Friday, 27 May 2016

It's really okay to fail sometimes

This is a story about failure...

I had the chance to go for a bit of a (micro) adventure last month. Went with some friends to Makkalidurga and the plan was to get off at the station, walk along the track for a bit and then turn off into the hills and trek up to a temple that's at the top.

For a variety of reasons we reached the Makkalidurga with a (woefully) inadequate six litres of water for the six of us for the entire trek. At night btw, did I mention that? ヾ( •́д•̀ ;)ノ We were supposed to trek up, set up camp on the summit and then trek back down in the morning in time for the train back to Bangalore.

There was finally a moment of reckoning, when we were about 75% up the hill. We had about an hour remaining to reach the top, and we had only two bottles remaining. We would've definitely reached the top but it would've been a Pyrrhic victory; We'd have had no water through the night, we wouldn't be able to eat because we'd be too parched and we'd still have to make it back down the next morning (in the heat, and hungry) and back to the train station before we'd get anything to drink.

The choice was obvious and so we walked back down till we found some flat space, pitched our tents and tried to get some sleep. The next morning we woke up, shared the remaining bottle of water and started back down. (We also found one small temple near the lake and refilled our bottles there so that was pretty awesome, but either way, there's no way it made sense to continue on to the summit)

We reached the station, found a coconut guy (and guzzled that ish), then bought all manner of fizzy, sugary sweetness from somewhere (and guzzled that as well) and had all the water we could possibly have. The worst of it was over... we were super ready to go back home to our creature comforts! (ˆ ڡ ˆ)

Looking back...

The thing is that I was feeling a little disappointed on the way back to the station. For me the joy in treks was to struggle to reach the top so that I could then enjoy a feeling of serenity and accomplishment at the top: You're literally standing above your normal life and you get a little perspective to just mellow out. I felt like I'd failed to achieve that 'Mountain-top Moment' and that the trip hadn't been fully completed. Worse, I felt partly responsible because maybe I should've bought water earlier rather than hope to buy it enroute.

I found an empty berth on the way back, climbed up and slept like a rock till we got back home. We got off at Yeshwantpur Railway Station and went back to Tanisha's place to get our bikes. Around that time (I think) something kinda clicked for me...

The journey to acceptance

Y'see, I felt like everyone else had just enjoyed the experience but Tanisha's the one who generally goes on trek's and I thought that she'd be disappointed as well and I was surprised to find out that she was completely at peace with the entire escapade! (° o°)!

That's when I realized that in being so focused on reaching the top, I'd lost out on experiencing all the little moments of serenity that were littered throughtout the trek. 
  • Walking around and finding the trail when we thought we'd lost it; 
  • scrambling over bramble thickets; 
  • Lieutenant Worf (our canine companion) deciding to adopt us at the train station and accompanying us; 
  • the same Lieutenant (promoted to Admiral) for being the best goddamn guard dog ever through the night; 
  • the way the stars looked when the torch lights went off... and on and on and on. 
Being so focused on the fact that I'd Failed to reach the top meant that I disregarded all those moments as they were happening...

So yea, I think I learnt something on that trek after all. And if you've failed at something it just means that you tried something that was outside your comfort zone, and that's totally okay. Just try and enjoy the process of it if you can, those Mountain-top Moments aren't just on the Mountain-top. ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

P.S. I'm trying out these Japanese emoji for these more personal-type posts... lemme know what you think. :D  
P.P.S If you'd like to read more about our trek, you can check out Tanisha's lovely post about it... April Microadventure | Fudge Together

No comments:

Post a Comment