The double edged sword

My favorite teacher once said to me that success is not how far you reach in life or how well you do, but it is the ability to get up every time you fall. Just like Naruto, to never give up.

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On other ways to enjoy..

We were back in the hotel room, collapsing on the plush beds after the much needed clean shower. My body was aching severely in several places, but the sheer excitement of accomplishment from a couple of hours ago was still sinking in and refused to let me call it a day. One of my friends had already dozed off into deep slumber while my other friend and I were reflecting on the events of the day. There were several close calls (in my office we call them near-misses) and we shuddered to think of what would have happened to us had any of them occurred. Dehydration, sun-stroke, thunderstorm, pitch black darkness, muscle soreness, injuries, lack of food supplies, no means of communication, lack of proper equipment or experience, lack of sensible maps or the ability to estimate distance while gaining elevation. I guess the only unanimous feeling we had as we realized that  finally after 1.5 days we climbed onto some plain even land, as electric light from the street lamps hit our strained eyes welcoming us back into the modern civilized world was,  “ Thank God! We made it back alive! We did it! We hiked the Grand Canyon to the river and back! ”

We were now in the comfort and security of the hotel room knowing that we were no longer at the mercy of the natural elements outside. We both agreed that what we just did was probably the craziest thing we have ever done or would ever do (well, at least in my case, I don’t know yet  :P). He contemplatively remarked, “There are other ways to enjoy without going to the extreme”, and I retorted “I didn’t do this to enjoy!”. It was hard to explain. I knew even before I began the trip that this would be painful, would be taxing and risky (but it was even more so than I thought it would be). This trip meant something very different to me, something which is hard to explain even now. They say people who go on such trips alone are in search of something, seeking some answers, trying to connect something, trying to achieve something. The strange thing is, I knew I wanted to do this trip, even if it meant alone, but I don’t yet know clearly why. I love nature, but it wasn’t just that, I want to test my limits from time to time and break my self-boundaries, but it also isn’t just that, I really longed to see my friends, but it also wasn’t just that, I just still don’t know why. There are things that connect with our inner selves and perfectly make sense, but then it is hard to assign a logic or reason to them. Either way, this night I realized that what we did was definitely not trivial. It would perhaps take me ages to fathom the courage to do anything like this again. I gave my friend that; sure I will welcome the “other ways” to enjoy for a long while now. 🙂

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Taking life as it comes

Her fingers trembled with hope and excitement. Her anticipated happiness seemed so contagious that even the wind caught its color and sparked with electricity. Her anxiety was killing her so much that she resolved to shut it out from her consciousness. She tried and failed miserably; it did not even remotely seem to work. Her soul debated if it was worth being so vulnerable like a child, to trust her instincts and act impulsively. Her mind warned her not to slight the lessons learned from the bitter experiences, that it isn’t easy to escape the pain once the door opens. She clenched her fists tight and spun around. She caught a fleeting glimpse of something whizzing past on the other side that her eyes did not register clearly just as the door creaked open and a ray of light fell on her face. She froze and her heart skipped a beat. Was that it? Was it what she had been dreaming all this while for, or was it something she hoped to never see.

Her heart beat fast as it urged her to go for it, to have hope, to trust and to take a chance so that she will never have to regret brushing inches past it and never having the courage to open the door further to find her treasure. But her grown up self paralyzed her body trying to remind her of the scars and the pain that might very well be waiting for her in guise on the other side.

The door was never as easy to open. It had always been shut tight and locked complexly. She had to struggle hard the other times, but now it stood gently and slightly open as if beckoning her to discover its contents. She had nothing but her alone to prevent her from taking a step further. She had her alone to blame for any course of events that would result. It was her alone that could change her fate, or has fate already decided what she would do? She would never know.

Her fingers trembled, her heart beat at its fastest. Her teary eyes quivered with a mixture of hope and fear. She is not able to stand this charged up atmosphere. She is waiting for the rain and calm aftermath. She looked up to sky for an answer for a sign, for a slightest movement to tell her what to do. Today was exceptionally still, or perhaps in her state she could not register anything happening around her. Should she take life as it comes, should she do as she felt right here, right now in this moment, or should she give up control to her body and soul which knew what pain felt like and give up on taking a chance? What should she do?? What did she do?

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