It is a peaceful and beautiful afternoon;
and yet, I am restless.
For some reason that I can’t put my finger on,
I feel in distress.

I feel like I am atop a great mountain,
all alone as the cold winds blow, unsteady my feet,
and clear my mind;
I feel as if there are clouds below me
that are preventing me from leaving my mountain-spot behind.

I feel like I am on top of the world, but that it doesn’t matter
because I can never go back the same way that I came;
I feel like I am the soul-survivor of an expedition,
and the reason why I am is because I am to blame.

Someone I have known all my life is getting married soon;
and while I am happy for her, I still cannot stop asking:
why is that not me?
The reason why is probably glaringly simple to others;
however, I am always the one who sees things a million miles away
before I see what is right in front of me.
It is a deficiency that I have worked hard to exorcise,
but my progress, if any, has always been short-lived-
perhaps it is a remnant of something that happened
to me when I was a kid?

I am happy in myself, in my relationships, in my work,
and in my life in general-
every minute I am inspired, able to breath deep, think intently,
and express myself in any way-
and for all that, I am incredibly grateful.
But I am missing something, something I may have had once, but lost-
something for which I feel like I am paying a heavy cost.

Machines don’t have regrets, and I am no machine-
wherever I look in my life I see echoes of another reality,
and indelible footprints of where I have been.
I have no real regrets, either-
only after-thoughts of what-could-have-been,
what could have I done better, and will I do better next time-
and I am proud of myself for doing so when I do,
because those questions are a part of my nature,
and one of the reasons why I continue to climb.

Everything that I am, that has happened to me, and what I have done,
has brought me, for better or for worse, to this apex-
and the only question that I have now,
and the question that will always keep me going, is:
what’s next?