• Member Since 14th Jan, 2012
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Trying to describe you is like trying to punch a bird ~ Aragon


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.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 50 )

"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.

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.

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:

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:

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.

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).

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)

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

"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.


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

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.

“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

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

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."


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

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!


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.

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.


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.

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.

: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!


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.


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...

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.

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.

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.


Yes, that is worse.

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

"Where do you go from up?"


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

I have not read the comments because spoilers.


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.

8091995 Thanks!
I'll check it out!

Beautifully melancholic story. Thank you for this.

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

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

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

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...

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


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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

Interesting title for a Rarity/Dash relationship fic. Interesting contents too.

Nobody's commented on the title until now! Marvelous.

It's actually a Shakespeare quote, which I think fits Rarity very well here;

"I pray you, do not fall in love with me, For I am falser than vows made in wine"

8175942 Actually, it was the Alexander the Great quote, although I'm not a real fan of Plutarch, and probably recognized it from Die Hard or some other modern bit.

Although I can see Rarity after a particularly good fashion show, standing on the stage and looking out into the crowd who are all wearing one or two of her fabulous creations, and mourning that she has conquered the entirety of the Equestrian fashion universe, and left behind nothing but weeping and wailing of broken fashionistas in her wake, despairing of ever being able to recover from their crushing defeats.

"Look upon me, Oh Equestria, and despair. For all the lands have fallen to my powers, and none within fail to give me the respect which I desire, but yet I am dissatisfied with my conquest, and seek more in life. Perhaps... I shall design in feathers for a time. Oh, Rainbow. Could you come here for a moment?"

I'm a little upset with you MrNumbers, not with the fic which was excellent, as usual, but with Rarity's recommendations, or lack thereof.

Nothing in there said anything about talking to a doctor/therapist. Although I can understand not recommending it for someone who's just beginning to deal with depression (though I would still recommend it personally), there is no excuse for someone that has reached the point of suicidal ideation.

You can't force them to go, but one should still make the attempt and put the idea in their head.


As much as that's good advice, I don't think that's advice Rarity would give, and I definitely don't think it's advice she's considering giving to Rainbow Dash in this situation.

She's not getting it for herself because she's not actually depressed, and that would be admitting... more to herself than she's currently ready to. And to give it to Rainbow would be admitting yet more hypocrisy, or it'd ring hollow, or Rainbow would probably resent the advice. I think she would.

So yes. I think that's good advice, but I think it's advice someone else would have to give, if either of these two stopped performing their roles long enough to open up to anybody else.


To summarize it better; I don't see either Rarity or Rainbow, in the situation that they're in, finding any solace in the idea of finding a complete stranger, someone who doesn't know them and they don't deeply trust, and making themselves vulnerable to that person. I don't think it's in either of their characters to come to that conclusion on their own, not here.

I have to say something, but all I've got are scattered thoughts. A well-written piece.

♦ The satisfaction and safety in routine. Consistency. Reliability.
You don't need to think about what to do next, because what's next is what you were doing yesterday, now and last year.
They say that the only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth, but they forget about the trench and the bunker.

♦ Living in the moment.
You don't need to think about what to do next because dang it's a nice day. Why not go to the lake? Maybe you'll get to see some fish doing their thing while crossing the bridge.

♦ Apathy. Ignorance.
My dream? End goal? I don't understand what you're asking. I've got a place to live, food on the table and money in my saddlebag, what else is there? What do you mean, "What do I want to do with my life?" I don't know, live? What else is there?

This was a very captivating read. You manage to express a type of personality and thought process that I guess I never really thought actually existed? Or at least, not for people who actually end up getting as far as Rarity and Dash have in this story.

Like, I am very much like 8090370 in how I feel about this type if thing - surely the point of doing what you do is that you enjoy it. If you can't be satisfied with doing what you do and being as good as you are at what you do, then why did you go about doing it in the first place? I consider myself a good writer but the ability of others relative to mine has no bearing on me. I like learning to improve, and seeing the results of my efforts and people enjoy and engage with what I write.

But then, I'm not the best writer in the world. So maybe I just don't know what I'm talking about.

Lovely story. Adding it to my favourites.

Whew... damn, this was certainly an interesting read, very interesting indeed.
Guess once you get everything you've desired... what's left? A hollow feeling deep in your soul... perhaps...
Or maybe you're just hungry, eh.

Good work on this!

I don't think I have the right words to fully express how good this story is. There's a strange sort of comfort to be found between the lines here; knowledge that somewhere out there, there are people like you. People who understand perfectly, but don't offer words of criticism. It's what makes me come back to this story every so often. The world needs more writing like this.

This hit some notes for me. And it's funny, because I definitely don't have their problem, like... at all. If anything my problem is a massive lack of drive and focus, the exact opposite thing. Going in every direction and so never going anywhere at all. And yet so much of this resonated with me. There are things here that lie tangental to my experiences in interesting ways. I guess having nowhere to go because you've reached the peak feels a lot like having nowhere to go because you can't stop going in circles.

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