Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Entirely Discontent

Grand Rapids Public Library

Recently, one of my favorite authors Neil Gaiman gave a lecture on the importance of libraries and how reading can be transformative to society. Mr. Gaiman so eloquently articulated my feelings on my love of literature and the importance of literacy. Since my grandmother taught me to read at the age of 4, I've devoured nearly every book I could get my hands on. Throughout my childhood, teenage years, and into adulthood I've spent countless hours in libraries; running my fingers over book spines, peering at covers, and inhaling the intoxicating smell of ink on paper. 

In the pages of books, I've traveled to faraway lands: Oz, Narnia, Fantastica, Wonderland, Middle Earth. I've inhabited a little house in the big woods, meditated with monks in Shanri-La, and made Boo Radley emerge from his house. I've learned about faith, romance, and what it means to be human. I've shed tears for wizards, followed cold-blooded killers, and grieved for a little prince, a wise spider, and a best friend in Terabithia. I've lived many, many lives and allowed my mind to soar to places I'd never dreamed. This has been both a blessing and a curse. 

Mr. Gaiman said it best: 

"Fiction can show you a different world. It can take you somewhere you've never been. Once you've visited other worlds, like those who ate the fairy fruit, you can never be entirely content with the world that you grew up in. Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve their worlds, leave them better, leave them different."

For so long, I cursed these feelings of discontentment. My life was predictable and comfortable. I was grateful for my fortune, but also longed for something more. Despite knowing change was possible, I'd relegated myself to a lifetime of discontented monotony due to an imagined sense of duty. However, I've learned that you can only remain discontent for so long before feeling like you're going to explode. 

A few short days after I'd resigned from my job, I had a revelation. I'd spent years with my nose in a book, searching for answers, dreaming of adventure, and longing for new beginnings and new chapters. Laying on the shores of Lake Michigan with a book in hand, I suddenly realized that I'd had the answer within me all along. 

"Be a librarian," my heart said, because somehow it's always known.

Last week, I received my acceptance letter to Wayne State University's School of Library and Information Science in Detroit. In January, I will start online classes to obtain my Master's degree. I'm going to be a librarian. I want nothing more than to share my love of literature, libraries, and literacy; not just because it's something I'm passionate about, but because it's something that deeply, deeply matters. 

I'm nervous about the rigors of grad school, balancing classes with life and work (hopefully), and the bouts of apprehension that are sure to occur. But in my heart, I know this is right. I'm so thrilled to be given the opportunity to pursue my passions and further explore my love of the written word. Though the rest of this story remains to be written, I'm so thrilled to have a new beginning. 


  1. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! This is so exciting! You are going to love it :)

    1. I hope so! I'm getting nervous/anxious/excited for January.