To this day I still recall my greatest childhood feat. Being the pre-teen daredevil that I was, I decided that on the eve of my 14th birthday, I would no longer be confined by the unreasonable rules of my "old and boring" parents, who, mind you, had no understanding of my newfound maturity and understanding of the world.
With that being said, I formulated a plan that allowed me to spend all night out with a 16-year-old boy (who even had his own car.)
I didn't believe there was a single hiccup in my story.
I sat my parents down on the couch that afternoon and told them I was going to spend the night with a girl from class because we had a group project due the next day. I smiled, and they smiled back with gullibility radiating from their cheekbones.
Around 6:00 p.m. I threw on some sweats, grabbed an overnight bag that consisted of the leggings and v-neck shirt I was going to promptly change into, and yelled goodbye to my adorable parents who were as clueless as could be. I met the boy at the cul-de-sac in my neighborhood and wondered when I was going to be recruited for the FBI.
You probably assume this story ends with my parents catching me, grounding me, and ruining any chance I have of social life.
I hate to ruin the story for all the parents reading this, but my parents did not actually end up catching me. I woke up the next morning, had breakfast with my parents, told them of all the progress my partner and I made on our project and went on with my life as nothing happened.
I would not actually reflect on this "little white lie" I told until many years later.
And that's when it hit me.
Sure, the lie I told when I was 14 probably carried no large weight into defining my present character or the relationship I have with my parents. Luckily, I was able to realize the devastation of lying before it became a pattern in my life.
Does that mean that the eve of my 14th birthday was the last time I told a lie?
I wish. Unfortunately, over the past few years, I have stolen about 25 of my little sisters' candy bars, helped them scrounge their room for them knowing they were hidden behind my underwear in the top drawer of my dresser and lived to tell the tale.
As I have gotten older I have formed deeper relationships and felt the direct devastation a white lie can have on them. I have watched people I care about work to defend a lie that eventually comes to define them. I have lost friendships, family members and relationships to the type of lies I saw as harmless on the eve of my 14th birthday.
I have now felt the hurt and betrayal that comes with being on the receiving end of a lie, the guilt that comes with telling a lie, and the appreciation I have for this truth that runs much deeper than it did on the eve of my 14th birthday.
I think today I'll buy my sisters their favorite candy bar.