This I Believe

Linnea - Petaluma, California
Entered on October 31, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in lies.

Have you ever tried to not lie? Not to lie at all? Think about it objectively; notice how much “truth” you tell in a day, how much you exaggerate, how much you hide, and how much you just make up. It’s a shockingly large amount of our total communication—mine at least. However, most of my lies are not purposeful. We just lie and we are satisfied, and other people are satisfied and are lying to us, and we all lie to each other all the time.

In conversation, I strategically maneuver around things that I am ashamed of or have not thought through until lies have been built up and I forget what I am hiding and think something much more complicated or unfixable is going on. I end up convincing myself of my own lies and completely losing the secrets buried underneath them. My embarrassments seem easier to empathize with if I pass them off as “problems,” rather than thinking through my reasons for doing things and either changing how I act or accepting the immorality of my own logic. Typically if I think through a situation I can figure out exactly what I need to do, but my instinct is to take the easy way out and ask friends for help. Unfortunately, they can’t really help me because I’m lying to them so they don’t even remotely understand my actual situation. This system is ingrained in my life; even though I am conscious of it, I can’t get rid of it.

Yesterday, I broke down after seeing one of my closest friends perform the most mind-blowing piece of acting I have ever seen. He embodied his character so absolutely that during his performance I looked over at the place where he had been sitting just before, expecting a reaction from him, and was confused by his apparent disappearance. Later, I was emotionally drained and I didn’t know why, so I thought, wrote and came to the conclusion that I am intensely jealous of my close friends and of their talents, personalities, and overall situations. My passionate desire to see them act, sing, play, dance, write, and communicate, and my jealousy of their abilities are equally present, simultaneous emotions: when I see a friend do something incredible, I feel ecstasy and depression in equal measure.

I have to lie to myself to keep my ego intact, tell myself there are things I do better than anyone, so as not to be overwhelmed by jealousy.

I believe in truth as an alternative to automatic lies, and I believe in lies when the truth breaks you down.