1. Member Since 14th Jan, 2012
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An Australian Amateur Author, Alliteration Aficionado

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The problem with chasing dreams is that they rarely survive the catching.

Rarity and Rainbow Dash have each followed their dreams to the end. Rainbow doesn't know how to keep going.

A slice of life for a very particular kind of person.

First Published
11th Apr 2017
Last Modified
11th Apr 2017
#1 · 1w, 6d ago · 11 · ·

"What now?" can be one of the most terrifying questions in the English language. You've perfectly captured a facet of its horror here. Excellent character piece with much broader applications than just a bit of tea between friends. Thank you for it.

#2 · 1w, 6d ago · · ·

The curse of ambition, to never be content with what you have and always push yourself further.  But then you push yourself as far as you can go, then what?   You can't sit still but there is no more "further" to go to and going backwards is anathema, so all that's left to do is weep.    

#3 · 1w, 6d ago · 3 · ·

I'd like to praise this story, but as always FOME found it before me, got through it before me and put anything thoughtful I might be able to say into a single paragraph. :twilightsheepish:

>>8089203

Really, as much as I love looking through the comments of a story I enjoyed to find yours, do try to leave some for us other readers. :duck:

#4 · 1w, 6d ago · · ·

Ah... ambition. Something that ties these two together and one of the biggest reasons I love seeing their friendship develop. And you've done a marvellous job of depicting its dark side. Thank you.

#5 · 1w, 6d ago · · ·

Those who are very driven can have a very hard time when they feel they have achieved their life goal and lose what gave their life meaning.  AS characters these two seem the best choice for this story so good job.  It would be interesting to see other characters dealing with their own demons since everybody has them in some way.  What is Pinkie's life like for instance and what is she missing.  Probably misses Dash and her other friends assuming they are out a lot (I would assume so).

#6 · 1w, 6d ago · · ·

I still wonder what Rarity's answer actually is.

The implication is that there isn't anything (Even if the event hints at she just might have found it, when she thinks about it)

#7 · 1w, 6d ago · 2 · ·

>>8089267

I thought it was as clear as it could be that she hasn't found anything.

#8 · 1w, 6d ago · 3 · ·

"I'm the Cosmare cover pony... I have the most successful shop in Canterlot... I've gotten everything I ever wanted... but I'm miserable!"

An amazing look at a type of problem that I think most people won't ever know could exist. It's not something you really think about, since you're generally too focused on actually achieving your dream to think about what comes after.

I count myself very lucky to have encountered and overcome this problem a couple years ago. I had just achieved one of my pie-in-the-sky dreams — you know, the one you that you liked to fantasize about but never thought would actually happen in a million years. I was over the moon, of course, for the first few weeks. And then the euphoria faded and the surrealism stayed with me, along with some nagging feeling that something was wrong. It wasn't until I watched Canterlot Boutique and the above quote popped up that I realized my problem; there was actually a chance that I would achieve my dreams, and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life after that. Luckily, it was still likely a decade before I even have the chance of achieving my most lofty dreams, and I had time to think through the question of "what now?" and find an answer (writing would be my new passion if I lost my current one, and fortunately, I'll probably be never be good at it for as long as I live), but if it weren't for that one episode, things might have gone very differently.

To those of you who are ambitious and have dreams you wish to see fulfilled, just remember, planning for best-case scenarios is almost as important as planning for worst-case scenarios. You never want to find yourself with that bottle of wine.

And to Numbers: thank you so much for writing this, for giving those of us like this a voice to talk about our feelings with. For giving us a way to express our weakness when many of us would rather die before admitting it. It's one thing to know intellectually you're not alone (the chapter title itself references a man who went through the same struggles, apocryphally), but it's another to see it played out in such a raw form. Thank you.

#9 · 1w, 6d ago · 2 · ·

>>8089267

>>8089301

The last few lines suggest that she has turned to drink, and doesn't want to admit to it.

#10 · 1w, 6d ago · · ·

This feels like it should also get the sad tag.

As a whole, it was pretty good, but I'm not sure if I want to fave it.

#11 · 1w, 6d ago · 6 · ·

“I could never do something so selfish. You know that.”

Yes. Definitely just a glass of wine. She’d learned to leave the bottle in the kitchen.

Those last two lines are painfully bleak.  And ominous, when taken in context with the title of the piece.

A lovely piece of writing on an unusual subject though

#12 · 1w, 6d ago · · ·

So they're bemoaning that the climb is over, but what about the joy of standing on top of the mountain?

#13 · 1w, 6d ago · 3 · ·

>>8089726 Dash mentions it in the story. It was there, and real,  but that's long past at this point.

To quote a book I once read as a kid, "nobody ever expects you to live on the mountain."

