"As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives"
-Henry David Thoreau
Hey guys I'm Tiare, the small but fierce founder of Choose Mountains. At this moment I am 3 years sober...but let's backtrack this story to a long time ago. I was born on Oahu in Hawaii. I had a painful childhood that dealt with a lot of physical abuse, an uneasy upbringing, and a lot of alone time raising myself. I would have to call the police on members of my family on a weekly basis and was chased by a man with a knife, had my first dog killed and this was all before the age of 12. There was a lot of alcoholism on one side of my family, and my goal was to never be like them.
At age 12, I was of age to speak in court and within a week from that day, I got to move to Washington with my dad, stepmom and four half brothers. It was an amazing life. This was until high school when I discovered alcohol. I was in the end of my junior year when I decided to try it (yet I was completely against it my whole life till then). When I drank, all my feelings diminished and that's exactly where I liked to be, since my whole life I was taught to not complain or have a voice at all. This was the turning point of turning into all the people I told myself I'd never be.
Every time I drank, I blacked out. Even the first drink ever. At 21 I got my first DUI. I continued to drink. Two years later I got my second dui and had a few more consequences. I added in cocaine to stop the blackouts and started living at the clubs every weekend thinking I was living the life. I started to watch everything in my life fall away from me and I didn't know how to be happy anymore. I have too many horror stories to share but won't. I had no hobbies or goals, just this lifestyle. I started to try to control it by quitting the drugs but nothing helped. At 26 years old I got my 3rd DUI and I knew this meant jail time. I was depressed, lost and suicidal. I would lay in bed for 3 days after that night, planning my suicide. Finally I asked some higher power that I didn't know really existed this question: "Why are you keeping me alive? Why am I still here?".
That evening I got help and confessed that huge uncomfortable realization that I was an alcoholic to a group of strangers telling them that I had no idea why I was here, but I don't want to live.
That's when shit changed. I continued on in this new sober life and my mind got clear. I went through a year of court dates and in that year, I discovered the mountains. When I was hiking, I was free. I was small, insignificant in the glory of nature. I felt this overwhelming power when I was out there and I kept going back. I hiked sometimes 3 times a week with my brothers and fell in love.
I went through 3 months in jail with so much gratitude to just be alive. The week I got out of jail I signed up for a glacier course and climbed Mount Baker and Mount Rainier here in Washington. I also started rockclimbing and day by day, week by week, I found that amazing freedom to just BE.
So I started Choose Mountains. I didn't start it for any other reason then to spread the message that sometimes choosing mountains over our other ways of life will completely change our lives. I wanted to hear more stories and help inspire others with my own story. This is my life now, and whatever situation you are in, it can get better. Manifest greatness in your life and have an amazing adventure....because you deserve to be happy and free. Every single day, I live the life that I used to want as that small abused child wanted when she couldn't have it. Live from the curiosity and excitement of your inner child.