This I Believe

Kristine - Grass Valley, California
Entered on February 16, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: integrity

I believe in the truth. I believe that the truth changes from moment to moment. I believe that the truth has to change in order for continued growth. It was last Tuesday when I pulled into the drive thru. My stomach wasn’t empty – I was starving in my mind, attempting to quell the storm of my emotions. I asked for a cheeseburger with grilled onions. Nobody jumped out and pointed a finger at me. My picture didn’t appear on the evening news. She asked if I wanted a Lap Mat, to eat in the car. I laughed. She laughed back at me. I put the burger in the backseat, and resumed my journey. I remembered the article. There was a picture of a woman meditating with a leaf in her hand. Underneath was a caption that read “Shades of Green.” I had been hailed as the Greenest person in Sacramento. I received phone calls about it, emails from friends. I wonder what they would think of me now. “Shades of Hypocrisy?” Driving 120 miles in a van, alone, purchasing fast food. A vegetarian, about to embark on a gastronomic adventure. I spent a lot of time “believing” that killing and violence in any form are wrong, and I did not want that violence in my body. That is the truth. The truth is also that I became vegetarian 10 years ago for the secret purpose of losing weight and looking attractive. Since then, through dieting and the occasional bout of bulimia, I have enacted so much violence upon my body in the name of health, with the motive of outward beauty. Inside, I am hungry. Inside, I am lonely. I want to believe that I am that woman holding the leaf, sitting so peacefully. I want to believe that I am beautiful just the way I am. But that is not the truth. The truth is that sometimes I am peaceful, and sometimes I know my own beauty. Sometimes I eat until I am sick, and then I throw it all up. Sometimes I am hurt, and sometimes I hurt others. I wish I could believe that there is one right way to be, one formula for life. But that would make everyone else wrong. I believe that through questioning my own fundamental beliefs I have come a little closer to understanding the people around me. And maybe one day I will know myself. This I believe.