My experiences seem to repeat the same narrative; It can be reduced to a simple line, hope and disappointment. Sometimes it is clear, feelings and people – lines between realizing attraction and finding out that things wouldn’t work. Most of the time it’s murky, my parents promising something and never fully delivering on them.

I have dealt with disappointment for ages, at twelve my dad promised to build me a treehouse. They also promised to set aside money for college for me, and match however much money I made for a car. Well now I’m 18, have moved out, am self-sufficient, and haven’t received a penny from my dad. I can’t afford a car, don’t have my license, am a total loser in that regard. But hey, I have food in my fridge. I have a bed. I have tooth paste and blankets. I can afford to run a heater. Also, never got that treehouse.

It’s the same thing with romantic interests; I find someone I’m interested in, and then find out they’re not who I thought they were, they are in a relationship, don’t feel the same way, a number of different reasons. But it feels the same way. It’s painful, disappointing, and whether or not it really is, rejecting.

Sometimes I disappoint myself. Not as emotionally mature as I would like to be, didn’t take care of myself as well as I should have, wasn’t as competent as some of my other peers. Not being accepted to UCLA was a big one for me – why didn’t I do better? Why wasn’t I accepted, what set me apart negatively?

But being disappointed as many times as I have makes me resilient, it is less effective on me. So you don’t fulfill your promises? That’s okay, I just don’t deal with you. Simple as that. It doesn’t hurt me, I know that those who are flaky simply are lacking their own integrity. I can only build my own up.

What even is integrity? I mean there is the definition:

Integrity, the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. The state of being whole and undivided. The condition of being unified, unimpaired, or sound in construction. An internal consistency or lack of corruption in electronic data.

But when it is a quality in a person, it’s not as two dimensional as morality – its the character people carry with them despite their moral standings. Integrity is action, the things that one does when no one else will know the difference. It is listening to your conscious, being someone you are not proud of, but someone who you can trust.

I guess that is it, integrity is being able to trust yourself. I want to be able to trust myself, in fact it is my new short-term goal. I have learned to be honest with myself, and knew it wouldn’t be everything, but it was such a small achievement once I realized I couldn’t trust myself even when I was honest.

Honesty is only a part of integrity, and I’m on a long road to having it.


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