This I Believe

Kiara - Austin, Texas
Entered on November 14, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

A good hug is 100% joy + human connection + love = awesomeness. I don’t take for granted a hug’s awkwardness; I let the process become familiar, because after the oafish grappling of arms and pressing of bodies there is a moment that I have repeatedly fallen in love with. It’s like this omnipotent clarification, this ultimatum of understanding that, “Wow. Everything is going to be okay.” The value of a hug is remarkable, and I believe in appreciating the value of a hug. I first discovered this moment on a particularly bad day involving a 69 in French III and a lost cell phone. I was down, depressed, and desperately seeking human connection. All of my prayers were answered in the form of a hug.

My junior year of high school I was really good friends with this amazing girl named Melissa. We had Theatre together after lunch, and so usually that was the first time we saw each other every day. For months we carried on the same routine. When we saw each other for the first time we would hug, every single day.

Everybody has their bad days, mine mostly involved failing grades, stupid hurtful people, and unusually bad coincidences. When those days came around, probably a Monday, I would be ready to sling my backpack off my shoulders and hold on to her for dear life. And she had her problems too, divorced parents, a sister off in college, and Algebra II. I always knew when she was having a bad day because she would be waiting for my entrance. It didn’t matter if I was in a grumpy mood, I would open my arms and allow her head to rest on my shoulder just like always. Hugs just happen, you shouldn’t have to question or think about a hug.

The good days, however, were the most rewarding. Of course life seemed to shine a little bit brighter with a 99 in AP History or a role in the next show. When it’s a good day a hug is more about the giving. For a brief moment you’re allowed to share the happiness with another person. I’m telling you, a quality hug is like snow on Christmas morning. It’s perfection to find the comfort in another’s embrace so warm and genuine that your problems are put on hold.

I learned so much about Melissa that year and 90% of the information was gained through a daily hug. A hug is an immediate and deeply personal connection with another person. It allows you to give and take effortlessly and is completely dependent upon both participants. A hug can be a way to say thanks, or I love you, or good job, or hello. To me a hug is like whispering just loud enough to barely hear, “This is how I feel.” I believe in appreciating the value of a hug becau