RTG Sept.: Masks by Lynn Lovegreen
This month’s theme is masks. I was stumped by this at first—I couldn’t think of any masks in my books, thought I might write about Alaska Native masks but it’s not something I’m an expert on….Then I thought of the kind of metaphorical masks we wear everyday. That is something I do know about.
We all have certain facades or masks we wear in public. For example, at work you might wear the “I’m confident” mask even when you are nervous about giving a presentation. Or you might wear your “I’m strong” mask with your child even though you’d rather go take a nap instead of lay down the law for the fortieth time that day. My point is, we all have to play certain roles or do things out of our comfort zone. That’s just being a grownup. But some masks aren't meant to be worn all the time.
In my case, and many others’, I wear the “I got this” mask when I want to do something myself. Sometimes that turns out fine, and I master the situation on my own. But other times, I should set down the mask and allow people to help me, or even ask people to help.
An obvious case: when I broke my shoulder and had to spend long days propped up on the couch with my right arm strapped to my side. My husband had to be my chief cook and bottle washer, and did a wonderful job. But while I accepted his help, I hated asking friends to drive me around and do things for me.
A less obvious case: when I get swamped with too many tasks, I usually say, “It’s okay, I’m just busy,” instead of asking for help and taking things off my plate. I run the danger of ruining my physical or mental health if I keep piling things on, just to save face, as they say, and keep my mask on.
Ladies and gentlemen, please take off your masks when you need to. Ask for help. It’s okay to be human, really. Let’s hold hands as we go through this journey of life and make it easier on ourselves and each other.
Lynn Lovegreen grew up in Alaska, and still lives there. Her young adult/new adult historical romances are set in the Alaska Gold Rush, a great time for drama, romance, and independent characters. See her website at www.lynnlovegreen.com.