I was pretty young when I first realized I was different from the other kids, specifically other boys. I never really liked playing rough because I didn’t want to get hurt or hurt another person. Back then I knew I was a pacifist even before I knew what the word meant. Resorting to violence was never the answer and that’s one lesson I learned as a kid and lived by as an adult.

While most of my friends ran around the streets chasing each other or playing video games in the arcade, I preferred staying at home and reading books or watching movies on VHS. I wanted to be alone with my thoughts or be transported to another world, a different world where stories begin and end in one sitting, where the protagonist always wins and gets the happy ending.

As a kid I’d always wanted to escape reality because reality was boring. I’d wake up everyday doing the same things, following the same routines. Nothing happened in real life, nothing “cool” I guess. So I secretly wished I had powers or was adopted and that my real parents were from another universe, gods or witches of some sort. That by the time I turn 12 or 18 or 21 my adoptive parents would finally reveal to me the truth about my identity. “You’re special,” they’d say. But I’m 24, no revelation about the real me has happened yet and I don’t think there’d be any time soon.

As much as I would love to see the world and discover new places, I couldn’t afford to and in a way, reading books allowed me to see those places myself – at least in my head. I could smell the ocean and listen to the waves, watch the sun set from a distance and feel the wind blow on my face as I sink my feet on the sand. I could almost hear people talking as they walk past me in the streets and wander in awe at the skyscrapers covering the sky above. One day I’m in Paris, the next day I’m in New York and at times I’d get lost on my way to Mordor or even caught in a battle in Westeros.

I was a loner then and even now I prefer to be alone. I knew something was wrong with me but I couldn’t seem to figure out what it was. I was distant. I never let my guard down. I never let people in. I always knew the right words to say but never really said what I truly meant. I was very good at hiding my emotions and masking my feelings. I was afraid that people would see my vulnerability and take advantage of that.

It was hard for me to accept who I am and I’ve struggled ever since. I was confused. I didn’t understand. There aren’t any guidelines on how to deal with this kind of thing. No step-by-step program to help you on your way. There’s no manual, you’re on your own and figuring out who you are and what you want to be is very hard.

4 responses »

  1. alfie says:

    same here.. way back in my childhood days.. i used to spend my time at home reading books, i hate reading at first but, bec. of aunt, my father’s sister is a book worm she encourage me to read not just read but, often! so then util now i make it as a habit reading book makes me calm.. specifically in book that i’d love to read is +fiction magical+history myth+drama love,solving!

  2. pepito says:

    it’s fun to try to get away from reality every once in a while, some people would call you crazy but they don’t really know the bliss of escaping a reality where feeling trapped is almost an everyday thing…
    in almost every way we are alike, i am 24 years old, a bookworm, a loner, an adventurer, an introvert. I always preferred to be alone ever since i was a child since i can think more freely and no one would judge you but there was always this feeling that i wanted to belong… to belong to the world outside my room.
    there is no guide, no step-by-step manual, and majority of the people around you would not even understand the feeling of being torn between two worlds… keeping a secret hidden deep inside.
    you can only rely on yourself, learning from each and every experience, unless of course you find someone who understands.

    • Jake Samson says:

      I guess, but sometimes even belonging isn’t enough. Even if I had friends surrounding me there’s still a part of me that felt alone – an outsider. I was afraid that they wouldn’t understand or worse won’t accept me for who I really am. So I buried myself in books, reading about people who I feel I can relate with and learning from their stories. Eventually I managed to open up and I am lucky to have friends who accept me and understands me.

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