4 years ago today, I seriously thought I lost both my parents in the worst ever Nepal earthquake amongst the ~9000 people killed or >20,000 people injured. They were unreachable for days & I have no idea where they went. I only have an email from Dad the night before they left for Kathmandu with numbers, lawyers & insurance contact details in case something happened to them… ok who or what am I to deal with these humongous responsibilities!?!? It felt as if it’s not my choice but my destiny in written unspoken words along the lines of “JUST DEAL WITH IT & take the family helm if we never come back!!!” Then, of course, I was bombarded with all the phone calls & text messages from friends & family all over the world who were all worried about the safety & well-being of my parents & their friends. It never crossed my mind to think or complain that it’s unfair or selfish of them to pursuit risky adventures & abandon their parental responsibilities. I’m sure they did the best for us children that we will be OK even if they are no longer with us. I somehow understood my responsibilities as the eldest of 4 & accepted their love for adventure & hope they succeed in chasing their dreams before they get too old. They’ve worked hard all their life & now it’s their chance!!! Finally, it turned out they’re safe at Upper Mustang & was oblivious about the magnitude of the disaster until they returned to civilization.
The more I read, dream & pursue my adventures that comes with risks the more I understand what life is & being human. I recalled our first & last family trip to the Himalayas in 2013. Dad planned with Uncle V that we should be split into 2 groups in case our plane crashes in Lukla. Mom & Dad in the 1st group, & I’m in the 2nd group. The logic was, if their plane crashes they prefer to die together & still have me to look after the family. They agreed that it will be too painful to live without each other. I mean we openly discuss all these scenarios as a family! How many families do that?
And today, I am doing the same & yearn to go back to the Himalayas every year as if it’s my second home of just life, love & humanity. I have my emergency protocol… contact list & next of kin that I email before I go. There’s something intoxicatingly romantic & fascinating yet humbling about the wilderness, the raw state of nature & the unknown, unexplored less trodden paths of mankind. Why walk the path of everyone else when there’s everything else? Perhaps this why I can’t tolerate mediocrity, can’t settle for normality, can’t comprehend society’s fake facade because life & death is just a matter of fact, it’s the ultimate deadline & nature has its own unfathomed beauty.
I asked Mom 2 weeks ago about what they thought about my plans & if I’m being selfish or not for the risks I’m taking in pursuit of adventures. I was also trying to sniff out feedback because they had lunch with their prominent adventurer friend. A few days before they met, he was checking in on me about my plans, where do I want to be (my goals) & if Everest is in my bucket list. Mom’s answer was “Nope. It’s your life, your destiny so just go wherever you feel most alive & makes you happy! And we will be supportive & happy for you.” Feedback was I’m doing good because at least I listen, prepare well, willing to work real hard & take calculated risks versus being all gung-ho & ego driven. I know most people wouldn’t understand, always have lots to say but little action to none yet complain a lot & that’s perfectly OK too because it’s their life, their destiny contributing to the diversity of the human population!!
I’m not sure if it’s coincidence or there is really some sort of karmic energy going around whatever I am trying to do (like what my climbing friend Julie said to me on Friday) but just as I was drafting this write up on Saturday assessing if I am being selfish or not… NY Times published this article on Saturday, too which is so apt & so beautifully written:- https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/27/opinion/mountain-climbing.html
Once again, I think I found my answer. So here we are again, I’m ramping up my training in beast mode & feeling super sore, Karma Sherpa should have summited Everest via Tibet on a new route by now (he texted before moving to ABC last Tue with these pics), I’m anticipating my Winter Clothing Collection is reaching its limit soon & I have also recruited another mad mouse to join Team Mighty Mouse this Oct! It’s M-5 & HAPPY Monday! ❤
“What you seek is seeking you”Rumi