There was a time when I loved roller coaster rides. I would look forward to summer vacation and the inevitable trip to Kennywood or better yet Cedar Point. I would count down days and hours until we would arrive there and the first lines that I would venture to wait in were the coasters. It was all about the speed and the ups and downs. Each hill that the coaster would climb was a little bit scary as I would look over the side and see the ant like people and cars below. Finally reaching the top, a sigh of relief just before…… AHHHHHH!
The drop. My stomach in my throat and my heart racing but every second was enjoyable! I couldn’t get off fast enough to get right back in line for another go. I loved that at Cedar Point you would get off and the pictures of your terrified face were plastered on screens as you exited the ride. You could even purchase the pictures.
Oh how much fun I had, but over the years the coasters became less fun. I’m not sure if it has been a process of aging or if having kids has done something to me, God knows it has done many other things. I just don’t feel the same about an amusement park in general, and I especially don’t feel the same about a roller coaster. It isn’t even the lines and the crowds, although I do dislike waiting in an hour line for a ride that lasts three minutes or less. I would wait in line if I felt like the ride was fun, but they just aren’t to me anymore.
All of the excitement that went along with the roller coaster has turned into fear. I no longer have any desire to get onto one of those things and I honestly dread the day that my kids are begging for a partner. Hopefully Brian is still feeling young because I will be the stroller/stuff watcher in the group just like my mom was.
I think about these roller coaster rides in respect to life. Often we hear that life has its ups and downs and I think that we all know this to be true. Life really easily can be compared to a roller coaster. I think about the climbs in life. Everyday seems to be one more rung on the path up the hill. Steadily climbing little by little. Some hills are huge and from the bottom you can’t even see the top of the hill. You certainly can’t see what lies on the other side. Now to some that may seem exciting, but to me, I find it terrifying.
I look at my life today and I can realize that I am in the process of the climb. It is a pretty big hill and from where I am, I can’t see to the top yet. I am slowly creeping my way up and hoping that what lies ahead is something great. I also hope that once I reach the top that there is a little plateau before I am sent careening down the other side unexpectedly.
With most things in life, time and hard work seem to pay off. While there are exceptions to almost every rule, usually the lazy bird doesn’t catch the worm. It’s the early bird, the one that prepared and waited patiently for that juicy worm that gets it. Right now I am working hard. I am being patient, knowing that while life is short, the time I put in now will be rewarded some day.
I can’t see over this hill yet, but I will be able to soon. I know that I can reach the top of this hill and I am hopeful that the plateau will be long enough for me to catch my breath before I am dropped out of my comfort zone again.
I am very realistic as well. I know that once I make it to the top of the hill I am climbing now, that in the distance there will probably be another one. It wouldn’t be a very fun ride if there was only one hill. I also know that there will be another drop at some point. Without the drops there would be nothing to climb for.
I am going to channel my younger self and remember what it was like to enjoy these rides. I am going to remember how much fun the ride was even though there were some moments that were scary. I may even snap a few pictures along the way to keep the memories safe.
Right now I am scared about my future. I am scared about my dreams. I can either let these fears scare me into getting off the ride or I can put my arms up and get ready for the ride of my life. I am prepared for some terrifying moments and I will surely scream and loose my breath a few times. Hopefully I don’t loose my lunch!
I also am going to remind myself that I have a pretty great riding buddy. When there are those moments that I just can’t look, Brian will be right next to me with a hand to squeeze. Most of all I am going to continue to remind myself that the hills are temporary. It is a slow ride up but each step gets me one closer to the top. Once I make it up there, even if there is another drop, I’m going to enjoy the view before I head back down.