When I consider this question,
I think immediately of the things I enjoy most. My family, being number one. Laughing. A little adventure. A BOATLOAD of adventure. Running, leaping, handclap games, skipping down the hall, singing LOUDLY, whistling, ropeswings, making love, stirring hot soup, breathing deeply, shadow puppets, collecting fallen moonleaves...Tranquil moments spent with smiling eyes reflecting inwardly at still water, the soul at peace.
So last weekend I sat across from good friend Kyle and pounding my fist on the table asked evenly, with desperate, frustrated clenched hand, "Kyle, what is the meaning of life?!" He half smiled, still looking down at his laptop. We both chuckled slightly. It was funny.
Can this be it? This book, this EMPTY book?" I lifted my binder of Accounting/Econ notes between two fingers to give the illusion of lightness, then let it fall, like a dead bug, down back to the table. Me not wanting to make a scene, disturbing only HIS concentration, because after all, I'm only half crazy.This one last thud did NOT echo, God didn't pick it up and repeat it, it was in fact deserted, only a single moment between me, Kyle, and the eyes and ears of our unsipped coffee and uneaten sandwiches. "This is life right now, Laura, and you just have to accept it for what it is. We are college students, and this is what college students do."
"So we do this, because everyone else says that's the way, and we just want to be like them and be 'successful' and have no life, and not think for ourselves and live life the way we want to? What if I died tomorrow, Kyle. What then? This day would have been wasted. I guarantee you, no matter how you look at it, this constant studying which is driving me insane, is a waste of time."
"You can't live like you're going to die tomorrow. That would be irresponsible."
"I'm sorry Kyle. I'll just suck it up because I want a degree I guess because that's what smart people do. They get degrees and then they get jobs to make money. And I guess that's all I really want out of life.
"Sigh- Yeah, I guess Laura. I guess."
I went to the cashier and ordered a bigger, fancier hot beverage. I sipped this one more casually. I thought no more of my true interests and things my soul longs for, and with a mind once again wrung dry, and a certain special lightness that leaving only lint in your pockets brings, started my studying anew. I considered my mental breakdown complete.