Curiosity to Transformation: How Books Revolutionized My Life
I am a lifelong learner and I love to read. Learning and reading are a big part of who I am as a person. Because of learning and reading, I have been able to radically change my life for the better.
I knew from the moment I created this blog that books should be a major part of it.
Since the age of nine, I’ve been an avid reader. First, in my native language, Spanish. Then, from the age of 11, also in English. Books have changed the way I see the world, myself, and my circumstances since that age.
At first, I read out of curiosity and to escape my environment. I was very aware of my surroundings even at a young age. We lived through difficulties in a small, impoverished village. There were not many chances or options to have a better life. Even though that was the reality, and I was fully aware of the challenges we faced at home, I also had hopes and a great imagination that kept expanding as I read old books that I kept finding left and right.
Books and magazines were luxury products for us. To buy new books was almost unthinkable at that time.
The books I read gave me a new version of the world. The world was a better place, bigger than our village, bigger than our struggles, bigger than us, and certainly bigger than me. I read about Paris, Rome, writers, and art. I read whatever book I could find. The world seemed like a fascinating place waiting for me in the distance.
It expanded further than our little island. Further than our village and further than the tough reality of the environment we lived in.
Books and school? I loved books and hated school. School was a place out of the worst nightmares. A place full of despair and filth. The harsh reality of my first years at school taught me that I needed to do better for myself. I went to school trembling inside, cursing under my breath, and hoping to go back home alive and in one piece. That’s it!
I loved learning. Couldn’t wait to go back home and start learning on my own, and that’s what I did each day until I left.
Years of the same. I kept taking matters into my own hands. My future into my own hands. I was determined and hopeful. Most people in my environment constantly mocked me. I was weird. I kept to myself, hiding behind any book I could find. Trying to survive my environment physically and mentally. I barely left the house.
I was too sensitive according to my parents. In reality, I was the toughest of all of us. I kept denying our reality and limitations and focusing my young mind on what I wanted: a better place, to feel safe, a better life, more chances, less fear, more beauty, to see the world on the other side of the fence.
I kept reading, assigning myself homework daily. Not only reading but trying to find out more about the things I read. Asking questions to people that I considered smart, mostly my father. My father helped me a lot.
Teaching me from textbooks, mostly from high school when I was in elementary school, he was very proud that I loved to learn and to read and that I wanted more out of life. I’m grateful for all the grown-up conversations I had with my father. It was so important for me as a kid to feel that someone listened to my concerns and dreams.
My mom was very supportive as well but in a more practical sense. She would challenge all my needs and desires with a quick reality check. One time I got the great idea that I wanted a private tutor and my mom immediately asked if I had funds for that. I had to get creative – step out of my bubble, convince both of my parents, a couple of aunties, and a benevolent teacher, and pitch to everyone all the benefits of having a private tutor. My first lesson in life at being an entrepreneur.
Something like this: If you have a great idea
- Define your idea
- Know it will cost you effort and possibly money to develop it
- Rail people around you and show them the benefits of your idea
- You will benefit and they are too!
- Win their support
- Get some funds
- Stay positive
- Don’t give up-keep at it!
- Voila! Success is possible.
And yes, I got a private tutor.
My confidence grew. Still hated school but was sure I could learn anything I wanted. Each book I found and read gave me new insights, motivation, and hopes that life could be different and better somehow. The desire for learning at a such young age was me knowing (without clearly knowing) I could change my fate by changing my surroundings.
I created a habit that helps me each day to grow, to be positive, to improve, and to create a better life for myself and my family.
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