Musings from a Sick Girl: Trust

(Elaine Vilorio)– It’s daytime and I’m taking “nighttime cold and flu relief” medicine; the brand is Rite Aid because it’s cheaper than your more popular brands and has the same exact content to boot. I relish in the advantages of a mild to severe cold: staying inside, reading a book or watching a movie, contemplating everything around you because your senses are jumbled. I choose to watch Safety Not Guaranteed for a second time. I finish it. And, in a medicine-induced stupor, I start contemplating the reoccurring concept of trust in Safety Not Guaranteed. I start thinking about what trust means to me and what it will mean to me in these coming weeks and months.

If you haven’t seen Safety Not Guaranteed, I strongly recommend it. Please be advised this post contains spoilers. Here’s the trailer:

My favorite part of the movie is the end. Kenneth, the man behind the ad, is on his time traveling boat. He asks Darius, the female magazine intern, “You trust me?” Darius looks at him. She lightly nods her head and steps aboard.

Why does she trust him? He makes her participate in a robbery. He lies to her about the death of an ex-girlfriend. He’s wanted by the federal government on counts of espionage. And, strangest of all, he believes in time travel. But, despite these circumstances, she trusts him. It’s not simply because she loves him; you can love someone and not trust them.

The people you choose to trust have a stake in your life. You give them your thoughts and emotions when you confide in them. You give them your faith when you believe in them. You give them your life when you choose to step on a boat that may or may not self-destruct in an attempt to time travel. You consciously give them influence over your life. That is absolutely frightening. And, yet, it’s absolutely necessary. Trust lightens the load of living. It builds a network of support you can utilize and supplement. At the risk of heightened vulnerability, you become stronger. Darius chooses to trust Kenneth because of his good intentions and potentially “flippin’ pinpoint” calibrations; he’s offering to bring her back to the moment her mother died so as to prevent her death. Darius chooses to believe the best about Kenneth. In essence, this is trust: choosing to believe that the better part of a fellow being will prevail enough to help you.

I’ve had my fair share of trust issues; trust isn’t easy to cultivate and maintain. Just as they have the potential to help you, the people you choose to trust have the potential to hurt you. One of my most poignant memories about trust occurred in the winter of third grade and, of course, it involved a boy (of course). The subject of my affection was Eric Garcia. I role played Code Name: Kids Next Door with him and his gang on the playground after school. I read video game magazines with him in the cafeteria. I made fun of his love of Yu-Gi-Oh! and pretended to be sorry about it afterwards. So overwhelming were my emotions, I had to tell someone about them. I definitely didn’t tell Eric; third grade logic says publicly disclosing your romantic feelings for the opposite gender is abnormal. Instead, I told my cousin, Jessica. Jessica was a fourth grader at my school, so she knew who Eric was when I confided in her. I had always looked to Jessica for support. At the time, she was the one who knew me better than most people. Because of her role in my life, it was especially hurtful when her friend told me Jessica had told Eric I “liked” him. When I confronted her about it, she denied it. But then, what about telling her friend? Either way, she had betrayed my trust in her. I stopped confiding in her for some time. Eventually, I gave her a second chance and I’m glad I did. People make mistakes; had this violation of my trust become periodic, Jessica would have lost it completely. As it was, I chose to believe the best about her, and in my childhood, she was a supportive figure. This seemingly trivial occurrence helped me develop my definition of trust more acutely.

The action of establishing trust will be especially significant in the upcoming weeks and months. As a first-year student, I’ll be exposed to a brand new environment and a barrage of new people. My network of trust is either being left at home or going off to colleges around the country. I’m going to need people around me to fall back on. I’m going to have to build a network of trust entirely from scratch. The feat is nerve-wracking and exciting. How easy, how hard, will this be? What the hell is the Amherst Awkward and will that get in the way? (Seriously, is that a thing?)

Trust doesn’t make you sure of the person overall; trust makes you sure of the goodness in the person. Whether we’ll be time traveling or not, I’m ready to be with good people come Orientation. And, just as I’m excited to build up my network of trust, I’m eager to become a part of someone else’s.