This I Believe

Meghan - Syracuse, New York
Entered on September 6, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in honesty, integrity, and myself. I never really thought of myself as a liar until this past year. I mean I’d tell the basic white lies, here or there. Or I’d exaggerate a story. Or Sure, I’d give a guy a fake name or number at a bar. But who hasn’t done that? Some people lie all the time and about major things, like murder. In my mind, my lies weren’t an actual threat and couldn’t possibly hurt anyone.

One day, I realized I was hurting someone. I was a threat to myself. When I look back, my lying started to get out of control my freshman year of college. At parties or at bars, I would give guys I wasn’t interested in, a fake name. But eventually, I began to hide behind my fake names. Especially when I went out to a party where I only knew one or two people. I was so excited to start my freshman year, but once school really took off, I lost myself. My self – esteem had completely disappeared. I was terrified that no one would like me as me, Meghan. So, instead I hid behind alternative names. It didn’t end there; I began lying to my parents. When I went home on vacations, I would lie to them about the most random things. Like I’d say I took the dog for a walk when I really didn’t. Just silly things they would never care about.

Over last winter break, I realized one of my best friends’ lied to me all the time. Once I began catching her in lies, I lost respect for her. I didn’t believe anything she said. I was hurt because I felt like our whole friendship had meant nothing to her. I was sad because I knew I didn’t really know her at all. Finally, I realized I was just as bad as she was. Coming to these conclusions was exactly what I needed. I knew I didn’t want people to think of me in the same way I thought of her. Regardless of all the times my mother had told me, “a lie is a lie”, I never thought of myself as a liar. Sadly, it took me twenty years to come to this realization. I was lacking maturity and I knew I needed to change. Now, that I refuse to lie, even meaningless little white lies, I find myself to be a happier person. I have respect for myself and I have been able to rebuild my confidence. For these reasons, I believe in Honesty and Integrity. At the end of the day, I know I’ve been truthful to myself. I am a trustworthy, respectable person and no one can take that away from me. I’m sad that I once felt like I needed to hide behind so many silly lies. I’m just happy that I have matured and can continue growing into the person I want to be.