Why Leisure Reading Is Important To Me

Why Leisure Reading Is Important To Me

Books are more than just pages and words... they're adventures waiting to be experienced.
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Ever since I was little, the love to read just came naturally to me. To hear something like this from a child is complete blasphemy. I would even look at books as toys sometimes if they just looked pretty to me.

My bookshelf that I shared with my sisters would always be stocked with Dr. Seuss and Little Golden Books that I would just find myself pulling out of the shelf once in a while. The point that I am trying to make is that this hobby is usually rare among children, and I didn't find out why I was so fascinated by books until I was older.

As I've said, books became a vital accessory of mine in childhood. Whenever I went on a seemingly long car ride, a book would be a good form of entertainment for me (although I would often get nauseous while reading in motion).

I would even consider vacation the perfect time to read a good book, bringing up to five books to read beside the pool or on the beach. From watching my sister's softball games on the sidelines to hanging out at my grandparents' house, a book seemed like a good pastime.

Not only is actually reading the book a good pastime but looking for the right book definitely has its fun, too. Growing up just five minutes away from the nearest Barnes and Nobles made it super convenient for me to go book-exploring. Just that smell, when you walk into a bookstore, is overwhelmingly pleasant.

(And if you don't know what I'm even talking about, then you don't have that love for books.)

The endless rows and shelves of possibilities that you can pick the next perfect book for yourself is a thrilling thought for any book-lover, and this is part of what reminds me why I love books so much.

In retrospect, books became what would be the alternative form of television for me. I was by no means deprived of having a television or the Disney VHS and DVD collections, but books were another source of what those things provided me with. Whether it would be because I would get tired of watching a screen for hours on end or my sensitive eyes would start to hurt, a book would turn into another television set for me.

This realization that I have had in recent years made me understand why I love books so much; it is a form of entertainment, but it is is also one that you immerse yourself in completely.

Only the reader can convey what the words written on paper mean and then transfer it to their own mind by creating the image of what they think is happening. I don't know if that is by nature or this is just how I operate while reading, but if you think about it, that is as mind-blowing as some of the things we actually read.

With every book I read, whether it be about history or completely fictional, a memoir or a mystery-thriller, I live out these adventures that are written by a total stranger. Sometimes I love the book, and other times I find myself disappointed in the fact that I decided to invest so much time in reading one I didn't enjoy. If you think about it, this kind of resembles life: there will be adventures endured (exciting ones and the everyday occurrences) and sometimes we won't like them, but they will make us appreciate the good ones.

I have realized that I won't get to live out all these amazing adventures that I read and hear about myself, but if reading them is the closest I'll get to living out some of them in my own picturesque way, then I'll definitely take it.

Cover Image Credit: Anthony Tran via Unsplash

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Dear...

#4

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Dear teacher that I used to love,

I used to love going to your classes in elementary school.

I used to love the after school activities that you would have.

I used to love coming over spending the night (since I became friends with your daughter).

I loved all the new things everyone introduced me to.

I loved how you would let me stay for a week because the snow wouldn't stop.

But somehow that all began to change...due to one little incident.

It was a misunderstanding, but how it was dealt with at the beginning was not right.

Calling out a high schooler when your the adult also is not the right way

Calling them out on social media is never the right way to deal with things, no matter the situation.

It hurt me that you felt that way about me, and the things that were said on that post hurt.

So when you apologized to me one day about it, and then asking me to come and join an activity like nothing ever happened.

At that time I couldn't forgive because I was still hurt and angry by everything that happened.

From that post it told me how you felt about me, over something that was miscommunicated. But because we had slightly different views on things that worsened things in my opinion.

Sure did I comment on somethings saying my opinion on things? Yes. But it was just to bring in information that most people didn't fully understand, not to bring you down.

Now today if I see you in public sometimes we say hi, but not so much anymore.

I see on social media that you comment on other students accomplishments in school or in life.

But whenever I post something about my life, or an article I get nothing. And honestly, it hurts a lot.

I would think I would at least get a like, but honestly I feel that anything I post doesn't even get looked at.

I have moved passed that post. The hurt is still there though.

Sincerely,

Your former elementary school student

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