Sunday, May 15, 2011

Separation Anxiety

"What is missing from a cultural diet composed entirely of pure entertainment is the beauty part, the enriching part, the part where you are driven to think. The same could be said of film — it's not that people who disdain blockbuster movies hate fun or romance or wisecracking. It's that they fear that we will lose the films that contain more than fun and romance and wisecracking." - from this article, shared with me as a result of last Saturday's post. Go read it. There are many other parts I would like to quote, but I'd end up just re-posting most of the article, so...

My problem isn't so much "I like this and only this so I shall stick with this and all other stuff is inferior." My problem is "I found this thing I really like, so why should I do something else when I could be devoting my time to this?"

Flashback to approximately 2nd grade. My mother has hidden my Harry Potter books because I refused to read anything else. It wasn't because I believed HP was the only good book in the entire world-- just that it was the best and I would therefore get the most pleasure by reading it repeatedly. (I found her hiding place fairly easily, stole back Goblet of Fire, hid it under my bed, and read it secretly in the evenings while also reading a book of which she approved.) 

I'm the same way with food-- I carefully scan the menu at restaurant X my first time there and select the thing that looks the tastiest; it turns out to be a very good choice, so I don't bother getting anything else at future visits.

I've since branched away from Harry Potter, of course. While it's still very awesome, there's so much more to be gleaned from literature as a whole that simply isn't available in those seven books. It may be amazing, but there are other things to be found and enjoyed in new and different ways.
Furthermore, people grow and change. We "need" different things from our reading. Different things are valuable. You've got to keep exploring to find the stuff that will be the most meaningful to you.

I've always struggled a bit with the idea of breaking-away and/or moving on and/or progressing, both with things like Harry Potter as well as with the general concept of growing up itself. The thought itself is exhilarating, exciting, and very appealing. It's the actual Doing that's scary. HP was a place of  security. It was safe and familiar, and I knew I liked it. So I didn't want to leave. But you know what? I'm far better off having done so. And I can always come back to whenever I want (and do so fairly often).


  1. You seem like you must have been an awesome child.

  2. I tried. I leave out all of the notsome parts on here, though.


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