The Pillars to Paradise Chapter 1

The Pillars to Paradise

Twenty years from now, you will be disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover

- Mark Twain

Chapter 1

I watched the fluffy clouds from above. <br> I felt relief.<br> I felt free.<br> This was a new chapter in my life. <br> Freeing myself of everything that meant something to me.<br> A job.<br> Love.<br> Money.<br>

My life was shit till now. <br> My heart was broken<br> My job felt like I wasn’t going anywhere<br> And my life seemed to always be in debt.<br>

Then I saw my escape.<br> An escape to climb a mountain<br> A mountain called K2, second highest mountain in the world<br> I became obsessed by this idea<br> I wanted to die.<br> Up on this mountain<br> Like many others<br> Or I wanted to be reborn.<br> I needed to change my life<br> Maybe I would be a different person<br> Maybe not<br> But at least I did something many wouldn’t even dare.<br>

I wanted to tell people I lived my life<br> I wanted people to be amazed of what I did<br> And I hated everything I was till this day<br>

Why K2?<br> I should of chose Everest<br> People would know what I was talking about<br> It was the second highest mountain but considered one of the hardest<br> But the expedition leader explained to me that I would be looked after<br> With their help, I could make it up there<br> He smiled as he took my deposit<br> It was expensive but I didn’t care<br> I was selling everything I had <br> And I hoped that I wouldn’t be coming back<br> I’d be coming back to nothing<br>

I listened to the music on my ipod<br> Music was the one thing I loved most in my life<br> But I could never play an instrument<br> Music gave me the mood to reflect<br> Reflecting on my life<br> The music was slow and sad…<br>

I was going on 30<br> I felt like I had achieved nothing<br> I had big dreams<br> I was a big dreamer<br> But I gave into the convention of living day to day<br> I wanted to cry<br>

Failed relationships flashed by,<br> Women who didn’t want commitment<br> I wanted to hear those words<br> I love you<br> And mean it<br> I wanted to cry<br>

There was so much I wanted to do<br> Like writing and making films<br> They fascinated me<br> Making stories<br> Making a new world<br> But I let life intimidate me and went for the easy route<br> To get a 9 to 5 job<br> And I did that for years<br>

I drank away my life<br> I watched relationship die and drift away<br> And I fell into that deep river<br> Drowning in the alcohol<br>

When I handed that deposit over,<br> I made that conscious decision to change my life.<br> I gave up on my friends<br> On drinking and smoking<br> Material things<br> Anything that would keep me to this place.<br> And this was it.<br>

I worked.<br> I worked the day and night<br> I did my 9 to 5 then I worked crazy night shift jobs<br> Through that I found a life of selling drugs to my nine to fivers<br> So they could get through their weekends<br> I went into deep insomnia.<br> I began to lose weight<br> But I didn’t care<br> I felt tired but my vision kept me alive.<br> If I faltered even a minute of prolapsing into sleep,<br> I would remember that I would escape<br> Escape to a new<br> Free of that prison which was my own existence<br> It made me smile out of the zombie state I put myself in<br>

I really knew nothing of where I was going<br> I knew there was a lot of rocks and ice<br> I never seen ice mountains with my own eyes<br> And the idea of walking on ice thrilled me<br> I had never even left my own country<br> Except those corporate parties on islands,<br> Meeting and partying at nights<br> How I regret my lost path<br> I wanted to cry <br>

K2 was in Pakistan<br> A muslim country and I knew nothing about Islam<br> Except they were brandished as terrorists<br> But I knew a few muslims from work<br> There were the quiet achievers at work,<br> Keeping mainly to themselves<br> And so I got into asking questions<br> And they opened up<br> They let me into their lives and homes<br>

I became envious of their happiness<br> They lived simple lives with their wives and children<br> But it was better than the destructive world I lived in<br> I didn’t believe in God<br> But I wanted to find out who this god was<br> I did want to find a meaning to my life<br> I began crying<br>

And so I cried.<br> The tears flowed,<br> It was like waterfalls<br> The passengers next to me were shocked by my outburst<br> “What is wrong? Are you okay?�? the man next to me asked<br> I rubbed my cheeks and eyes brushing<br> I smiled at myself<br> “I’m okay. Today I am new person.�?<br> “Alhamduillah, God be praised�?<br> God be praised…<br>

The Pillars to Paradise Chapter 1

Jacob Simkin

Hoppers Crossing, Australia

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