Knowledge is the Best Medicine

For the last 2-ish months, I’ve been in a bit of a funk. I had days that ranged all over the place—horrible, amazing, good, bad, meh—but overall, something just felt wrong.

I realized what I was missing when I was at Barnes & Noble this weekend. I wanted to go buy a book. Some book. Not any book—I’ve been reading a lot of the depressing (post-)apocalyptic stuff lately, and I was pretty sure that was part of why I’d been feeling more blue than normal.

Normally, I’d pick up a teen novel, because they can be light and funny, but hardly any of the new stuff is nowadays. B&N has sections for “Teen Adventure/Fantasy” (think the Maze Runner trilogy, anything Cassandra Clare, Victoria Roth’s Divergent series, anything Eoin Colfer, Allie Condie’s Matched trilogy… and the lovely Tammy P. hasn’t put out anything new lately), “Teen Paranormal Romance” (something tells me I need not explain), and “Teen Fiction”—where they put the not-quite-fantasy/adventure/paranormal romance stuff. And all of it looks dark as of late. Look, I get that life isn’t sunshine and daisies, but it’s not doom and gloom all the time, either!

Nothing new in adult fiction looked worth dropping a 20 or two on, I wasn’t really feeling manga, and sci-fi wasn’t doing it for me, either. I briefly contemplated a harlequin romance, just long enough for me to feel really, really bad about it. (No offence to those who like them! They’re just not for me, especially not after reading something last summer that claimed to be a romance but turned out to be basically the same 10 basic, unimaginative words to describe sex over and over again. I thought that it had to get better, or at least get more substance. It didn’t, and I want those 90 minutes of my life back.) I didn’t want movies or music, either—I wanted to read. So I wandered over to the science section, because I was thinking of getting Theodore Gray’s The Elements because chemistry rocks my socks, but, as I’ve said before, I didn’t have the fortitude or, quite frankly, the aptitude to go into it and really thrive.

But then, it hit me: this is the first time in years that I won’t be going back to school after three months. That’s a pretty sucky thought for me; if I could just get paid to learn whatever I wanted to in an academic setting for the rest of my life, I’d probably do it. But there are plenty of ways to teach myself outside of a traditional academic setting, and what better way to go about that than to do what I do best? (Read, by the way. I read best. I write well, but I read better.)

I grabbed James Gleick’s The Information: a History, a Theory, a Flood to see if it was something I might want. I did. Very, very much. (I still haven’t started it yet, but information is kind of a big thing for me. I’m very interested to see what all I learn.)

I had also grabbed a big book of crosswords—365 puzzles, to be precise. I have a vast store of random knowledge (and a good-sized vocabulary, if I do say so, myself. I’m also the most humble person on earth. Yup… Nope.) that has only grown in the time that I’ve been doing crossword puzzles, and when I saw the puzzles section, that part of my brain let me know that it wanted exercise.

Not that I’ve been hugely unhappy, but I’m the happiest now that I’ve been in weeks. I now know what I was missing, and how good it feels to use all that non-CS knowledge I have.

In other news (I like this, and I am probably going to keep using it): I let my boyfriend pick out my top for today. The man probably has a better sense of style than I do, so I’m okay with this. (It’s also pretty hard to mess up with me—I mostly have short and long sleeve tees in various colors.) He knows how to make things aesthetically pleasing in terms of design and color, and I happen to think the primrose-fuschia (it’s really close to this hex color: DB1A5B) v-neck I’ve got on is quite becoming. Like I said, I’m the most humble person on earth, so you know I’m telling the truth.

Don’t look at me like that!