Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The aftermath of a bold move

This year, I've focused a lot on enlivening my social habits, which often requires all the boldness I can muster. For some people, making friends is so natural they don't think twice about it, but I have always struggled in this area. Sometimes I feel like every cell in my body is fighting against my having any sort of social life at all. Pushing back against my introverted tendencies is almost always exhausting and discouraging.

It's often a battle I don't win, which doesn't exactly inspire me to try harder. (Which is why it's important to recognize when it's time to take a break.)

But every now and then, I score a victory. And the euphoria from that victory is strong enough to last for days. Weeks, even, if I roll with the momentum.

This week, my goal was to go to Cornbellys with my ward. I have loved corn mazes since the first time I went to one about 15 years ago. I was a brand-new Beehive, and didn't really have friends in the ward. But when your dad is in the bishopric, it's hard to get out of going to activities. (It's even harder when your mom is the Young Womens president—but that came later.)

My worst fear came to pass when everyone clumped into groups and darted into the maze, leaving me to either hang out with my dad or go through by myself: equally humiliating options when you're 12 years old. I entered the maze anyway, mostly to satiate my curiosity; I wanted to see for myself what all the fuss was about. In front of me were a few girls in my ward. One of them saw me ambling along, and immediately invited me to be in their group.

And just like that, I was part of a laughing group of girls, just like I hoped I would be. Every year I went back, it was a similar story—I would somehow find myself in the middle of a group of teenagers, having a great time.

So I had a lot of good reasons to go to the corn maze with my YSA ward. But those same fears I had as a teenager were still there: I would have to show up alone and sneak into a group. There would be three solid hours of socializing. No one would understand my sense of humor, and I'd spend the whole time wishing one of my sisters was with me.

It didn't matter that I knew the activity would be fun. It didn't matter that I've been longing to revisit a corn maze for years. It was still a social activity with people I hadn't cliqued with yet—my instincts were screaming at me to stay home and crochet instead.

But this time, the need for something different—even if it was uncomfortable—won out. And the payoff was better than it usually is—I planted a few seeds for new friendships, saw the stars and some wicked awesome pumpkin carvings, and burned my tongue on 7-11 hot chocolate. (Completely worth it, in my opinion.)

It's another good corn maze memory to add to my journal. But the euphoric feeling I had when I went to bed that night—knowing that I took a risk, which paid off—that's what I'll remember most.

This blog challenge may have been what tipped the scales for this particular battle.


  1. I love that this is tagged with "Caring for your introvert"

    Also - I'v enever been in a real corn maze. We grew up on the edge of a corn field so I've been in corn fields a lot, but corn mazes are newer to me. I never made it to Cornbellies in Provo, which I regret now. I was terrible at attending FHE and stuff and that usually seemed to be when people went.

  2. A regular corn field would be much less crowded, but I still love the maze part. The Cornbellys in Lehi has a different theme every year, and this year the maze was shaped like the yellow brick road from The Wizard of Oz. It was crazy crowded because every YSA ward in the valley was there that night, but we had surprisingly few run-ins with other groups while we were wandering around the maze.

    I'm sad I missed the Y hike yesterday. I got off work late and then completely forgot about it. I'm glad you got to drink in some non-humid, mountain air, though. :)