It’s hard watching someone you admire and respect suffering dishonor because the people they depend on do not take their responsibilities seriously, especially after experiencing the same situation in the past.

This creates a two-fold dilemma: Do I play it safe and stand by and watch as things crumble, or do I risk total failure by trying to step in and take that responsibility upon myself?

On one hand, I have build a comfortable safe haven for my passion. I could, however, roll the dice and step up to try to help rebuild, taking me a step closer to a life-long personal goal, at the same time help a man that I deeply identify with and could easily call friend.

The price? Is it too late to repair the damage? Would I be taking over a sinking ship and loose my own ship at the same time? Or is this that “dare to be great” opportunity staring me in the face? I could step up to the next level, and possibly prosper taking my passion to a full-time endeavor, gaining a skilled and knowledgeable ally and mentor, as well a stronger platform to catapult my own agenda.

On the other hand, given my track record with business, I might fail miserably. Failure could not only take me back to square one on all I’ve built toward my dream, as well as letting down one that I would be loathe to disappoint. If I had the mind for business, I would jump on it in a heartbeat. If I had a business manager I could depend on to keep me on task and make sure the things I tend to put off and overlook were taken care of, I would likewise dive in without thinking twice.

So, the coin is in the air: To aspire, or to abide? I’ve never really been one to just abide when I see the possibility of aspiration. So many things are falling into place that tell me to take the chance. Even the ill omens tell me that I should do it. Doubt, however, is a powerful enemy. Uncertainty, likewise, is powerful, and leads to doubt. This is another reason I am inclined toward the risk. All my life I have barely skated by on my natural talent. Every time I push the envelope, I push too far and over-reach.

Of course, I could always hedge my bet. A year ago, I would have dove into this without a second thought, but a year ago, I had Jeremy at my side. Those that would enable me to succeed without doubt have fallen, been laid low by health issues, are constrained by their own work schedules, or have simply lost their way. I find myself alone in this, even my most trusted and steadfast partner is confined by her own rising career and the care my children. Again, on the other side, this could create an opportunity for me to spend even more time with my daughters, lift some of the burden from my wife, and raise both myself and my passion to greater heights.

The timing, however, presents another factor. I may no longer have Jeremy standing behind me, but it can’t be a coincidence that this has risen in the period approaching the “anniversary.” Perhaps that in itself is Jeremy telling me to go for it.

I’ve sought the council of my friends and mentors. My oldest hero doesn’t have faith, but I’ve had my entire life to let him down. I’ve manged to succeed when he told me I would fail in the past, but in the end, he is almost always right. He has had to carry me so many times, that I doubt he will ever have the faith in me that I seek, and the only way I can earn it is by proving him wrong, once and for all. Not out of spite, mind you, but to prove that I actually can fulfill my own potential. Another mentor is encouraging, my brother has presented arguments for both sides.

The warrior’s mentality tells me to draw my sword and dive in. That dark spectre that lives in the back of my head tells me I am doomed to failure. The voices that infallibly warn me when I am about to make a heinous mistake are oddly quiet. (Or am I ignoring them without realizing?) The philosopher’s mentality tells me that what will be, will be.

The time left to act is running short. I need to find my center. I need to find my support. I need to consult with those more knowledgeable than I. Success could build a new world for me. Failure could rob me of my comfort zone, though I suppose success could as well.

I stand at the edge, with so much before me. I’m high enough rank that advancement is of little consequence, though the opportunity is within sight. A society I was invited to four years ago and very much want to be part of is one step away; all I have to do is revise and submit a document that will leave that in their hands. The opportunity to create an appropriate memorial is likewise almost within my grasp. New possibilities are on the horizon, making pipe dreams from years ago a very possible reality. I do not feel that where I am now would play any of these out to their full potential.

Two years ago, when everything lay in ruins, I was given one last chance to rebuild. I have done so. Not to the heights I have hoped, yet I did not fail. To be honest, my success was made possible by others, but those others are no longer at my side for varying reasons, none of them I can hold fault in. But new resources are available to me. A tried and true assistant has returned, and would be very capable of filling the roles I am ill-suited for. A long time mentor has more free time on his hands, and could guide me into this next phase. A new mentor could arise, if I take the weight from his shoulders and allow him the time and freedom to help me help him.

So, in the end, it comes back to the same old question: Aspire, or simply abide? Physical fear abandoned me long ago, but the fear of failure is a demon I have never truly conquered. So, what be it? In the words of the Clash, though I’m partial to the Social Distortion version, “Death or Glory, it’s just another story.” I’ve drug myself to the edge so many times, and I thought the last time was just that: The last time I would be able to. Do I risk it again? Do I take the gamble that even in total failure I could rebuild? I have enough loyal followers that I think I could start over at square once even if the worst came about, but I don’t know that I have the strength to start anew.

It’s less than a month from the Anniversary. I feel I could honor Jeremy in no better way than to step up, accept this challenge, and take it head on, be it alone or with an army at my back. Doubt plagues me, but two of the Tenants I have based the last 25 years of my life on are Perseverance and Indomitable Spirit.

Can I? Should I? I don’t know. At this point, I will explore further. I must explore the situation, and I must explore myself. I must seek further council, both from those who have shown me the proper path, or at least have shown me how to find the proper path, in the past, and those who would be vital to that path in the future. I must also further consult the one whose reputation and Honor is on the line, for my actions, inactions, success, and failures will inevitably affect him. He is a difficult man to read. I mean this in no harsh way, it is one of the things I admire him for. I often have difficulty expressing what I want, especially when I am divided on what it is that I want, and my instincts tell me that he is much like me in this regard. I shall have to steel myself to move past my own limits of communication to reach understanding, perhaps even enlightenment.

To those of you I consider friends and family, to those of you that are interested enough in my life, my path, and its outcome, to take the time to read this lengthy argument with myself. I tend to keep things buried, shrouding myself in a cloak of sarcasm and jokes, then resort to seclusion and withdrawal when faced with a true struggle. Thank you for your time, support, and consideration.

I think I can see my path. He who is without doubt is a fool, but he who surrenders to doubt without resistance is a coward. It goes against my nature to be cowardly. Advice and support are welcomed as I sally forth. As I said, I will seek my center. I will seek council. I will prepare myself. This exposure of my doubts alone has granted me strength and clarity, as doubt prospers in the shadows but is diminished in the light. I feel more powerful now than when I started typing well over an hour ago, and I go now to don my armor and face the battles this day will bring without flinching.

Sedit qui timuit ne non succederet.