The Self-Proclaimed Beanstalk Lumberjack

Amaranthine leaves tickle Jack’s cheeks as he eagerly crawls up the inexplicably magical beanstalk. After an arduous life, Jack naïvely interprets the beanstalk as a ladder leading to a realm where he can literally & figuratively be on cloud nine. He climbs higher and higher, closer and closer to….happiness?

No. What he confuses for happiness is ironically a Leviathan of the azure. Instead of clear skies, he finds himself drowning in stormy seas.

What if there were millions of lost Jacks in this world? What if the beanstalk multiplied, breeding deceitful façades of self-actualization until a dense Amazon encompassed the globe?

Jack and the Giant Beanstalk: no longer a fictional story, but real life. Today, millions of people hoping to escape reality find themselves in the midst of intoxicating internal battles. I once vanished too, sinking into the suffocating embrace of anorexia, only to discover that my life did not radiate the beauty I thought starvation would feed me. Thankfully, though, I found recovery, the axe that gave me a way back. And after a grueling, yet exceptionally worthwhile 3-year journey of self-discovery, I was reunited with the warmth of Earth beneath my toes.

After experiencing how terrifying it was in that lonely sky, I decided to focus my life to cutting down the beanstalks, to helping the millions of the despondent adrift. Instead of using an axe, however, my weapon of choice would become my blog, Numbers Don’t Define Us.

Type in and a crisp image of three saturated fuschia asters, flowers that hug the Himalayas, radiates the screen. A calligraphy piece, reading “Storms Don’t Last Forever” encourages the Jacks to believe they can find their ways back down.

My blog is a digital world where I can combine my three passions—photography, calligraphy art, and powerful writing—to remind my viewers that there is yet to be an invention that can quantitatively measure human hearts, souls, and minds.

Posting weekly, sharing my advice on meaningful topics ranging from self-care to the college application process, I have gained a regular following of around a thousand Jacks who I have the potential to help.

“Simran, today, you have saved my 32-week pregnant daughter, who sat for 3 hours straight, reading through all your posts, just sobbing. You have accomplished the impossible—you have shown her that she truly deserves anorexia recovery.”

It is kind-hearted, gratitude-suffused messages like this that make me realize that my axe is strikingly sharp, adept at penetrating even the thickest of beanstalks, the darkest of storms, the saddest of emotions. Such messages are beautiful, sincere fuel, feeding my car as I continue to drive down the curved arteries of my heart, my axe, my philanthropic creation, my blog.

Now, I run a shop on my website, selling my calligraphy artwork, with 100% of the proceeds donated to Project HEAL, the largest non-profit that funds eating disorder treatment. Wondering who its youngest National Ambassador is? Simran Bansal, the same person, who through social media fundraising campaigns, annual galas, and her shop, has helped the organization raise a great amount of money to save lives. The same person whose livestream about her personal journey towards self-love has reached an audience of over 2,100 followers.

However, I know this is just the beginning of a life-long, rewarding, selfless journey. A journey which I hope will lead me to become a psychiatrist, where I can continue to help mentally-suffering patients find internal serenity once more. I aim to cultivate the ability of psychiatry to fuse neuroscience and medical illness into a holistic model focusing on the mind and patient experience. For, not only do experiences shape our minds, but our minds shape our experiences.

I, Simran Bansal, am a self-proclaimed beanstalk lumberjack, cutting down the forests of sorrow, planting vast fields of fuschia asters, nurturing them with words, art, self-expression, and eventually, my role as a psychiatrist.

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