I’m about to leave you behind, and I just wanted to say a farewell before I go. You’ve been my companion for so long, it’s going to be weird not having you around, but I’m afraid this little fellowship of adventurers has grown, and now there’s no place for you.
At first I thought Failure might stay back, so you wouldn’t have to be alone, but Horizon pointed out that if Failure wasn’t with me, I might not learn as much or try as hard. So she’s staying in the group, and you’re on your own.
I guess it’s no secret that Horizon’s never thought you should be the leader of our expedition. I don’t think he meant it personally. He’s just on to the next thing. You know how it is with him. And you weren’t taking us anywhere new.
It’s weird moving on without you. You’ve been such a part of my life. I keep thinking there’s something wrong with me. You’re not back there whispering warnings and keeping me on that safe, familiar path. Instead I’ve ventured on to overgrown trails. Unfamiliar ground. Scary new territory.
Remember Risky Way. It was the first time I trusted your instincts. We stayed back, avoided it, tried to make our own way around it, but then finally had to go through it anyway. You were right. It wasn’t an easy path. It was steep and cold, and I even got stuck in Pit Valley for a while. Remember that. You made up that silly “I told you so” song. And once we got through it, I listened to you first and let you determine where I would go next, and we stayed put for a really long time. I’ve wasted a lot of time with you.
I wanted to let you know, though, that I’m thankful you showed me how immense the mountain is and that I shouldn’t be my own guide out here, that I can’t do this on my own. You were definitely right about all of that. That’s why I’m depending on the mountain Guide now. He not only knows the mountain like the back of his hand, but he actually cares about me being on this journey. Thank you for introducing us. He told me recently that without you, I may have never even realized that the map was to an actual place and wasn’t just some antique piece of art that looked pretty and gave men something to talk about. You got me thinking, and for that I’ll always be grateful.
I know you think it was Confidence who stepped in front of you on the trail, separating us, but I think you should know that it was Love who convinced me that I should leave you behind. Love helped me find my footing, and it was love that pointed out how you kept me from exploring Cave of My Past and taking the Zip-line over Personal Adversity Waterfall. Love helped me see all the things I actually learned from our time in Risky Way and even Pit Valley. I learned so much about hiking and the terrain and even myself. I couldn’t have learned all of that on those paths we kept repeating. Surely, you can see that.
Maybe if I hadn’t avoided those other places, I would have made it here much sooner. Perhaps you thought you were protecting me, keeping me from pain and loss, and maybe you honestly didn’t realize how not going through those areas kept me circling the same trails and never moving forward. I don’t know your motives. And I want to think the best of you as we part ways.
I know I’ll think of you from time to time. Scary reminds me of you. She just isn’t that bossy. And Erudition says I still have a lot to learn about my time on the trail with you. It’s all a teachable moment with that guy.
I guess it’s bittersweet moving on. It’s hard to leave behind the familiar paths and comfortable little shelters we made, but I’m all in now. No going back. The Guide tells me that there are other mountains to climb beyond Mount Hope. I can’t even imagine.
Farewell, old friend.