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With the smell of black powder linger,
the burn of fluid lingering on my lips,
With the comforting curves of fresh armor,
the review of this decade follows.

(Varied CW incoming, will do my best to tag.)

(Yes, I know it's only 2019, but 80/20 principle, y'all~)

So, while I had my issues during the 90s and 2000s, the 10s is easily the most radical change state that I can recall, not only correcting numerous issues, but developing new abilities, passions, and connections beyond my wildest dreams.

My passion for networking, both as a career and as a hobby started to bloom, with me reaching out to more and more folks both local and remote, developing neighbors that would occasionally move or disconnect, but ultimately either helped me or continue to help me to this day, despite how strained things get or how infrequently things are updated.

My physical prowess, while offline for off-season indulgences, has improved despite falling out of the rigorous competition scene, developing into a strong Pro-Am presece that helps inspire more folks to stay active, physically, mentally, & spiritually.

I continue to challenge the status quo, utilizing my adjacencies to develop thoughts for myself, questioning authority, & subverting norms to develop a beacon of progress that a good ol' Southern boy(boi?) can provide in VERY nonstandard ways.

Once I was out of the standard educational model, I was granted further freedom of choice, which required some hard lessons, but allowed me to refine other aspects of my life, working from the bottom up with the original life goal of "Learn, Love, Help, Have Fun." (I'll get back to that in a moment.)

As I continued to refine my daily life, I let that processing shape myself into new forms. Enterprise network engineer. Spartan racer. Community outreach. LGBT specialist. Omnikink extraordinarie.

That did a lot for me, especially with getting into a stable living situation.

Wait... stability. Not risky. Not developing my connections further. Slipping out of touch. Letting hobbies languish. Allowing injuries to keep me down for extended periods. This is when I started developing new mental middle-ware, taking the principles of my ground work and pushing them upwards, yet letting the currents pull me.

And then 2018.

2018 was a year of reaching mental limits, pushing myself to the brink and figuring out how to break the glass. I had such tantalizing tastes of the future. Professional board gamer. Trifecta winner. KAC Champion. Fortune 50 employee. Inspirational host. Lover...

I had reached an impasse. I pushed my biochemistry to the limit and beyond, not quite hitting the chords I needed. I found what I needed from a trusted source, and dove in with only my fear holding me back.

And that was it. Fear. Failure. Distress.

That was the one weak link in the wall, and with the help of my closest confidant, I broke into a mad sprint and sent myself for a literal loop that provoked my greatest fear.

Stagnation.

That was the element that I hadn't truly confronted despite all of my effort. And it stood infinitely tall in front and around me, enveloping me whole, sucking me in.

But, thanks to a certain glowing otter, with all of their hardships and accomplishments, I stood.

"The void grinned at me, and I grinned back."

Just like that, in the span of a single night, shared with an entity that could not have existed without me, it all reflected on itself, and instead of becoming darkness, it shine infinitely brighter.

I couldn't have existed without that peer, either. Instead of spiraling into madness, happiness grew, without pursuit, just a natural state of the journey, shared with beings I can only now comprehend.

I became more. I became something unimaginable decades, years, months, days, hours before.

Across the threshold, as I broke beyond every limit ever experienced, with a frame rate that I could barely comprehend, it started to settle, but in a way that I could see, hear, smell, taste...feel.

The wall was gone.

As seconds turned to minutes turned to hours turned to days, and now weeks, I realize how important that was for me. This was the phase change that would take this experience and craft something entirely unique.

I am ready.

Despite still not being able to apply all of these revelations into consciousness, they are making their way in as I continue to process the buffer. That said, it finally reached 50,000 ft.

"To learn, love, protect, and love."

That is where the fun comes from, and with that minor, small change, it will continue to cascade, despite the collisions yet to occur, into a lighthouse that will outshine the universe itself.

The end of all things is only the beginning.

I already miss it.

🎶
Take me back to see that sky
Where the planets were not shy
And the milky way
Was brighter than the sun
When I stopped to share my sights
I found no words to let me try
And I am left with feelings only just begun
🎶

With a new year comes new challenge, new conflict, but new care, and new comfort.

🎶
Like fireworks, I saw the lights
Filling up my shadow
🎶

And we that compose Akkeresu know that the future carries the hopes, dreams, and determination this universe needs, and we are more than happy to weave it into reality.

🎵
When night falls, the stars shine bright
Like a road to carry me home
🎵

Always Bigger, y'all.

Thank you for listening. Let's get out there and kick some ass.

Together. Always and forever.

youtu.be/zpJMHmjt5ZI

(Note: this thread was actually composed entirely to Andrew Bayer's "In My Last Life", which is entirely too appropriate considering where this lead me. Thank you, @Oneironott. <3)

@catoxis forever entwined, drifting as we do. familiar and blurred together at the edges
🎶​ I think I've known you always 💙​

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