Tie a Knot and Hang On

As you reflect on your life thus far, what has someone said, written or expressed in some fashion that is especially meaningful to you? Why?

"Hey! Change your away message. It's so OLD!" The chat window pops up onto the screen of my computer. Cool. One of my friends just messaged me. Wait. What is wrong with my away message? Its font and color are conspicuous enough to alert others when I am busy. It is a quote from Thomas Jefferson: "When you reach the end of your life, tie a knot in it and hang on." As I read the quote, I think back to the evening five years ago when I first saw it.

It is midnight. The clock is ticking. Mrs. Ye who lives next door and takes pleasure in complaining about the noises that I make is turning off her lights. My parents' eyes are in a constant battle with gravity while watching me conquer another math problem. My bed is secretly ordering me to surrender to the exotic alphabet on the paper. My eyes are watery and burning from reading all the definitions that do not seem to make sense in my mind. "Difference between (x+1)2 and 2x?" I flip though my dictionary and find the definition: "Difference: noun. The quality of being unlike." If difference means not the same, why is this word used here? The gears in my head creak tiredly, threatening to stop working in the midst of my confusion. For the...

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