A Tightrope

By Katya Sharma

There is a tightrope in my mind. It hovers 4 meters above the ground. The ground below is made up of cobblestones, unevenly put together. From up above they look solid and sturdy, but at ground level one can see the pitfalls and ankle twists.

On this tightrope, I am the artist. I no longer use a pole to balance after years of practice, I simply walk down the one inch thick rope with the prowess of an expert. Sometimes a gust of wind comes along and pushes me but I maintain my balance because the jump may hurt. These gusts of wind come along in the forms of eight hours of classes and two deadlines or fights with loved ones, but they do not compare with the catastrophe that would be to jump.

You may think that four meters is not too far, and it truly would probably only hurt my ankle, and I should jump while I am young and can still recover, however to jump would be to abandon the art that has become my tightrope walking. My everyday comfort in the sheer talent I have to deflect and compartmentalize any challenges until it is appropriate to face them. My deft ability at avoiding the past yet knowing its trials and tribulations can justify my idiosyncrasies of today.

I do not brandish past traumas, but I keep them in cages with little air holes, so when needed I can inhale them and remind myself that my faults are not just my fault, and while they may not be, my passive acceptance is the largest hindrance I could enforce upon myself.

When do I begin to take responsibility for myself?

At age thirteen, I started to walk the tightrope but then it was a mere meter above the ground, meaning I could hop on and off, allow myself stability and talent, but now it’s more dangerous than ever to jump and yet more crucial too.

For now, my tightrope is comfortable. Wind is rare in this scenic postcard, but I fear for the day the weather degenerates or worse the tightrope breaks.

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