R e a d i n g .
When we read, it’s a form of escaping, entertainment, even stress relief. Through these symbols we’ve deemed a form of communication, we become heroes, villains, lovers, and killers. Those that read fiction, as I do, know that a book can bring us unending joy as well as pain. The point is not the emotion we feel, rather, it is that that emotion comes from a separate place than our realm. We can leave this realm to any author’s realm just by reading, and we can leave that author’s realm by closing the book. The only thing we as readers are not in control of is the journey and its end. We follow the story along and when it ends, it ends. Many call it a “book hangover” when you are sad or longing for more after finishing a book. You could seek out more of the author’s work or fan fiction, but nothing will feel quite the same as reading that story for the first time.
Couldn’t we say the same for all life situations? Just as every story ends, every life event, including life itself, must end. No particular story could teach a reader this, simply reading books one enjoys and experiencing a “book hangover” can teach this rule.
The most devastating ending for me was The Cipher by Kathe Koja. The entire novel didn’t feel real to me. It was an unending feeling of depressed awe, until it of course finally ended. I was left in grief, saddened that I didn’t have anywhere quite like it to escape to. My safe haven was gone. Rereading it would not convey the same emotions, and I didn’t have anymore of Koja’s work at the time. Similarly, I felt the same way when realizing my best friend from childhood no longer wanted contact with me. I had this ache of never returning to a place I loved ever again, just as I did after reading The Cipher later in life.
Everything must come to an end, and reading is a great way to understand and cope with that. The positive side is there’s always more. There are more people out there for you to see. More events for you to go to. More books for you to read. Moving on has proven to be easier for me in recent years, and I’d like to thank all of the stories I’ve read for teaching me that endings are inevitable, but they don’t always have to be bad.