It’s been years since I’ve ridden a real roller coaster.
Just recently I took my daughters to an amusement park which is home to some of the most amazing coasters around.
We rode them all.
Our favorites several times. We spent the day throwing our hands in the air,
screaming, hanging on for dear life, eating all the junk food we could, and laughing.
So much laughter.
As the sun set and the park closed, I found myself already reminiscing over the wonderful memories made that day.
On the drive home I couldn’t help but think that life (at least mine) is exactly like a roller coaster ride. You make a plan to go to an amusement park to ride the roller coasters.
Sometimes that plan goes off without a hitch. Sometimes life shows up and forces you to recalculate. You wait in long lines, in short lines, and sometimes in no lines at all (thank you creator of fast passes).
You are chock full of anticipation and excitement and maybe even a touch of fear. You walk the winding path, climb up the multitude of stairs to reach the coaster platform.
And then you wait some more.
Your mind is racing with options of seat choices Front? Back? Middle? Which do you choose? Second car from the front? Eighth from the back?
The possibilities are endless (thank you my ADHD brain).
Your turn arrives and you jump in your coaster seat of choice and buckle up! The ride attendants dutifully make sure everyone is buckled up and it’s time to go!
The coaster leaves the platform and the thought of death fleetingly crosses your mind but is instantly dismissed by a kid ‘s shriek of, “OMG!!! THIS IS THE BEST!!!”
The coaster begins what seems like an endless trek to the top of the track.
Click, click, click goes the coaster.
The clicking stops. You’re at the top. You can see the whole world for a brief moment and then…WHOOSH!!!
The coaster is hurling down the first hill. You throw your hands up in the air, scream a silent scream, and white knuckle the safety bar. You hold on for dear life as your stomach relocates to your throat. You are traveling at a light speed pace through twists, turns, loops, hills, over water, through tunnels and don’t forget the obligatory photo-op spot!
You are laughing. You are screaming. You are grimacing. But you are living.
Then it’s over.
You slowly glide back to the platform. Everyone is cheering, someone is puking, another one is crying, but hey, it’s a roller coaster.
You did it. You made it. You survived.
Well my friends, it turns out I’ve been riding a roller coaster my entire life.
I’ve made plans only to have to recalculate them when they didn’t work out.
I’ve waited patiently (and not so patiently) for things I’ve anticipated. Things I thought would be awful but weren’t. Things I thought would be great but weren’t. I’ve jumped in with both feet and threw caution to the wind.
Some things worked out, other things not so much, but I kept riding.
I kept getting off that platform.
And then I climbed those stairs again to start over.
So, my final thoughts before this particular roller coaster leaves the platform?
I can tell you this much: It won’t be years before I ride another REAL roller coaster.