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I'm Not Telling You, so get used to it/ Cupping the Universe in my Hands
I’m not telling you
So get use to it!
Okay, let’s put it this way. You’re 10 years old, lying in bed at about eleven-o-clock at night. You’re thinking about how your life is, when a question pops into your undeveloped mind. What is the meaning of life? You turn over in bed and take in the smell of fresh night air through your open window. “Go to bed, now!” Mom calls up to you. You turn off the book light, but you simply can’t fall asleep. You can’t find the answer to the question, and you can’t make up a lame excuse explaining why you’re up. So you roll over and force yourself to fall asleep. The next morning you feel confused and irritated. You ask yourself, why won’t it come to me? What is the meaning of life? You try forgetting about it. Then it comes back to you around a year later. Only then do you realize you’re trapped, and you know that you will be until you go insane. Before you hoped, you realize that you have become one with your room. You have stopped participating with your family. On family trips you bring along a microscope, and on vacations you bring test tubes. Your life has been swallowed up by infestatious germs. It’s your life ambition to answer the question, and there after you go crazy.
What is the meaning of life?
Think about it
This is not the case with me. Maybe a little over-exaggerated. I mean if I was a normal, everyday human it could have been, but I’m not normal. Here’s proof. One thing is that I’m not a very neat person. So instead of fresh night air I smelled dust and some moldy experiment. I’m also stubborn, and I just won’t open my window in dead winter, because I would get cold.
Another difference is that I made up a lame excuse and I said, “After the page!” My mom came up to check on me, and I was forced to turn off the book light (I wasn’t even reading). Still another difference is that to find the answer to the question it is not my life ambition. Nope, it took me about a week to figure out the meaning of life. It came to me after I experienced the feeling of being alive on a camping trip. There was and still is no need to have a second thought about the meaning of life. That, and normal people don’t read for six hours a night by mistake. Never! And still, the last difference (finally!) is that I haven’t gone crazy, and I hope I never will.
But I’m not telling you the secret of life. I don’t have to, and I won’t. You have to figure it out for yourself. Though, I’ll give you a hint. Go out and experience life for yourself. Take me for example; I go to the most outdoorsy school I know! Not only that, but my family is created from campers who sleep in a tent not an RV. We go skiing; we don’t use a snowmobile. We aren’t saying that we are living, we are living. Don’t be stuck in a lab looking into microscopes at things nobody can see. It doesn’t make any sense. Plus, how could it possibly help? So there you have it. My theory of life. If you don’t get it, read it again. So good luck, and don’t lock yourself up.
This is the real story.
Cupping the universe in my hands
Once upon a time, though only two years ago, a ten year old girl with curly red hair that barely touched her shoulders, lay in her bed. That girl was me.
Living with a family formed through campers, I was thinking about Labor Day Weekend, the weekend of my younger sister’s birthday. That was and still is the weekend we always go camping. It’s a bit of a ritual. But anyway, I was thinking about Labor Day Weekend, and the camping trip that we would soon take, at around eleven-o-clock at night. Now you know that ten years old is the year when most people decide that their siblings are bothersome, so you can probably imagine what I was thinking about. Well if you can’t I’ll just tell you, I was wondering to myself if there were any possible way to skip the trip. Now I knew that there wasn’t. For one, it is almost impossible to develop a fever of 100 and something, secondly I love camping so there was know way I could miss it.
When I was deciding if it was better or not to go on the trip, I also thought about how it wouldn’t be fair to my family if I did fake the fever! And people who know me well, know that when it comes to making other people have to miss something that they love because of me, I feel guilty.
And must I say that feeling guilty makes me want to throw up?
Anyway, to get back on track, I was thinking about how I would feel if they didn’t get what they wanted, and how they would feel if they didn’t get what they deserved. so some how, when I turned over in bed to check the time, a question that was so off topic it wanted me to laugh out loud like there was no tomorrow. The time was 11:11, and the question was: what is the meaning of life?
But that goofy question that doesn’t make any sense for me to answer wasn’t the only thing that made me want to guffaw (laugh hysterically at something or someone) at. But also, at that exact moment, I rolled over in bed to check the time, and my mom saw my bed side lamp on through my open door, and she did not call up nicely for me to go to bed. No, she screamed at me to go to bed from down stairs in the kitchen! The kitchen!
But knowing myself, I made up an awful excuse about why I was up and screamed right back down to her:
“After the page!” You probably know what back talk from kids does to parents. If you don’t know, then figure it out, because I don’t either. My mom came upstairs to have a word with me about back talk, but she was too late, and I turned off the book light.
Night can never stop me from anything, and that night it couldn’t stop me from silently chuckling in the dark.
That night I was my night
The time passed me by, ticking away so slowly it was as if I could run a lap around the universe in the minutes that it took me to fall asleep.
I would run on,
and on forever.
It was impossible to stop. I would never stop.
That night was the first night I cupped the universe I my hands.
I had asked myself a question.
What is the meaning of life?
Do you have an answer?
The next thing I knew I was sticking my smelly, sweaty, fetid feet into a river that came from freshly melted snow on the top of some mountain. Those were feet that could make you go blind if you were to smell them, but then all at once, those feet that felt as if they were created from the inside of a volcano, had turned into unfriendly glacial peaks. I wrenched my feet out of the water and pushed my hiking boots on, but as I did, I felt someone or something drilling into my back with their eyes. Cautiously, I turned around. Nothing was there, and as if by magic, my gaze fell to the water and something caught my eye. I plunged my hand in, ignoring the jagged cold gnawing at my fingers. My hand grabbed hold of the object and I closed a fist around it and yanked it out of the water.
That moment my parents told me and my siblings it was time to head back down the trail to the campsite. I forgot about the object in my hand, but my fist stayed closed.
On the way down the trail, I asked my dad what the time was. He said,
“11:11.” That made me laugh, and I laughed all the way to the trail head.
It was my own personal joke.
Only when I was inside our tent back at the camp ground did I remember my fist; I relaxed my hand, letting the object tumble out onto the many blankets and sleeping bags on the floor of the tent. I picked it up, it was a rock. It was a rock the color of the midnight sky.
Again I held the universe in my hands.
And this time I did not laugh.
The week after, I was freshly showered and dressed, lying in my own bed thinking about running laps around the universe, while tilting off to sleep. When on the verge of being able to sleep my question came to me again. What is the meaning of life?
And this time I knew the answer.
But I’m still not telling you.