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  • "So, as you would imagine, I grew up exuberant in body but with a nervy, craving mind. It was wanting something more, something tangible. It sought for reality intensely, always as if it were not there... But you see at once what I do, I climb." - John Menlove Edwards.

    Step by step, grunt by grunt, drop of sweat by drop of sweat, I finally make it to the top and survey the beauty of the landscape on a cold and windy February morning.

    I am atop the Great Wall of China at Mutianyu.

    I wander into one of the Wall's watch towers to catch my breath and stare through the window at the Wall as it snaked for miles and miles, eventually dropping out of sight.

    I have been in China for three days - I am all alone, and I couldn't be happier. My Chinese has proven good enough to sustain me and feed me, and after walking the streets of Beijing, wandering through its ancient alleys, and losing myself in the history of its sites, my path had led me here.

    As I gaze upon the panorama of the Wall, the mountains, and the valleys dotted with the villages that time forgot, I am, as far as I'm concerned, on top of the world.

    At that moment, I recognized that I was experiencing a feeling that not many people get to enjoy - not from the scenery at the Wall...the Wall was just a happy coincidence.

    No. It was the feeling of invincibility - the feeling of being bigger than the myself. The rush of adrenaline that we feel when we are at the top of our game. The quickened heartbeats of longing that I had felt for months were laid still by satiation. The wings of my dreams had, at last, carried me here. I was born anew in the wave of self-exultation and the unfolding drama of my own life.

    We humans generally rush through our best moments in life, and as a result, we hardly ever get to savor that feeling of being on top, to experience and soak in the beauty of our lives in that one precious moment.

    I was fortunate enough to be able to bask in the glory of it all. I had lived my dream.
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