This I Believe

Melissa - Phoenix, Arizona
Entered on April 28, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30


“…because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time; the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn like fabulous yellow roman candles, exploding like spiders across the stars…”

-Jack Kerouac

I’ve known many people, all of which have come and gone over the years- some genuine, others hollow. I have loved many, but my love hasn’t always been reciprocated. To quote U2, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.” In a synthetic world of fashion and ozone, friendship must remain organic and genuine. I’ve befriended people openly, but have found that some only deceive me and leave me empty. This hasn’t left me bitter- only wary. However, luck has smiled on me in the form of a certain few who elicit the best in me.

In these shallow days, camaraderie is viewed as commonplace and taken for granted. I believe it is true that friends come and go, but from my personal experience, friends never stay long enough to see what may develop of our tryst. I have attempted to flutter on the wind of a social butterfly, seeking satiation in each clique, but have often been let down. From what I’ve seen in the pandemonium that is high school, multiple groups cause one to gain multiple personalities, depending on who one is spending time with. Multiple personalities can cause what Morrie Schwartz might call a “tension of opposites”- on one hand, they can increase your mind’s spectrum and tolerance; on another, they can lead to a bloated ego and insecurity.

Different individuals from every echelon appeal to me. I’ve had friends like these, but our relationships are intermittent; we’re joined at the hip for a while until better things, people, or opportunities come along. An average person will make approximately 396 friends over the course of a lifetime; I suppose the occasional purge is only natural, perhaps even healthy. But will friends be chemically recycled or purely remade? The last thing I want is to be polluted by toxic allies.

Instead of groups and cliques, I seek to befriend individuals with whom I have no need to be someone I’m not. I’ve been fortunate enough to know, even if only temporarily, the bohemians that Mr. Kerouac spoke of. Most of them have changed over the period of time I have known them- some for better, others for worse. But I, too, have changed and I will not deny it. Our search is not alone- we are, essentially, all kids in an Easter egg hunt, seeking to look beneath the shell of life.

I am beginning to know myself and am happily in the process of finding and knowing those who are discovering themselves in turn. We who search for such meaning are drawn to each other. Merely this is enough to draw two nihilists together.