As I neared the top of the granite pillar, I thought to myself: It's okay if you never free solo. It's completely okay. Free soloing is too dangerous. You can be exactly who you need to be, and who you are, without ever doing it. Doesn't mean you can't climb at all.
As the sun slowly began to set, the soft alpenglow flared all around me, touching bits of mica near my points-of-contact.
I looked down and realized, two moves away from the relative safety of the top, that I wasn't equipped with harness and there was most certainly no rope. No one at all was around, in fact. Just you, me, and the wind.
As the mighty, quotidian fear of realized mortality welled up in my throat, I scrambled up over the last ledge, breathless, and awoke.