Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Oct 19

You Live, You Learn (And Why Wouldn’t You Want To?)

I have been meaning to write this blog post for some time.  It’s probably good that I didn’t get to it before now, but I won’t be able to explain why until after i get right into it.

One of the crucial elements of who I am is that I like to learn. I rediscovered this a little over a year ago when I dove head-first back into reading. My focus was on science, and I loved nearly every word of every page.

I have since then devoured books by Nye, Sagan, Feynman, Hawking and more. I’ve dying to read more books by Mary Roach, and my eBook wait/hold list contains far more nonfiction titles than fiction.

But it’s not just books. I like podcasts that teach me new things. Blogs. TED talks. I go to events hosted by the historical society. It’s downright nerdy.

You might call me an epistemophiliac or epistemophile:

one who excessively strives for knowledge, or has a preoccupation with it

I want to know, and I want to know more.

In fact, I have said more than a time or two that I have little time for fiction because what’s happening around us in the real world is already so fascinating. I mean, teach me how and why something works — even if  I don’t necessarily care about the subject — and I will find it mildly interesting. Who knew I had an interest in astronomy or economics, for instance, before I delved into them? Now, I listen to podcasts (like these) on them on a weekly basis.

While not every subject will be riveting, I could certainly appreciate an engaging conversation about the science or history of most topics. Say, a sport. Teach me something, and I will try to take something away from it.

On the other end, I will often excitedly go on about something I recently learned and cannot keep to myself. I can only hope I’m a fraction as endearing as Carl Sagan with his childlike wonder.

It comes easily to me, to be honest. I may have forgotten how much I liked learning and may not have been super proactive about it, but I still liked it. That leads me to my main thought of this post:

I do not understand people who don’t enjoy learning, who aren’t curious about the world, who don’t want to add to their knowledge.

It’s not just that it’s a simple pleasure. It’s practical, pragmatic. Seeking knowledge helps you do more, save money, hold better conversations and feel more self-assured to name just a few benefits.

It might lead you to skills that are sellable and better jobs or more prestige. Although, those things are less of a concern for me. I may spend too much time learning things that are of no immediate use.

Because learning is fun. And it’s easier than ever, thanks to the Internet.

Maybe I can’t understand the way people don’t care for or actively dislike learning; although, I certainly don’t mind not allowing myself to understand this shortcoming of others. Forgive me that pretense. I am sure you can understand.

As a general rule, I don’t find people who don’t enjoy learning new things — and occasionally learning them from me — to be particularly interesting. I want to learn about the world and have discussions about ideas and things that are greater than gossip, your 9-to-5 job, or the weather. Sorrynotsorry.

Don’t get me wrong. I have surrounded by myself with people who enjoy learning or who, at the very least, appreciate my love of learning. It still just boggles my mind that anything doesn’t.

Now, the reason why waiting was a good idea? After my friend died, I enjoyed a lot of mindless/easy media. I consumed more comics than books on science. I pretty much stopped listening to podcasts because, when I did, I found myself tuning out. 30 minutes to an hour would pass, and I had no idea what I just listened to. I couldn’t make myself care.

I wouldn’t write this post passionately while I was in that stage. I hope I’ve done it justice this morning.

With that, I’ve got more Sagan to read.

Mar 03

A Balancing Act

I can’t recall the last time I posted in this blog, which doesn’t bode well for the success of the blog. I want to say that it’s not because I’ve been busy, but that’s not entirely true. There have been thoughts and feelings and goings-on that I don’t think belong in a space where you, stranger, can read them.

This is consistent with a gradual shift toward more offline communication and fewer and more trivial interactions within the online realm, even with friends I was once incredibly close to. It’s sad, but it makes sense.

As I look forward, there are a few things I’d like to do, and most of them have something to do with finding balance. for example, I want to read more, but I want to find the happy medium between novels and short story collections, fiction and non-fiction, so on and so forth. I think I’ve been doing a lot of light reading, which certainly isn’t terrible, but I should do some more novel reading, too.

The same balance needs to exist between socializing and taking down time. I find that I am socializing maybe more than is comfortable, so I thirst down recharging time. But when I have that time, I often wind up contacting others instead of really vegging out, which I think I need to do for my own sanity.

This leads to me wasting a lot of time with Facebook games and such, which I need to pare down. If I did, I’d definitely have enough time to do more reading and to both relax completely without trying to distract myself from other thoughts.

One thing I am struggling with is how I feel so completely done with being single. In the past, being single hasn’t been such an issue, but it’s been a while and I’m struggling with the desire to be with someone and my general loathing of most people. It kinda makes meeting new people difficult, heh. I’ve been considering online dating again, but it just isn’t the best fit for me.

Perhaps most importantly, I need to find the balance between having goals and wanting to improve myself but not being so hard on myself that it stalls progress.

Oct 20

Closer to the Self

i’m so sad to finish the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. In fact, I may be finished with the book by the time this post goes live. You see, I’ve enjoyed reading it, but I’ve enjoyed reading about it even more. Each night, after I turned off the Kindle, I drift away to a world where I am Watson, and Sherlock and I are solving intricate mysteries. There’s such a sense of calm about them, though. They’re not troublesome mysteries.

I can’t remember what I dreamed about in the morning. I only recall the vague ambiance of the dreams themselves. I don’t even think we’ve solved a mystery yet, but my slumbertime travel to and travails in London is fantastic. I rarely have dreams that feel like interesting adventures rather than worrisome chases. My anxiety is no more lenient on me during my sleeping hours than it is during my waking ones.

I’m afraid to leave the world of Holmes and Watson when my eyes are open and when they’re closed. There is something about this world that I love so much, and it’s something due to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s writing. I’ve seen the movie. I’ve watched multiple shows (Elementary is turning out to be quite interesting!), but neither of them leave me quite so smitten and breathless.

I had no idea the effect the words on the screen would have on me. It’s so rare that I am so taken with anything or anyone. I think I may understand how Irene Adler felt to be Sherlocked.

Jan 06

Turn the Page

Apparently, Dez wants to read 25 books this year or did last year or whatever. I am such a horrible friend. I don’t pay enough attention. Anyway, when I saw this announcement I thought “That doesn’t seem like a lot of books” even though it’s slightly more than two per month and almost double what I read last year. I can count all the books I read, more or less, off the top of my head.

I’ve technically read 1.5 books this year so I’m on a roll. I’m finishing one that I started last month and I’ve got two more on my plate so I’m doing pretty well. Inevitably, I’ll slow down at some point as my life is taken over by MMOs or blogging but I hope to be slightly more consistent this year than last.

Jul 23

Pee Ess

I finally finished the book I have been reading for something like 7/8 months! God! I’ll probably finished the second edition of Ultimate Sandman and start Neverwhere and/or the next novel in the Death Gate Series.

On the mention of books, I entered to win a signed copy of Neil Gaiman’s the Graveyard Book – but you shouldn’t (so I can win, duh! ;)) Giveaways are also the subject of one of my recent posts on Reviews by Cole.

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