When I was seven years old I started to lie about my life, it didn’t matter who I told these lies to, whether it was an adult, friend, or someone I just met. I always had to make my life seem interesting and fascinating to others. I remember lying about an ice cream shop a bike ride away from my house, when really I lived deep within the woods and only had a few neighbors near by. There were times when I lied about my nationality, and I even made up fake friends and family members and gave them exotic lifestyles that they shared with me. When I was nine, I met a boy a few years older than me, but to me that made him seem so much older. He had such an exciting life.
His parents, though they weren’t in a relationship together, gave him whatever he wanted without him asking for it. I remember him having a great fashion sense for an eleven year old, and he had been to so many different places. It was arranged for him to go to Germany to stay with his mother over the summer; I would ask him endless questions about Germany, feeling so jealous and fascinated at the same time as he explained the food and the way people talked. The day that I saw myself clearly was the day we had been walking up my long driveway one evening.
I was telling him a made up story of how my big cousin (nonexistent big cousin) helped me sneak out of my house to go went swimming in the near by lake, when he cut me off by asking, “Why do you lie so much?” I laughed and shrugged at his question, not upset with being caught in my lie. I said, “I just like to make my life seem more fun.” He rolled his eyes and shook his head at me, with his reaction to my reply, I started to get defensive.
Right when I was about to ask him why he rolled his eyes, he said, “You don’t have to lie so much about yourself,” “My life is boring,” I replied. “Your life is so much more interesting, you’re always having fun doing things I could never do.” With that, he shook his head again and became quiet for just a moment before he said, “Your life is a lot better then mine, you have parents that are together and are always around, you only have one brother with the same mom and dad, you’re always around your family, and they like to be around you.
You have one nice house, not a bunch of houses you live in for a little while and then move again and the only reason I’m allowed to do all the fun stuff is because my parents just want to keep me busy all the time,” he said lastly. I didn’t know what to say to him, I wasn’t expecting the reality of his life, and as a nine year old I felt extremely awkward. Looking back at him then, I realized I really did have a great life; if not interesting, then normal. This was something he clearly wanted. As promised, he left for Germany in June. What he said to me that day always stuck with me. I didn’t lie about my life or my family anymore, because I realized that my life and my family were so much better than any lie I could have made up.