This I Believe

ali - indian head park, Illinois
Entered on September 8, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that pure, complete misery and suffering brings you as close to your friends as anything ever could. Months ago, three of my friends and I decided to go to the Shedd Aquarium for the day. At the time, I had barely known any of them, besides seeing them at school and hanging out a few times beforehand. Nonetheless, we were looking forward to a day of getting to know each other better.

We concluded that an early train would be best, so that we could beat the crowds. As 6:30 a.m. rolled around, the weather was looking good; it was late fall and nothing more than a little cool and windy. Dressing accordingly, we wore jeans and normal jackets. But as our train approached the city, snow began to fall. It was the kind of snow that sticks, and by the time we even reached the aquarium we were soaked. After we had looked at everything in the aquarium, we decided it was time to go and find something to eat. But bad turned to worse, and we realized that we had only enough money to eat and buy train tickets home; we had no money for a cab, and we would have to walk. It was a full two miles from the aquarium to the food, and the snow was a foot deep. We toughed it: in wet shoes and with frigid fingers, we made it there, but all we wanted at that point was to go home. Another long walk to the train station in the blizzard left me the coldest I have ever been in my life.

The trip seemed like a complete failure, as everyone was completely miserable and unhappy the entire time. But looking back, that terrible experience actually gave us something to be miserable about together. The four of us have concluded that seeing each other at our worst made us closer. Because of this, I believe that something terrible like this day brings you closer to the people you are miserable with.