“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art – write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.” – Neil Gaiman
Let’s face it: it’s easy to get caught up in the monotony of our every-day lives. When we aren’t on holiday, we tend to go through the same daily routines without really stopping to take a breath and soak in the beauty of the world around us. We forget about the things we love because we’re too busy “getting through” the things we’re supposed to do — assignments, work, chores, etc. Soon enough, we lose touch with the things we’re most passionate about, and begin to regard them as distant memories.
For me, reading and writing are the two great loves of my life, and as an overbooked college sophomore perfectionist extraordinaire, I often feel like I’ve lost the former of those. While I make writing a priority through my blog and other personal projects, I hardly get the chance to pick up a book these days, and I miss the feeling of becoming immersed in a world that is not my own.
In fact, books have often served as my inspiration. I’ve always been amazed by the idea that a story written centuries ago can still be experienced in a different context in today’s world — the idea that humans, while constantly pursuing new goals, never really do change. Regardless of the advances in technology over the years, we are still susceptible to the same things: love, envy, greed, competition, pride and the search for something better. It’s the very reason why I can read Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which was published in the 1950s, and be reminded of my own college dilemma. Reading, especially when it comes to some of the older works, allows me to make connections I might not otherwise make, and I hope that my own writings will one day have that same effect on someone else.
Anyway, in order to reignite this passion and not get completely sucked into the daily monotony, I decided to follow my friend Melissa’s lead and attempt to read 50 books in the new year. Even if I don’t accomplish this goal, at least I will have made reading a priority, and will gain plenty of knowledge and insight from the books I pick up!
I will keep track of these books on the “Book Challenge 2011” tab above throughout the next year (feel free to check it out from time to time!) and can’t wait to see what’s in store for me. I encourage you guys to try this out too — and if you aren’t a reader, make another goal that has to do with something you love to do (make time for music, art, sports, or anything else you enjoy). Take a few minutes each day to chase your dreams — you never know where 2011 will lead you!