Face the Unknown..Ride a Roller Coaster!
I find great excitement in the prospect of something new and different. Life centers on our ability to change and grow amidst the hurdles thrown in our direction. I am passionate about change.
When I was a child I held a healthy fear of roller coasters. Only crazy people would risk their life on an unstable ride, which caused ear-piercing screams from its riders. Then one summer when I was eleven, my cousin Nicky visited from Trinidad. I idolized Nicky. She was everything I hoped to become. She was tall, beautiful, outgoing, and fun! The five years she had on me, seemed monumental back then. She tried to sway me to try out one of the roller coasters at the C.N.E. (Canadian National Exhibition). I hated to look like a baby in front of her, so I agreed. I prayed that she would choose one of the coasters with small hills and quieter ear-piercing screams. But alas no, she chose the biggest, baddest, most rickety coaster at the fair. Oh yeah!
As we waited in line, I thought about ways to escape. Feigning a sudden illness, peeing my pants, and throwing up, all materialized as viable options. With each second we moved nearer to the front of the line. Tick, Tick, Tick. Nicky chatted about how much fun this would be, how much I would thank her for this, my optimism remained at the back of the line. Tick, Tick, Tick
We reached the front and an employee pointed us in the direction of one of the middle carts. Nicky objected. Hey maybe she could sense my apprehension, and was bowing out of this catastrophe! I was too wrapped up in my victory to realize that we were moving. We were moving to the first cart. I was eleven; really what had I done in that time, to be punished like this? To all those who knew me back then, keep your mouths shut!
We sat in the front car. I wanted to cry. This was the worst moment in my life. We started to move forward. Nope…I was wrong. This was the worst moment in my life. The car rolled slowly up, and up, and up. ..wait, how high were we supposed to go. Was this even legal? We reached the top and hovered over the edge.
I would love to describe the ride, but my eyes were closed tight. I am quite sure that everyone in the CNE stopped what they were doing, grabbed their children and ran for the exit, in order to escape the hideous bellowing from some crazed eleven year old on a roller coater. The ride was over faster than I could believe. I opened my eyes, when the car stopped and Nicky touched my arm. We started to walk away from the ride, when she asked me how I liked it. I told her the truth. I liked it. I loved the speed. I told her the next time; I would keep my eyes open. The next time turned out to be ten minutes later. We spent the better part of that day mastering all the coasters in the park. The unknown became known.
You may face the unknown with respect, understanding, and at times with fear, the point is to face it. Never shy away or allow your desire for the status quo to shield you from one of the infinite qualities that drives us as individuals, the ability to nurture our souls through the power of change.