I have been a bit slack on the blogging front recently. Sometimes life just gets in the way and what little creative time I have I try and dedicate to poetry and editing. Last week I decided to allow myself a day that I devoted mostly to reading. This seemed like a decadent and indulgent thing to do and my reaction to allowing myself to do it led me to look more closely at why I felt that way. I suspect it has a lot to do with the attitudes of the people who surrounded me in my younger life. Although my mother was an avid reader (and it was definitely my mother that instilled in me my love of books), many other people in my younger life viewed reading as an indulgence and a waste of time. My first serious partner for example (who was dyslexic) often used to ask me why I was reading - his attitude was that I could make far better use of my time by doing something more practical.
It may be that these attitudes were the thing that held me back from studying for so long, and even when I did come to study I felt that I had to study something practical. It was only relatively recently that I allowed myself to study something that was important to me and I did a creative writing degree and later an MA. My only regret is that I did not pursue my dream earlier. If I had to give advice to my younger self it would be - don't listen to all those doubting voices, follow your dream!