Tuesday, June 4, 2013
I. Love. Rollercoasters.
Ever since I was young.
I remember going to an amusement park -
a big amusement park for the first time when I was about 15.
We had driven to California for a church trip.
We were going to spend one entire day at the amusement park.
I had died and gone to heaven.
There were three rollercoasters at the park -
one had a full loop in it.
A full loop in a rollercoaster at during this time was a big deal.
I remember panicking as I waited in line and I slowly moved forward.
I just knew that even though no one else had plummeted out of their seats to their death -
I would be the exception to the rule.
I was terrified.
But I didn't step out of line.
It was my turned. I climbed into my seat.
The protective bars lowered down and I felt pinned.
I think that bothered me more than anything.
I was trapped.
We pulled out of the gate and started to ascend an incredibly high hill.
The steeper we climbed the slower we moved.
It felt like we would start to fall backwards.
We crested the top of the peak, paused for a brief second...
And then we took off.
Full speed ahead.
It was almost instantaneous.
The screams were uncontrollable - the panic consuming.
When we pulled back into gate, I got out, steadied my legs,
and ran down the stairs and around to get back in line.
I was scared - but I knew that I needed to try it again.
The second ride was truly fun -
I still felt the apprehension at the ascent, but as we descended and gained speed,
I felt pure excitement.
I knew I was not going to die.
I was still startled at the fast turns, the rapid descent down the hills -
and the feeling of being flipped upside down and out of control was a little scary -
but it left me wanting more.
This was fun!
I rode the coaster over 20 times that day.
With each ride, I relaxed into the experience.
I raised my hands high above my head and closed my eyes.
I loved the ups and downs - the extreme opposites.
I felt free.
I was flying.
Last year for my birthday,
my kids surprised me with a day trip to a small amusement park about 3 hours from here.
My oldest daughter recognized the fact that life for me would never be the same.
My birthday was 3 months after my husband had left.
She wanted me to remember that life could be fun.
The park we went to is nothing like the big theme parks -
but it had a couple of small rollercoasters.
I ushered my birthday and new life in with multiple rides on the coasters.
It felt symbolic and empowering.
I embraced my inner child and let loose.
It was good.
So here we are.
I am at my one-year anniversary of my new life.
Exactly one year ago, a significant member of my life announced that he did not want our lives to remain connected anymore.
It was as if I was dragged to the front of the line,
me pulling and fighting all the way,
and I was forced onto the biggest rollercoaster of my life.
No engineer could have designed this coaster.
It seemed like the scariest ride ever.
My "screams" were loud and long.
I barely was able to breathe.
There have been very large hills to climb, fast plummeting descents that seem to never end, turbulent turns and spins that left me dizzy and wondering if I would ever be upright again.
This rollercoaster locked me into my seat and it has yet to come to an end.
But something has happened...
I am raising my arms in the air.
I am closing my eyes and leaning my head back.
I am enjoying the feeling of flight.
I have realized that I don't want this ride to end.
The ride on this rollercoaster had been the greatest gift I could have been given.
I will no longer refer to this as the "anniversary of my life falling apart".
Instead...it's the anniversary of me getting on the best ride of my life!