[Resolution] #81 Do Something I’ve Always Been Afraid to Do (Roller Coaster Edition)

Ready for a profound metaphor?  Life is a roller coaster. Specifically this one.

I find it just a little poetic and a lot hilarious that the biggest roller coaster ride of my life would involve actual roller coasters. And, at the age of 23, thanks to a couple of amazing and unrelenting friends, I boarded, rode and survived my very first roller coaster ride. Ever.

On the metaphorical roller coaster: Life has absolutely done a 180 on me. I know I mentioned in my last post that there were big things going on…and then disappeared for a while.  It’s a long story and a short one all at the same time, but the short version is that Nick, my boyfriend of almost 3 years, and I have broken up.  I don’t necessarily want to go in to the nitty gritty, but it was such a life changer that I know is worth mentioning.

I’ve changed a lot in 3 years. I’ve woken up to aspects of myself that I didn’t know existed and remembered aspects that I’d forgotten or let go of and shouldn’t have. In short, it was all of these things that banded together to drive a wedge between Nick and I.  While we never stopped getting along and certainly never stopped loving each other, as more time passed the more questionable our compatibility became. This was mostly based on the way we both looked at life. More importantly, it was about the way that we both saw our lives going.  We had different visions. And, while there are ways to sacrifice and ways to compromise, the foundation of any successful relationship, there are some points where it is better on both sides…to let go, and give both of us the chance to find someone we are truly happy and compatible with.

People either say “Good for you for being true to yourself.” or “What were you thinking?” but all I can say at this point is that the decision felt right then, and still does now.  While it breaks my heart to hurt anyone, and hurts even more to lose someone I was so close to for so long, I have to trust my instincts and intuition, and trust that it’s for the best.  If I don’t, what business did I have doing it in the first place?

It’s a journey that I don’t think anyone is ever particularly excited to take. Though, as more and more people talked to me and gave me their best advice the more stories came up that showed that even though it ALWAYS hurts to have a relationship end…it does get better. And when you eventually do find that person that you are unquestionably meant to be with, you can’t be upset that it happened.

Now, the roller coaster metaphor kind of applies to all that, but it applies even more to the aftermath of the whole thing.  As soon as all was said and done, I realized that I had thought through every word of the actual break-up and not even given a sliver of thought to what would happen after. The emotional.  The logistical (especially difficult since we lived together). Even the physical.

It’s amazing the things that happen when any part of your foundation gives way. Walls that you didn’t know you had fall and expose parts of you that may have otherwise been lost, both good and bad, light and dark.  But after those walls fall you are forced to rebuild, reinvent and grow.

Of course, right as I realized that was when (not so coincidentally) a lot new things started happening, a lot of old interests were reignited, and new people started walking into my life. Some people were acquaintances that suddenly became much closer and some people I didn’t know at all but got close to pretty damn fast.

Dru is one of the latter. We met…in a cage fight where he had to prove himself worthy of friendship by besting me in a no-holds-barred battle of bare fists and…

Okay..Cage fighting isn’t one of those new things. That’s a picture from a zombie bar crawl, but I wanted an excuse to use the picture. Epic battle or not, he became a close friend pretty fast and immediately jumped in to help cheer me up when things got difficult.

A week or so into the whole thing I finally caved and had to take a personal day from work.  …And on that day, instead of dimming the lights and eating Double Stuf Oreos, Dru and his beautiful friend Ajay who had come into town for the week brought me along with them…to Six Flags.  What better way to cheer up than scaring the shit out of yourself with giant roller coasters. Am I right?

Like I said, I had never stepped foot on a roller coaster in my life. I was a very strange, very scared little child and absolutely refused to take part in anything that I perceived as something that could potentially end my life.  This included, among other things, roller coasters, rope swings, and eating chicken wings at Chili’s, but that’s a story for another day.  Anyway, no roller coasters.

I don’t know what I was afraid of.  I half expected to get to the front of the line for the roller coaster and burst into tears…or vomit.  I guess it kind of helped that there was almost no line at all, so I didn’t even have much time to psyche myself out about it.  We hopped on, strapped in, and before I could say “This is a terrible idea” I was diving, spinning and flipping upside down 100 feet off the ground.


Roller coasters.

How did I possibly live so long without you?

I de-boarded that thing with an adrenaline rush like nothing I’ve ever felt.  Just enough adrenaline to spend the next 8 hours riding every. single. ride. in that park.  All the roller coasters.  Log rides. All the spinny, g-force, free fall, crazy rides.  We even went back and waited in the longer lines to sit in the front car to get maximum terror.

Seriously, I love them so much I’m almost willing to go give rope swings and Chili’s Chicken Wings another shot. 🙂

…We also paused to hang out with Bugs and Daffy and play with all the toys in the souvenir shop.

The night ended with fireworks and late night pancake puppies at Denny’s (seriously, if you haven’t had them before, go now).

While things certainly aren’t easy right now, and of course the difficult stuff never completely leaves the back of your mind, it was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time.  Perhaps the concoction of facing fears, adrenaline overload, new friends, and mild heat exhaustion is the magic combination? I don’t know, but it gave me the optimism I needed to get through the difficult times and excited to see what lies on the other side of it all.

Here’s to that “year of change” everyone was talking about.  And here’s to finally realizing that no matter what your plan is, you’re never ACTUALLY going to know what’s coming next.