This I Believe

Evi - Irving, Texas
Entered on March 19, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

What Really Matters

Scrambling up the stairs, we heavily pant once we reach the top. Hauling as much as we could, we throw a bundle of blankets into my room, begin to display our ideas, and eventually resolve a compromise plan. The tent was to be open in the corner of my room, with divider-blankets so each of us would have our own space, and the curtains on the window were to be drawn over everything to create a system of mailboxes. Once we had the blankets positioned correctly, we created our own segments of the tent. A race was held between us to see who can gather the best equipment to put inside, “Ready, set, GO!” we screech, and the stampede of two tiny girls is heard throughout the entire household. Exhausted, we collapse onto the ground and scatter our items into the ‘common’ area of the tent. We then trade our possessions and hurriedly scamper about to position them.

Now I tell her, “No looking until we finish!”

“I won’t if you won’t!” she supremely declares.

Once we have finished this task on the tent’s creation to-do list, we begin another mission- the best sneak award. Smearing our faces with black eyeliner, we imagine we are playing mission impossible, and wait until ‘after bedtime’ to creep downstairs. Avoiding the squeaking stair, we bound down the steps and conceal ourselves from parents, the enemy tonight. Once downstairs we are no longer allies, but opponents thinking of maneuvers to the fridge. A shopping bag full of treats is heaved upstairs by each uncaught agent. With the door locked behind us, we empty the bags onto the spotless carpet. Counting every last piece of chocolate, the winner is decided and glorified by the loser.

We flop ourselves onto the floor, and after a long night of work, we have first-row seats to the inauguration of our castle. We explore the imagined atmosphere, different to both of us. The content tent looks back at us and asks us what to do next. Nothing bursts into our heads, and we think through everything we just accomplished, almost disappointed it was over. Frustrated that there was nothing left to do. We don’t realize that there was a lesson we learned, that applies to almost everything you encounter in life: The journey is greater than the end result. I realized, the real experience wasn’t the completion but the time spent trying to achieve it. The journey, whether it is making a tent, or fighting a war, is more important than the destination.