Ever cut something out of your life because you just didn’t have time for it anymore?
I barely read for almost 10 years. I would do, maybe 2 or 3 books a year because I was busy. I read a lot for work, but it was all surface-level. I was miserable and I didn’t even realize this was part of why.
Up until my early 20s, I read constantly. I am one of those “Here are the 5 books I’m currently reading” people. So to cut back to reading nothing because the rest of life got so busy, I had an ache I couldn’t quite pinpoint.
Austin Kleon calls this a version of phantom limb syndrome. Wow do I feel that definition.
Because when you cut it out, whether it’s reading, or an instrument, or a sport – if it’s something that makes us who we are, and we still justify a reason to amputate, we are going to feel the pain of it being gone.
The only way to fix that pain is to reunite ourselves with whatever makes us whole.
I read all of the time again now. Multiple books at a time in multiple formats. And I feel like me again.
If you’re feeling some pain, think about the phantom limbs you might be missing. I’m still working to reconnect a few more. I’m just grateful to know it.
ps. Need some inspiration? I got this from Austin Kleon’s Steal Like An Artist (Audio Trilogy).