Like anyone growing up in a big family, finding alone time can be a truly daunting task.
With strong Irish roots, I was constantly surrounded by my extended family, who all lived close by. As a teenager, I frequently felt drained after coming home from a long day of either school or work, and I rarely wanted to talk to any of my relatives, so I would retreat to my room for my much needed solitude.
At 16, my primary concerns were my friends, keeping up my grades, and a slew of extracurricular activities. Anything besides those three things took a backseat in my life, and my loved ones felt it.
My mom would often knock on my door asking if I wanted to participate in family game nights, movie outings, or was simply in the mood for a mother-daughter chitchat. I seldom agreed, which eventually discouraged her to send me any future invites.
While I'm not proud of being so self-indulgent at that age, I genuinely didn't comprehend how it impacted my family.
But then my grandmother got sick, and everything changed.