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Scaling My Mountain

Growing up the world was at my disposal. Privileged beyond mere love, my splendor was obscene. We werent rich, despire what I believed, blinded by childish naivety. My parents bled to bless me with affluence far beyond normality. This became so commonplace that from a young age I developed a taste for prosperity and decadence, evolving and maturing with me, growing from the gluttony of taste to the enigma of women, my personal favorite, and only vice. When I left home, I found myself stripped of all favor aside that from God. No longer could I rely on family and money to catapult me from danger or save me from the snapping jaws of deliverance. I was on my own. And aside from being in shape and book smart, I was woefully unprepared.

Living anywhere, sans car, motorcycle, or even bike, is no life at all. Instead it is drudgery, a mundane, listless existence. You are reduced to the station of beggar, of perpetual hitchhiker. When, as I do, you live 45 minutes from friends, at the very least, even the strongest bonds of kinship begin to rust and decay in the face of your reality. When you do manage to secure a ride, you are again transformed, not yourself in part but a kind of pest, a barely tolerable interloper. You are at the complete mercy of the driver, no longer a guest but an occupant. Is the collected heat in the car stifling, magnified by the cursed tropical sun beating directly down on your rolling coffin? Too bad, the owner of the vehicle wants the windows securely shut, lest any of the "cold air" escape your fatal, moving sauna. Perhaps the music isnt to your taste? Too bad, you will endure the cacophony of virulent sound as it scathes your eardrums to nothing. It doesnt start this way obviously. In the beginning, you are perpetually greatful for the ride, thanking your savior profusely. They are pleased as well, both for the companionship and, if you have any kind of sense or manners, the free gas refilling their tank or the complimentary lunch they are going to devour, courtesy of your bank account, a payment for their selfless labor. But, as time lurches forward and your requests take on the tone of annoyances, their mood begins to sour like exposed milk. And who can blame them? You're an adult, perfectly capable of self-sufficiency. Get a fucking car. Thankfully, my victimhood is about to end a week ahead of schedule, and I can finally reclaim the regal robes of the dignified. No more serfdom for this warrior.

Elation flooded my veins as I beheld her, a silver spectre framed brilliantly by the sun. She represented pure, undiluted freedom. Fatigued from a prolonged venture over the rowdy Pacific hadn't tarnished her magnificent luster one bit. As I once again sat at the helm of my mobile piece of home, idling impatiently, burning to flex the muscle of her engine, I knew that Id finally come full circle. With the remnants an Angel's lips captured in crimson red next to the rearview window and a heart brimming with adventure, I took off like a hellion, ripping out of the VPC powerfully, channeling my inner Dale Earnhardt. Id rescued my steed from incarceration, just as she'd emancipated me from exile. Pedal to the metal, chasing the tropical sunset.

I fondly remember the near hysterical fear I carried constantly as a younger man. On the precipice of adulthood, months away from being cast out permanently from the safety of adolescence, my supreme lack of confidence in myself and pessimistic hypochondria regarding my future was near pathological. With a head for numbers coupled with a discouraging lack of aptitude for the hard sciences, and a command of English diluted by crippling social anxiety, I was a character study in irony. My Senior Year of high school I seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and something about the film assuaged my dread towards the coming decade. Peter Bretter, the loveable loser relatable in his affability and innocence, is dumped suddenly and harshly by his girl, Sarah Marshall, in favor of charismatic, bohemian rockstar Aldous Snow. Through the course of the story, awakened to the truth of Sarah's treacherous nature, he leaves the stunning Kirsten Bell for my personal muse, Mila Kunis. The plot itself is hilarious, and Ill forever love the movie. Yet at that point in my life, I drew comfort from Peter, the flawed protagonist. Earning a living by way of his art, something I still aspire to do, he travels to Hawaii, where I now live, and ultimately uses his pain as a catalyst to improve. Now, at 25, I hope to do the same. Im incredibly blessed to call this my life. As I write this, Im surrounded by families on holiday, by businessmen and women traveling for work. As my CO is fond of reminding us, Im paid to live in fucking Hawaii. Life is good. Im enjoying the view from the top of my previously unscaleable mountain, ignoring the pebbles in my shoe. They're a nuisance, not terminal diagnosis. Aloha.

When darkness blankets my side of the island and Im alone in bed, my ghosts will inevitably reemerge to haunt me. Im no different than anyone else in this regard, but since they're mine, I tend to be a bit more selfish. Did I make the right decision? Should I have waited longer, taken the chance? What couldve been? These thoughts, these initially risk free imaginings, will drive you to lunacy. Instead, listen to the stalwart thud of your beating heart as it forges forward, charging forever into the abyss, challenging the world to do its worst. Because, truth be told, Ive been here before, and I survived. The inimitable Ivan Throne of Dark Triad Man, in discoursing on the nobility and strength of his Father, an Officer of the English armed forces, discussed his unique opinion on the differences seperating and defining a follower and a Leader. The follower, meek and pitiful in the face of consequence, will blame the world, his comrades, or complete strangers. Anyone but himself, the repugnant miscreant. But the Leader, pillar of masculinity he is, will simply state, "It was my decision." No explanation necessary from the Man forged from Iron. So, regret, you filthy wretch, when you present yourself to me in sniveling cowardice as always, I will confidently state, "It was my decision." Come whatever may. Memento Mori.


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