on me. I simply woke up, turned on the zoom, and paid attention half of the time. Even though it wasn’t planned (obviously) I think being a student in a pandemic prepared me for college since college is more independent. It’s nerve-wracking because it’s a whole new academic experience and while that’s scary on its own, I also need to regain the student I used to be before Covid sucked out all the motivation inside of me.
In some ways, I’m hopeful too. I hope that I’ll be able to regain my enthusiasm for learning since it’s in person. I hated online learning, it felt like I didn’t learn anything at all so I’m glad to be back in a physical classroom. I’m also hopeful about the college experience in general, like with social aspects and being able to find my career interest. I just have a whole bag of emotions. In some ways, I guess it hasn’t sunk in for me. All I’m worried about right now is packing and buying stuff for my room. I guess I’m taking it one step at a time, I’m not trying to worry about what my life will be like in the fall because when the fall comes, then I’ll decide. I’m just trying to do what I can now to get ready for it.
I have a hard time determining what’s a good purchase and what’s a bad purchase. If I’m buying something online, I look at multiple websites and read through every single review. Last night I was going to watch something on Netflix and go to sleep but my hours were taken trying to find the perfect desk lamp on Amazon. When making a purchase I have to evaluate different things like the quality for the price, how much I’ll use it, and what other people are saying about it.
As I’m writing this, I’m using the mechanical keyboard that I bought simply because I like the sound of typing on keyboards. I don’t use it that much because it slows down my typing speed and takes up a lot of room on my desk. Even though 99.9% of the time, it’s sitting on a cabinet being unused, I wouldn’t say it was a bad purchase. It makes writing so much more enjoyable which has gotten me through multiple long essays and assignments. It makes me happy and I look forward to writing because I love the way it sounds.
When buying something, I wonder what I’m buying it for. Am I buying it because I need it? Am I buying it because it’s going to be nice to have? Am I buying it simply because I want to? Sometimes it’s a mixture of all these things. Some purchases are more “reasonable” than others but really, I think that if every purchase has a reason behind it, it can’t be bad. Sometimes impulse buys that are done in the name of happiness are not bad. Maybe regretful, but if it creates even some happiness, then it wasn’t a waste. Even with this mindset, I am still trying to be more responsible with my money. I can’t keep spending money on things I don’t need just because I want them at the moment. I guess everything is good and logical in moderation, there needs to be a balance between unreasonable and reasonable.