I CAN DO HARD THINGS
I went to the library today to drop off a book that was due. While I was there, I figured I would pick up the next book in the series I’ve been reading. Unfortunately, the library I went to didn’t have the next book on the shelf. What to do, what to do?
I ended up coming home with two books I never wanted to read again.
Hear me out. There’s a reason.
The first book is called “Lord of the Flies.” Perhaps you’ve heard of it. It’s on a lot of high school required reading lists. Personally, I didn’t read it in high school, but I did read it a couple of years after I finished college – just to say that I’d read it. I hated it. Loathed it. I only finished it because I am not a quitter. Anymore. Anyway, it was one of the most awful, horrifying stories I’ve ever read (and I have read Dracula), and I was most grateful to be finished with it forever. And then somebody told me recently how they absolutely loved that book because of how overtly symbolic it is. Well, I hadn’t read it with any symbolism in mind. So I’m going to give it another shot. I highly doubt that I will fall in love with it, but perhaps I will hate it less and maybe even appreciate it a little bit. We will see. I’ll let you know.
The second book is called “Pride and Prejudice.” Perhaps you’ve heard of it, as well. I understand it’s immensely popular. Could have fooled me. I hated this one, too. And since I began reading it BEFORE my “I am not a quitter” avowal, well, I sort of threw it across the room before I was halfway done with it. Carefully, since it wasn’t my book. It was a gentle throw. Anyway, I’ve finally decided to give this one another chance. I’ll read it with a more open mind, with a different perspective, and, most of all, with a determination to see it through to the end.
But wait, you say, isn’t all this just torturing yourself? (Those of you who have ever heard me talk about either of these books are definitely asking this right now.)
No, my dear friends, this is growth and enlightenment! (At least, that’s the plan.) I will learn self-discipline! I will find new insights about myself! I will be more open to new things! I will –
But don’t most people just go to the gym or something for that kind of stuff?
Most people, yes. But, you see, I [dramatic pause] am not most people. I am my own person! I will do things my way! I will do things this way!
Plus, I don’t have a gym membership and don’t plan to pay for one anytime soon. I have my own individual method of working out. But that’s another story.
So, wish me luck. I do desire this experience to stretch me and to open my mind and heart a little bit. With “Lord of the Flies,” I want to see and appreciate that symbolism and reflect on what I get to change in my life. With “Pride and Prejudice,” I want to be able to appreciate and accept romance and love in my life and in the lives of those around me. And I know there must be a lot more to the book than what I saw the first time, so I want to see what there is. With both books, I want to be able to look beyond the story on the surface. And I want to find some insights. Since I had such a strong reaction to both of these books, I’m pretty sure I will learn some things about myself by reading them again. And, with it all, this will be an exercise in following through with something that doesn’t appear to be enjoyable. Whether it turns out to be or not, I will follow through and finish both books. There. I’ve said it, and I’m going to do it!