#14 · 1w, 6d ago · · ·

>>8089502

Aye.. It was. As someone who has been there, and tried multiple times... I can feel how she feels in a way I cannot well describe

#15 · 1w, 6d ago · · ·

So very well written. A wonderful stand-alone piece with an honest portrayal of midlife crisis/depression and how to deal with the effects. The subtext really does a wonderful job of getting the bleak atmosphere across. Keep up the good work!

#16 · 1w, 6d ago · · ·

>>8089726

Things are lonely on the top of a mountain.  

The dangers of such levels of success are many and yes it has driven many to depression.  

This was a very good story.

#17 · 1w, 6d ago · 3 · ·

You know...I have a personal rating scale. Usually it's meant to show my enjoyment of a story in some quantifiable way, but I've often argued with myself over what should and shouldn't earn my highest marks. I think this story has just shown me the answer.

When I read through this, I admit that I didn't enjoy it as much as I expected. Nothing was as grand as other high-ranked stories, nor was it making me laugh like others still. However, each of those stories was important to me in some way, and this particular story may be the most important yet.

It's complex. It's mature. It's subtle. It's a story that demands your attention in the quietest way, like a friend who you know is being too lonesome too often. And with all of that put alongside the best use of subtext around...yes, I think important fits quite well.

My personal scale doesn't really mean much in the long run, but I always try to let an author know when they've done exceptionally well. This story earns a 10 from me, and it will remain a story that I come back to whenever I need an example of maturity done right.

#18 · 1w, 6d ago · 3 · ·

>>8089386

I think it's worse than that actually. I don't think she has a drinking problem. I think she wants one, but isn't letting herself.

#19 · 1w, 6d ago · 3 · ·

I've always found this kind of attitude fascinating, for all that I've never understood it. It's... I suppose I could say it's 'easy' for me to want things. I want to be a good cook, I want to be a good artist, I want to be a good writer, I want to keep learning, I want to be happy, fulfilled, and financially secured. I want, I want, I want, and it's never been hard to come by, and yet, at the same time I've never really felt any sort of need to be 'the best', I just want to be good, I want to get better, I want to be good enough to take pride and joy in what I am and what I do, and that's enough for me.

I'm not Applejack, but I'm certainly not Rarity either. If I ever found myself in her position I'd just move on to the next thing, maybe return a few years down the road. I've done something similar with old games I've played. I guess I've just always wondered, what drives these people? What is it that makes them crave success in their field of choice so dearly? It's obviously not fame, as Rainbow can attest, she tried doing it for the fame and it just felt hollow. It's obviously not for the money, or even social standing as Rarity once thought. So why push?

Hell... why even stop? If you're doing what you love, isn't that it's own reward? Even if you're your only competition, beating the you of yesterday can be almost as fulfilling as defeating a brilliant rival. You're breaking new ground! Going where no man or pony has gone before! Competing with, and perhaps even surpassing the legends of old! Is that not a heady feeling?

I think all that and I wonder, 'is it because they just can't see it?', but then I ask '...or is it me who just doesn't get it?', and I find that I honestly don't know the answer. Perhaps it's a little of column 'A' and a little of column 'B', I find that most things in life are like that. In any case, you certainly succeeded in telling an interesting story about a very particular type of personality.

#20 · 1w, 6d ago · 2 · ·

:moustache: Once you reach the top of the mountain it's then time to reach for the sky.

:rainbowhuh: What do you do? I feel like a one trick pony!

:flutterrage: I get peeved and learn new tricks,

:pinkiehappy: I'm happy no matter what I'm doing

:duck: I take my frustrations out on Spikey

:twilightoops: Wut?

:applejackconfused: I got my rope

:moustache: That's my favorite part

:facehoof: What now?

:derpytongue2: Hire me!

#21 · 1w, 6d ago · 3 · ·

>>8090370

Thats the mindset that I imagine Twilight having. It's probably a lot healthier.

Twilight and Pinkie are off in another story, making the decision to be happy for happinesses own sake. This is not a story about those ponies.

#22 · 1w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

>>8089779

Well, you can always amuse yourself by rolling boulders downhill at those below you on the slopes. :twilightsmile:

(But neither RD or Rarity are big enough assholes to enjoy doing so).

Good story: I've always wondered what happens to Rainbow Dash gets to the top, and this seems pretty plausible for her. Not quite so sure about Rarity: she's always struck me at least as concerned with the creation of beautiful things for its own sake as she is with hitting the Big Time. And as the Element of Generosity and the most successful fashion designer in Equestria, she's in quite the position to become a Public Benefactor on a formidable scale.

Twilight's pretty well off in that the study of magic is both something she's interested in for its own sake and something open-ended: there's always something new to learn. And there is no such thing as "top friend."

Fluttershy, now, I really have no idea...

#23 · 1w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

The satisfaction and thrill you get from working to overcome great difficulties and challenges is often greater than the satisfaction you get from overcoming them in the end.

