This I Believe

Kevin - Rancho Palos Verdes, California
Entered on January 8, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Only when people begin to leave do the oblivious ones start to notice that they left. When my peers finally left me did I notice the distant gap between them and me. During the last years of middle school, I neglected and passed by my friends. Maybe I should have foreseen the crumbling of our relationships, but the time I finally saw the separation was after the graduation. Once we dispersed, I kept in touch occasionally, and I learned from this experience. I believe that affection (love and caring) is incredibly important to friendships.

An exempt of the separation was during 7th and 8th grades when I developed a relationship with a close friend. Besides last summer, I can’t remember a time when I did not talk to her for more than four days. We would converse much on aim, and later, the conversations were spoken through phones. I would talk or ask questions; she would listen or answer me, but because of my obliviousness and cynical mind, I failed to realize that I started to take our relationship for granted. Carelessly, I would talk aimlessly or randomly without paying attention to her feelings. As our exchanges became regular, I would multitask while giving minor attention to talking with her. Our conversations were reduced to long pauses of silence in which we could not think of anything to say. Affection plays a role in bringing and keeping people together. My relationship fell from a high to a low point. My personal friends should always have priority over trivial things, but I chose to be unmindful of them.

Our separation appeared clearly during the summer when I became bored and lonely without being surrounded by people. My loneliness led to the point where I would badger my friends with phone calls forcefully keeping in touch. Because of our relationship, I thought called my close friend quite often. I must have gotten out of control because she sent me an e-mail telling me to stop calling her. Distraught, we drifted apart to the point we would never acknowledge each other, even when we were apart by a few feet. After much thought, I finally took in that this event was screaming, “Don’t let your friends fall from your embrace!”

Although I have lost my dear friend, I will not lose my other ones. They make me feel like I exist-that I am loved and cared for. These special people remind me that if I fall, there will be friends ready to catch me and help me up on my feet. Without affection, people will fall apart and feel the loneliness I felt (I still do). Such pain hurts people both internally and mentally, making living much harder to bear and appreciate. “As our great poet Auden said, ‘Love each other or perish.’(Tues w/ Morrie by Mitch Albulm pg. 91)”