2 min read

The climb to the top

Day 13 of my 100-day writing project
An old banyan tree with thick moss-laden trunks and roots that dangle from the trunks.
Photo by Fallon Michael / Unsplash

This tree seems to be never ending.

Its long trunk is full of ridges. It's roots sway below — ups and downs — both deep and shallow. Brown and spots of yellow. I scale its height. I know I’m being judgemental but everything’s worth a thought. It’s too tall — too long and too much for me, I think. I look at the roots. They are strong — too big and too tough. Oh, it’s all just too much for me.

And that lone fruit on the top-most branch? I'd like to taste it. I don’t want to be the jackal who claimed and concluded the grapes were sour because he couldn’t reach the bunch easy enough. Along came the giraffe to prove the jackal’s cowardliness. It’s that fruit — the sweet fruit of success. I'd stop at nothing to get to it.

And I, I'm scared. I don't know if I can do this. ‘You’re not cut out for this!’ cries a monkey. Well, I could probably hang on to one of the dangling roots, sway with it and slowly climb up. Or I can just move my way up the trunk — it may just work, who knows?

Swallowing my inhibitions and fear, I decide to give it a shot. I inch my body along the tree trunk — it’s hard against my soft skin, its ridges do very little in making the climb any easy. Parts of my skin are scathed. I'm bleeding. The monkey’s drone plays on loop. ‘You’re not cut out for this… You’re not cut out for this… You’re not cut out for this…’

I slip a few ridges — why is this slippery? Oh, oh, I’m falling… I inch up again but this time, I'm gasping for air. I try my best, but my body’s giving up. I gasp again. The air bags in my body lose a sense of control. My willpower stands no chance. Pretty sure someone’s strangling me. Several seconds of ordeal and climbing attempts later, I lose my life.

Through the clouds, I see my body fallen on the soft forest floor littered with withered leaves. A fish can never climb a tree and I should've known better! It’s OK to be a jackal — to be logical and give up on things you know you won’t be able to do.

I’d be a liar but I would've lived to try something else.

Always remember. It’s OK to give up.

Living well is more important than giving your life up for the wrong kind of success — especially one that comes from fulfilling other people's expectations.

Swathi is writing a blog post everyday for 100 days
Dear supporter! 👋 Thanks for stopping by. I’m Swathi, a writer, reader and a language nerd. I write about all things life, tech, reading and writing. As someone...