Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Honesty

I'm not a liar. I don't try to convince people that I'm good at sports, a natural blonde, or that I'm a prodigious clarinet player. However, I have had a problem with bending the truth.

This isn't a habit I'm proud of or I do intentionally, but I usually use it when something bad happens to ease the pain for myself. And probably I subconsciously want other people to view me a certain way, but at least in my conscious mind it seems like I tell little half truths to avoid facing the magnitude of the truth.

For example, right now I'm taking three weeks of an Algebra II class at summer school. I didn't flunk out or anything, but I took a really hard IB math course first semester (moral of this story: the IB program is not my thing) and that resulted in me getting a C and switching into Algebra II. I did pretty well in the second semester Algebra II class, but I have to get a B in summer school or they won't let me into Pre-Calculus, and I'll have to take finite mathematics, which frankly is a stupid person math class.

That, right there, was the truth. However, when people ask me why I'm in the class I don't mention the grades or the impending doom of finite math, I just kind of shrug and say it's to get the credits for college. Which is also true, it's just not the main reason. This leads me to two questions:
1. Is it necessary that other people know the truth about my faults?
2. Is it necessary for my own personal improvement that I tell other people about my faults?
So far I feel that the answer to question one is no, but the answer to question two might be yes. When it comes to talking to people I don't know very well or am uncomfortable with, it's often easier to give the shorter, half-true answer. But I don't know if it's good for me to go on like that, especially with people I feel like I could be close friends with. For example (I need to think of another phrase that means 'for example'), earlier last year I was walking with my friend Clair at school when we saw a poster for the fall play. She casually asked me if I had auditioned, and I said no. But I had auditioned, I just hadn't gotten in.

Was I harming anyone with that little white lie? No. It didn't effect anyone or anything. But if I can't own up to my own little slip-ups to my friends, then what's going to happen when I have a BIG slip-up? Because I do mess up a lot of things. I poked myself in the eye with a straw today. If that can happen I can probably mess up a lot of things. And I think it's important that I can acknowledge my own downfalls, and until I'm at a place where I can do that securely and not beat myself up and spiral downhill into a pit of low self-esteem. Until then, I just need to be honest. Not necessarily to complete strangers, but always to my friends.

Take today, for example (darn you stupid phrase). After summer school I walked to lunch with my friends Tyler and Haley, and although I've known them for a while (I've actually known Haley since I was about six or seven), we haven't spent much time just us. And we were at lunch for a really long time, thankfully we were three of the only people in the restaurant, and we just rambled on from subject to subject and I was able to be really honest with them. We just talked about our experiences with theatre and other random things and I didn't lie or stretch the truth or eliminate facts. And it was all very good and lovely and nothing bad happened, and I hope I can be like that in the future. I would continue boring you with musings on my innermost qualities, but I have to catch a bus at 6:45 tomorrow morning and force a grumpy bus driver to make change for a ten, so I'm going to go to sleep.

Happy birthday to Joseph Papp, Kris Kristofferson, Meryl Streep, Cyndi Lauper, Erin Brockovich, and Dan Brown. Ok, that sentence was so filled with awesome, I can't even.... just go back and read that sentence again.

6:45 tomorrow.... I can't do this.

2 comments:

Unknown said...

Be honest about the ugly truth. The alternative is a slippery slope to becoming a politician.

A. Shabizzness said...

OH MY GOD I TOTALLY AGREE WITH UNKNOWN. Steph, I'm so proud that you're venturing into the world of truth. Truth is the best thing you can possibly have in your life. To bend it will never make us happy. We have consciences. Yours is very powerful. Being completely honest will never result in regrets. I'm so glad you're recognizing this, it's a beautiful thing!!