This I Believe

Brian - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on December 13, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

As a young teen I used to believe I was invincible. I felt that I was able to face the world completely alone and would do just fine. I felt that opening up to others about my personal life or having best friends showed weakness. And of course I was so strong that I would never need support like that. I was invincible, nothing could bring me down, the world couldn’t stop me, or could it?

For as far back as I can remember I have been an observant person. As a child I would always feel like I was on the outside, separated from the world, just watching everyone else live life. Throughout grammar school I was completely comfortable being alone. I could be perfectly content watching T.V., playing video games or searching the internet by myself. Of course being young and naive I was certain that I had the strength to live my entire life without anyone else’s help. Life did not have enough time to take its toll on me by then. Soon I would see this view of life start to change right before my eyes.

The transition from a public grammar school to a Catholic high school, the coming and going of every girlfriend and all the pressure that is put on a teenager managed to combine and slowly break my spirit. It wasn’t until about my freshman year in high school that I began to realize that neither I nor anyone else could survive alone in this world. That realization pushed me to look to other people for support, something that I have never attempted before and was definitely not comfortable doing. I had to find the courage to let my guard down and attempt to put my feelings on the line.

With my spirit already broken there was nothing to lose. While with a group of acquaintances I would mention small things, like what happened during my day, and watch to see who would show any type of interest. After deciding who was interested I attempted to spend more time with that person and start to share more and more. The technique of singling out a person from a group of acquaintances was how I met my current best friend. I am glad that I decided to take this huge step because it completely changed my life. I opened up to the world and decided to share my life with whoever would listen. Being so observant I started to see that the more I opened up to others the more they opened up to me. The more I talked with others the easier it became for me to make friends. The friends that I have made as a teenager were able to mend my broken spirit. My friends were able to bring me up to the level of being a confident, happy person; back to where I used to be, but only better.

I believe in letting go. I believe that at some point in life everyone should build up the courage to swallow his/her pride and look for help in other people. Self confidence is definitely important, but too much can keep a person from fully experiencing life. Best friends bring out an entirely new aspect of life that most people cannot experience alone. And the best way to make friends like that is to let go.