- No one makes you go camping. In the rain. With kids in your ward. To make popsicle-stick service-crafts.
- You don't have to sit next to stinky teenage boys at school, or do holiday-themed crossword puzzles.
- You are no longer relegated to the stifling back seat of the car on road trips.
Over this past year I have made another realization that has revolutionized my mental health. In eighth grade during Mrs. Husk's section on Emily Dickinson, my class voted me 'most likely to stay at home, write poetry and wear white." And yeah, that pretty much pegs me. I'm extremely introverted. Throughout this whole crisis-year-from-hell with Eloise, I felt compelled to talk to people about the hardships. Part of this pressure came from others who would dig in and ask questions. Part of this pressure is from being raised in a culture that taught to dig into other people's issues to help. My natural instinct in times of crisis is to withdraw deeper into myself, and my realization is: that's okay. I don't have to talk to my ward members, a therapist, extended family, even close friends; I don't have to be involved in Facebook. I don't have to blog. I can just withdraw, because it takes too much emotional energy for me to deal with other people.
This has freed up so much mental and emotional space for me, which I've been able to channel into my passions. Art, music, literature, history. My children. So my most recent addition to the list of Why Its Okay to be a Grown-Up:
- You do not have to be socially engaged if it sucks the life out of you.