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How reading raised my standards and lowered my expectations 

Reading makes me feel the comfort in solitude and the rawness of emotions even I have yet to experience. It’s the first thing I ran to whenever reality starts to create a whirlpool of chaotic thoughts in my mind. A companion and diversion, browsing through pages for me is liberating. There is a sense of relief only reading can give, a getaway from my usual overthinking.

I am more into fiction books, primarily because anything is possible in the figment of imagination. Romance, fantasy, mystery, name it. These genres may sound primitive with cliché plots, overused tropes, or overrated characters. However, against the backdrop of life, aren’t these the notions we live for? Undeniably, these things are some of the driving forces of living and impel us toward moving forward.

How reading affected my perspective on various aspects of life

Maybe for once we dreamt of having a superpower or developing a mystique feeling from someone we accidentally bumped into. Regardless of the faint chance of these matters truly exist, they influenced my discernment in various aspects of life. 

Relationship

Keep those who stayed. This pertains to any kind of relationship, be it romantic or platonic. Needless to say, it excludes people who only stick to you for convenience. Setting aside my introverted self, reading shaped me to be more observant. So whenever someone tries to enter my life, I duly observe their behaviors to somehow get a glimpse of their intentions. Disclaimer, I am not a shrink,  just sharing my means in deciding who to keep or not. To reiterate, keep those who stayed—who can hold your hand while dancing in the rave and traversing a storm. Life is short, so better stick with the right people. 

Career and Opportunities

Rags to riches stories are typical twists in fiction books. Mainly it serves as a rising action in reaching the story’s climax. Characters become the sought-after personalities in their field despite all the hardships they went through. Encountering these twists multiple times inspired me in some ways, mainly to do better believing anything is possible through perseverance. But who am I fooling? Maybe myself. In reality, determination is overpowered by money. Money provides resources and access to opportunities, and career awaits people born with a silver spoon in their mouths. To make sense, reading enlightened me on the polarized concepts of fiction and non-fiction. What was written in books rarely turns into actualities same as how dreaming surely is free but costly to fulfill.

Fictional characters with exceptional mindsets greatly influenced me in setting the bar high/low in the following factors of life:

Love

Do not settle for forced connection. Maybe it is easy to be swayed by flowery compliments, however, words without actions are futile. If someone fails to state his/her real intention and confuses you with affectionate words, end it. As an overthinker, cutting chords with someone who can’t assure you is healthier than being led on to nothing. I may lament a little, but it will surely pass. When you recognize your worth, you won’t chase, as the right person won’t run.  If he/she can’t meet you halfway, maybe it is the universe breaking you off in that situation. Better regard it as an experience and a good riddance. 

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Academics and Goals

What excites me the most when reading is meeting a character with the same vision as mine in terms of academics. Looking back, I  used to hinge my self-worth on academic validation. I formerly believed that all the love and respect showered upon me will vanish once I cease being an achiever. I set my goals straight—to remain among the class’ cream of the crop, unknowingly becoming harsh on myself. Reading helped me overcome this toxic attitude. From relating to the experiences of the academic achiever characters to witnessing their development towards self-prioritization. Somehow, the character developments they manifest led me to achieve mine. Taking the path toward unleashing your full potential becomes easier when you stop caring about other people’s opinions. 

Self-expectations

One of the character development I attained by reading is ‘giving myself a rest’. The ‘rest’ implies being more kind to myself particularly in instances of failure. Setting goals in mind means I have already set an expectation of attaining them. So whenever I fail to meet such expectations, I tend to deprive myself of the vital thing it needs to recover-rest. It took me lots of reading to overcome it given that I was in denial at first. As I accepted the truth that not everything will go in my favor, there is no point in blaming myself.

More than a hobby and likely an emotional compeer, this is the weight reading carries in my life. Thus, it conferred knowledge that foster my development of a better life outlook.  

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