#24 · 1w, 5d ago · · ·

even though I'm not yet at the top, this story still hits me.

a 'when' in life when you question the purpose of everything.

a good story for many people.  thanks author.

#25 · 1w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

Very well written! I enjoyed it, and I'd like to add that this may reach a different type of person than the "overachiever" or those that reach the mountaintop. This emotion, the deadened empty feeling is very much a central theme to nihilistic people as well, people who've "glanced ahead," or spent a lot of time thinking about the reasons behind existence and discovered there really is no answer. The message that Rarity tries to pass along, the need to find something, anything that you can put effort into speaks to me because it's the conclusion I came to a little while ago. Even if you're doing only to keep yourself from just walking away from life, the forward motion is necessary to feel, to experience and find something new in what is a very grey, diluted world.

Or perhaps I overthought it again and that was the type of person you were aiming for in the first place. Either way, definite favorite. Well done.

#26 · 1w, 5d ago · · ·

>>8090311

Yes, that is worse.

A good piece, in fact. I genuflect in your general direction.

#27 · 1w, 5d ago · · ·

"Where do you go from up?"

Fav'ed

#28 · 1w, 5d ago · · ·

Question:

Before I read this tonight after work... It's not a romance shipfic, is it?

:derpytongue2:

I have not read the comments because spoilers.

:trollestia:

#29 · 1w, 5d ago · · ·

>>8091945

It's not, but it's not more than really a fluff piece either.

It's a discussion between two friends about what happens after 'Happily Ever After'. Quite interesting if you're into that sort of thing.

#30 · 1w, 5d ago · · ·

>>8091995 Thanks!

I'll check it out!

#31 · 1w, 5d ago · · ·

Beautifully melancholic story. Thank you for this.

>>8089267

She hasn't found it. Her friends are her current life raft, but they're not rated for gale-force winds.

>>8090311

Spoken like a person after my own heart. Drink... but... carefully...

#32 · 1w, 5d ago · · ·

I'm glad I read this. It's very philosophical, but I think it's a good message to live by.

#33 · 1w, 5d ago · · ·

This story was a bit haunting...  I can't quite say that I enjoyed it, but it sucked me in, especially reading it alone in a silent house at night, and I quite admire the use of these two in exploring drive and ambition.

Now I just need to go to bed without overly dwelling on my own life goals well into the night...

#34 · 1w, 4d ago · · ·

Well I now feel myself questioning my life and existence as I know it....

cheers.

#35 · 1w, 4d ago · · ·

>>8090370

In a way, that's the reward of mediocrity. (And I'm saying this as a mediocre writer etc. myself!) It's much easier to live a life where you're willing and able to settle for "good enough", instead of having that drive, passion, ambition pushing you to always giving it your all. This is true for many reasons, but the most relevant one is that you don't run into that "I have no worlds left to conquer!" problem.

#36 · 1w, 4d ago · · ·

>>8093971

Mediocrity is more Applejack's philosophy, this much and no more, this far, but no further. I personally prefer the idea of always growing, always learning, but at an unhurried, comfortable pace. In both success and failure I learn as I live, and I see no need to either stop, or push things to the point where other parts of my life suffer. It's like the story of the Tortoise and the Hare, I'm like the tortoise, ponies like Rainbow Dash and Rarity are hares, and ponies like Applejack are the bystanders that see no need to involve themselves in such foolishness.

Truthfully there is no one right way to live, you have to find what works for you through trial and error. That doesn't mean it isn't still worth the effort though.

#37 · 1w, 4d ago · · ·

>>8094307

I'm not saying I'm some kind of 'zen master'-type :rainbowlaugh:, I screw up all the time. Sometimes I'll get passionate about an idea and throw all caution to the wind only to come to my senses hours, if not days later with either a deep sense of disappointment or satisfaction and a huge mess to clean up afterwards :twilightsheepish:. And sometimes you don't really have any choice but to work yourself to the bone just to make ends meet :ajsleepy:. Life isn't perfect, but then again, neither are we.

#38 · 1w, 4d ago · · ·

As I see it, the problem that this story's Dash and Rarity are facing- that Alexander once faced- is that they are still too wrapped up in the regard of others rather than doing something for the inherent pleasure that it gives them.  So long as they are primarily competing against others rather than themselves, there's next to no chance that they'll ever be satisfied.  Not that a dedication to self-improvement will automatically prevent this kind of despair, but it at least lets one consider climbing other mountains after summiting the first.

#39 · 1w, 3d ago · 4 · ·

>>8094925

Aragon wrote a line I adore;

The reason they tell stories about princes instead of kings is that, one day, a prince shall become a king. But once you're king, that's all you'll ever be.

#40 · 4d, 21h ago · · ·

Thank you for sharing this. You do a great job capturing that awkwardness about trying to explain one's own unhappiness in the face of seeming success in life.

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