The First Time I Told A Lie, I Snuck Out With A Boy Who Had A Car

The First Time I Told A Lie, I Snuck Out With A Boy Who Had A Car

The rest is history.

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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.

However...

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.

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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What We Learn from Other People

We are each other's greatest resource.

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As college students, we inevitably fall into a mundane routine of classes, jobs, and extracurriculars, with some rest and relaxation interspersed throughout the semester. While we all lead such busy lives, it can be challenging at times to branch out and meet new people, as deviating away from the familiar faces of our friends and acquaintances oftentimes adds stress, especially for more introverted individuals like myself.

However, when we do get the chance to venture away from our inner circles and discover how people from other walks of life spend their time, we have the potential to gain more than just friendship. By stepping out of my comfort zone this summer and taking an internship in an unfamiliar city, I set out to learn as much as I could from the new people around me.

When interacting with new people for the first time, once we get past the traditional questions about where they call home and what they are studying, we become more aware of how we present ourselves on a day to day basis. Should I use a slang phrase that I say all the time around my friends, or will they not understand? Should I make the kinds of jokes I make at home, or will they not find it funny? We become hyper-aware of how we interact, which can be a useful form of self-reflection. If you are spending time with someone who is more introverted, you might learn that you are more outgoing than you had originally thought. Perhaps the person you meet has a strong opinion that contradicts your own. You might learn that you tend to be more or less confrontational about your beliefs when interacting with new people.

We tend to project the best versions of ourselves in order to make a good first impression; however, we might not realize how close the best version is to our true selves until we are around people that don't know anything about us.

New friends can also result in new sources of inspiration. People are amazingly diverse in what they are passionate about and how they pursue those passions. Meeting people with astounding accomplishments can be intimidating at first, but by being proud of our peers' successes we become more driven in finding our own. Meeting people with interesting new hobbies and career goals can convince us to finally pick up that instrument or new language that we have been putting off for so long. If they can chase their dreams, why can't we? Our college and young adult years are ironically the most competitive as well as the most collaborative years of our lives.

By spending time learning from each other's successes and mistakes, we can set ourselves up for greatness not only in our professional or academic lives but also in our personal and spiritual pursuits.

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