The world in front of her was dark. Pitch black. All she could hear was the sound of her own breath as it went IN…………………OUT………………IN………………….OUT…………….IN…………OUT……………IN
and then she held it.
Slowly, she opened her eyes. There was heavenly blue water flowing below her, reflecting off the shower of sunlight at different places, at different times, making it sparkle like the night sky filled to the brim with stars. It flowed through rocks and plants, along with fish and amphibians. It was a universe of its own.
It was so beautiful yet it was the last place she wanted to be because it was separated from her by an abyss, 10s of meters apart. Two logs which came till her waist were dug into the ground on either side of her. Each connected to its partner on the other end by two long dangling ropes.
The ones on top were free while the ones below were connected to each other at regular intervals with planks of wood. The ropes weren’t as taut as she would’ve liked, neither were the planks in full attendance. Though she could see her destination right in front of her, it was as far away right now as it was close.
She caught the ropes on either side with her palms. She had done this before, but every time she had a harness to protect her whenever she fell. This time there wasn’t. She looked down and took her first step, balancing her right foot on the first horizontal plank. The palms clutched the ropes even tighter. She then raised her left foot off the stable, immovable earth and placed it on the next plank. The bridge swayed a little and the grasp became tighter but the feet were firm and balanced.
She looked down towards her path with every step even though the abyss was where the gaze would inadvertently go. She closed her eyes one last time and this time when she opened it, all she saw was the wood. As she approached the half way she started feeling progressively more confident and comfortable.
On her next step the plank gave away and fell till it hit the water. Her grasp became tighter than ever but she somehow balanced herself with the other leg and her hands. She was shaken but maintained her composure. Gathering her courage, she kept going forward.
In the end when she stepped onto the earth again, she turned back to see where she had started and how these few steps had made her come a mile towards becoming a different person altogether.
Many a times, our goal is right in front of us. Almost every time, we have to go through an unsteady path to get there. Till a certain age we have our parents who protect us or lift us up every time we fall or fail. After a point we have to fight our battles alone. There will be things of such pulchritude that you get attracted to them almost certainly and entirely in one glance, but these things can be the reason for your downfall at the very same time.
You need to focus on the path you have taken and be loyal to it with all your heart and soul come what may, because the path to reaching your target is as important as achieving it. It is the path that teaches you everything, not the finish line for the latter signifies completion of progress, while the former signifies the process itself.
There will always be a couple of people in your life that are a constant. Those, who will never leave your side. Those, who will give you the confidence to take the first step. As you progress, you will find others who appear to be even more convivial and caring, who praise your work more. When they leave you at the time you need them the most is when you will realize that those 2 people were all that ever mattered. It will be them who will help you stay steady and give you the courage to go on. It will be then that you will hold on to them closer than you ever did.
Fear is important, it helps you to keep pushing till you get where you want to, but sometimes it is debilitating, sometimes it needs to be conquered by courage. Courage is not merely absence of fear but mastering it. All you need to do is listen to the music of you heart and breath as it has all the passwords to unlocking the only thing that will always make you invincible, your confidence. All it needs is you to ask it how badly you want to achieve what you have set out for. All it needs is you to listen to yourself, once.
There is never any hurry. Time is your own subjective. Your destination will always be there waiting for you. You need to select the right path to get there and move ahead with full steam. At times there might be only one unsteady and dangerous path, but with the right people by your side and the right attitude, it won’t be able to stop you either.
In the end, whenever you reach where you intended to go, always remember where you came from, for the new you might be a better version of the old but it is the old self that was standing across the bridge, having the courage to sacrifice itself in order to get metamorphosed into something better and happier.
She took a long breath as a smile made its way across her dusty face. She looked away from where she had come and towards where she wanted to go. Dusting herself off, she caught her backpack by its straps, slung it on the right shoulder and went onwards, glad that she did not give up, when everything else persuaded her to.
Take that first step, and everything else will fall into place on its own.
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Thomas Alva Edison