Rollercoasters and Life’s Journey


Yesterday afternoon, I was exhausted. Worn out, strung out, could think of nothing I would rather do than go home and sleep.

For the life of me, I could not understand why. It was 2PM. I sleep very well at night. I have been eating an alkaline diet, which emphasises what an energy surge you will get. I am taking iron tablets, so it can’t be anemia. So why am I exhausted?

I didn’t know why, but I had the feeling I should take the night off from my role as a trade union representative. I contacted a few relevant people, told them not to contact me that night, met up with some other friends and went to a travelling fair.

Probably the key event was when I went on a crazy spinning thing (what do you call those?), that flips you over and spins you around and swings your chair back and forth all at once. At one point we were suspended in midair. I opened my eyes and the view looked something like this.

Image from freedigitalphotos.net (inverted)

I took a break from screaming and took a solid look at this view. It felt like I was looking at it for a few minutes, but realistically it probably was a few nanoseconds before the contraption decided to flip me back around, spinning and swinging and screaming all the way.

Still, in those nanoseconds, a simple thought lingered in my mind: “The only thing between me and certain death is this guardrail and the correct operation of this machine.”

A lot of the fear that people experience when going onto a rollercoaster or thrill ride is the standard “what if it breaks down?” What if the guardrails click open and I go flying through the air and land on my head in the middle of a road? What if the machine stops and I’m locked upside down for 3 hours waiting for a mechanic to release me?

We always remind ourselves that the rollercoaster has run over and over before and coax ourselves into trusting that it won’t break.

So, what if life is a rollercoaster?

What if the best way to survive and thrive on our paths – no matter how terrifying they get – is to simply trust that the machine won’t break, lean back in our seats and scream our heads off in euphoria?

That’s what the Universe brought me to the park to point out, by the way. The reason I was tired was because my layers of responsibility – or perceived responsibility – were coiled up in my brain and had me all “wound up”. So I needed to get properly dizzy to allow all that wound up stress to unravel. I needed to be undeniably out of control so that I could cede my urge to gain complete control in the areas in which I have partial control.

I feel less tired today. Think I’ll just lean back in my chair and scream my head off…

Oh, and give thanks to the guardrail that’s saving my life every wild ride I take. I call it the Universe.

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