This I Believe

Catherine - Topeka, Kansas
Entered on December 16, 2007

I believe that friends are important to have.

I have always been a loner in school and the only friend I saw outside of school was my neighbor, Emily, who I’d grown up with. When she moved away, I began to isolate myself.

My next best friend came in the form of a fifth grader when I was in third grade. I only knew her for a year, but I still remember her since she was the first in school to really draw me out of my shell. I don’t remember how I met her but I began to play with her during recess.

My next friend was somebody I’d known all throughout school, only becoming real friends when we became classmates in fifth grade. We played everyday during recess together, whether pretending to be wizards like in Harry Potter, or just goofing off. We have been friends since then, going to the same middle school and then the same high school. I was there to see her first boyfriend and she didn’t understand why I never showed interest in guys but she eventually stopped trying to talk girl-talk with me as well.

Dassie led me to the friends I have now. Somehow, I started eating lunch with them and seeing them during class. That was the biggest group of friends I’d ever had! It had at first started with just the small group I knew from class and then when the leader of the group, Kylie, started a club, Dassie urged me to join. So I had forced myself to sign up with the club and there I met more people who I can now claim as my friends than I’d ever had. They pulled me from my self-imposed isolation and made me comfortable around them. Since then, I have been eating lunch with my friends every day, have gone to our club meetings whenever possible, helped raise money for the club trips, and even hung out with them outside of school – something I have never really done with friends. Many of them have known each other longer than the two years I have known them all and they have an ease around each other that I still don’t. They can hug and can say ‘I love you’ to each other, something I have never been able to say to anybody outside of my family. It still makes me a uncomfortable when they say they love me when I leave the group but now when they hug me I only pretend to not like it or I sometimes return the hug. I have gone out to eat with the group more than once and now we’re planning a trip to see the midnight viewing of Sweeny Todd and I’m not even nervous about it as I usually would be.

I’m still a loner when I’m not around them and I’m sure I could function just fine without them, but I’d rather not. My friends are important to me.