Finding More Than Magic in Reading
Like a magic carpet a book would spirit me
away—away from the pain and relentless fear of the bully.
A quiet desk in the school library or
behind a shady gum in a deserted corner of the school yard and a book were my refuge,
my private place, my safe place.
Without books I honestly don’t think I
would have survived.
So when I am asked why we read my instant
response is escape, but the reasons we read whether consciously or unconsciously
are far more complicated than a one word answer.
It had started again. Her nightmare.
“Well, well, well, think you’re
too good for me now, do you? Perhaps I’ll have to rectify that before you leave
today, Tubby,” Amelia sneered.
“My name is Tabitha. Don’t call
me that childish name,” Tabitha snapped, all her frustration and consternation
at Amelia’s continuing ridicule adding sharpness to her tone.
“Awww, Tubby, don’t be like
that,” Amelia admonished as she drifted to the back of the room and found a seat.
Tabitha sat stock-still, her hands clenched on the table in front of
her, fighting to control the tremble.
I read somewhere recently that one
does not need any qualifications to be a writer. Anyone can be a writer. I was
a little piqued at this statement. I will concede though that you do not need a
gold stamped degree from a recognized university or college, but there are some
things that are a must for a writer
The most important isFunctional Literacy. They say as at 2012
47% of Australians arefunctionally
illiterate.This means they are unable to function on a day to day basis at
home and work. And the figures are not
much better in the USA, United Kingdom, Canada and a multitude of non English
Do you or don't you. You are probably damned if you do and damned if you don't.
That is not to say you shouldn't set some goals for each year.
These goals can be for any part of your life.Make them realistic, measurable and achievable. There is no point setting yourself up to fail - like saying I will get from a size 20 to a size 10 in 6 months or I am going to be the worlds richest entrepreneur by the end of the year.
In the words of Stephen Covey 'begin with the end in mind'. Where do you want to be, what will you want to have achieved and what do you want people to think about you at the end of your life.
With the dubious practice of making new year resolutions in full swing - stop. Take a moment to reflect on your life and what you would wish it to be. Then make a promise to yourself - to be kind to yourself this year.
Promise to do one or more nice things for yourself each day. even something as small as sitting in the garden or a park for half an hour enjoying the sunshine, buying some flowers, smelling a rose, petting a cat or dog, watching the sun rise or set. Even reading a good book.
You are important.
finding your identity is a treasure hunt and yes you will find treasure. You are not all good or all bad. You are a unique individual. And whatever you are is okay. Look closely at yourself and you will find a mixture of traits. At times some dominate at others the ones you might like less will come to the fore. there is no right or wrong way to be. Unless of course you are hurting yourself, other people, animals or destroying property which is not yours. Then perhaps seek help.
Do not just accept what other people say you are.
Forging ones identity in adolescence can be a challenging and difficult thing. For here you are deciding to accept the ideals of your parents or to reject them in favour of your peers or even radical ideas that you have discovered.
In this process it it easy to lose yourself. To become what you are not. To stop being true to yourself.
Sit still for a while. Feel who you are. Ask yourself what your principles are in life. Even ask what are principles.
Be kind to yourself. This is a journey that does not need to be completed today or tomorrow or even this year.
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent" - Eleanor Roosevelt
And this is the problem with bullying.
I remember being at school - all twenty stone of me - and trying to creep around the school yard like I could hide. I cringed. I knew I was unacceptable - the ballet teacher had told me.
And even when I stood brave the bullies knew what I was. It was as if they could smell the lack of self esteem, sense somehow my self loathing, my low opinion of myself.
They sensed it and attacked. I was a target - a victim because I was already bullying myself. This was my way of unknowingly giving the bullies consent.
Wings are fragile.
Mine first got broken at age three
when my ballet teacher said, ‘she’s too fat to be a fairy’
and I learnt I was
It was just a little break
– maybe just a crack but it was enough to let the world know
I was readied to
be its victim.
The world obligingly reinforced this
lesson with a lethal weapon of wing destruction; sexual abuse – the raping of a
four year old body by a fourteen year old.
To be held silent on the violation
by vicious threats caused an inward cringe.