In this world that is progressing at light speed, do you ever feel that you can’t keep up? Do you feel suffocated, burnt out, and want to give up because it keeps getting harder and harder no matter how hard you try to strive for it? Let me tell you about an experience that made me realize something fundamental.
Even after throwing out a lot of tantrums and mean teenage gestures, my parents somehow convinced me to go on a trek with them. It was my first time trekking and I had not left home for six months. I lethargically loaded our trekking kits into the car and off we went like a ship sailing on an untamed sea.
I enjoyed sitting in the car, the view was scenic-lush, green mountains with few settlements here and there. I had no idea what trekking looked like until we reached the foot of the mountain we would climb.
The mountain peak was a fort, built by the rulers of the Maratha empire it perfectly reflected their gorilla warfare strategy, one could hardly differentiate the fort from the mountain. I could see stairs that people were climbing and thus I had a momentary relief that the trek was not a trek. I wanted all of this to be over soon so that I could go back to bed and then finish my assignments which I had been scoring low on, repeatedly.
I was frustrated and that sort of gave me a motivation to climb up only to climb down. And so I started the climb – right foot and then left foot – not looking back and not waiting for anyone, soon I found myself drained to death, breathless with no water. So I decided to wait for Mum and Dad until I realized I was lost in the forest. There were multiple paths to reach the mountain and certainly my parents and I weren’t on the same one. A thousand thoughts rushed through my mind. I pulled myself together and went on.
The stairs seemed to go on forever and there was no sight of the top. I was surrounded by a dense dark forest, whispering weird noises it was as if I was lost in the forbidden forest. I thought of giving up many times, I thought of curling up in a corner and crying until someone found me, I was losing hope.
Just about the moment when I was going to give up, I emerged out of the forest and a beautiful view of the entire landscape beneath took away all my sorrow. I was back to life; I was so overwhelmed with joy that I shouted a “whooooo hoooo!!!!’’ aloud into the valley to which my father responded with the same enthusiasm.
My parents soon reached the place where I was, I drank some water and got acquainted with my parent’s new friends, whom they met on their way up the hill. I continued my journey ahead of them, we were still not even halfway through. I found myself on the verge of breaking down a hundred times, but after all the crying and cribbing I told myself – ‘5 steps for 5-minute break’. By following this voice I soon made it to the top and all the effort and pain was worth it.
While I lay on the grass of the plateau on the top of the hill, I realized this is what I need to keep doing in my life as well. I need to get out and take up things that challenge me so that I can see more views just like this one. In my journey, I came across a lot of situations- I got lost, I saw weird spooky animals, I got my ankle twisted, I was tired and I had no energy to even breathe – but I made it to the summit. Just like all of you out there who feel that it’s getting too hard, maybe it was the wrong choice, I am a failure and can’t do anything right; ask yourself why you started what you started. What was your actual dream? Life will throw stuff at you, it will twist you, try to crush but it is your job not to succumb to it.
Just remember – 5 steps ahead for a 5-minute break. Keep going ahead and give yourself breaks – during this break maybe someone will get ahead of you but that’s not a big deal, you can take over in the next 5 steps. My trek has changed me into a whole new person, I hope your climb of your will help you realize this too.
All of it will eventually turned out beautiful and I can assure you that you will love the view from the top.