03/14/2014 - 03/17/2014 50 °F
I want you all to indulge me for a second. I'd like you to think back to one of your earliest experiences riding a roller coaster. Maybe it was your first one ever, or the first one with a loop in it, or maybe the biggest or fastest one you had ever ridden. I think of the Quantum Loop at SeaBreeze - the first coaster I ever rode with a loop (and it had TWO!). Somehow you got convinced that riding this thing would be a good idea, and after waiting in the line, you are on the ride, strapped in, and making the slow climb to the top of the first drop.
Please close your eyes and remember one of these times for yourself. Okay, you can open them - you'd probably have trouble reading this with closed eyes. Despite the fact that I always considered myself a daring and fearless kid, this is what I remember thinking: "OMG, what have I done? We are still going up? This was a bad idea. There's so much that could go wrong. We weren't meant to flip upside down like this. I should have stayed safe with 2 feet planted firmly on the ground. God, we are STILL going up! There are plenty of other rides that I've done before and I know are fun. What made me think this was a good idea. WHY THE HELL ARE WE STILL GOING UP?"
This is a perfect analogy to how I currently feel, especially whenever anyone asks me, "Are you excited?" With less than a week until my departure from this continent, yes I'm excited, but I'm also extremely anxious and terrified. What made me think that this was a good idea? Sure it looks fun and anyone that I've talked to that's already ridden this ride only had great things to say, but seriously - I had a good job, great friends, and lived in an awesome city. That was me with my 2 feet safely planted on the ground, not going up this long, slow climb to the top of the roller coaster where who knows what will happen? I could have even ridden other rides that I was more comfortable with, bouncing between cities and seeing friends around this country to fill my fun-employment gap, but instead I have cut the safety cords and am venturing to a far away, mysterious new place. What have I done?
But then I think back to this same day at SeaBreeze when my cousin dragged me onto this insane looping coaster (which now is the smallest, tamest thing ever) and how I reacted once I got off of it: "OMG that was AWESOME! Lets go again! Lets keep going on that until the park closes! That was so so so much fun! How did I never do that before!? Why was I ever scared of that!?" Lots of exclamation points - you get the idea. And I remember who I am, that a slight chance of danger and disaster enhances an experience for me. That no matter how long you spend looking over the edge of the gorge, evaluating the potential dangers and the water below, at some point you've just got to get a running start and leap into the great unknown. Willingness to push these boundaries is one of the things that defines me, and I hope that it always will.
With T minus 5 days until takeoff I feel confident that I've made all the preparations that I can (or want to) and now I am ready to hit the crest of the hill, throw my hands in the air, and scream my head off. There will be many twists, turns, loops, corkscrews, many of which I will never see coming, but I'm ready for it. As my first post on this blog said:
There comes a time
For throwing caution to the wind
As so my life begins