I stand before your towering mass, rigid and clean hews of the stone that makes you what you are. I am dwarfed in comparison, yet what I seek, what I crave, is at the top where your mind is. Where your thinking and feeling parts are. I search for even the slightest imperfection in your stone being, hoping to even attempt the climb, yet there is none. Your rocky surface is as smooth and hard as tempered glass. No, I will not be able to reach you.

Instead I perform feats of strength, of intellect, of stamina, yet the mass that is your mind does not turn, the hewn lips settled in a disgruntled frown. Regardless I strive again and again, even when I think I can’t take another breath I do, because I want you to see. I want you to see me, the whole me, not just my successes, but my numerous failures. I am buried by them, my failures, and this irrational need for your approval. Underneath is nothing but darkness and shame. I shiver at the thought that I may never impress, nor gain your approval.

It is in that moment where I am buried by a lifetime of failure, looking up through the cracks to see your fixed frown that I decide, no more. I am not going to try and live up to what you want me to be, I am not going to allow myself to project the shame I feel on to you. I must own it, all of it, even the worst parts of it. This is my life, my existence, I must push forward. The way forward is terrifying, it takes me away from you, yet I think it is what you would want.

I crawl out from beneath the rubble and dust myself off. I look one more time at the towering monolith and its perpetually frowning face and walk away. To where? I don’t know, somewhere, anywhere. I go forward instead of in circles, up instead of down, I dictate my path. As I reach the peak of a nearby mountain, unbeknownst to me, the statue, the monolith, is smiling.


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