Life Is a Rollercoaster

Joslyn - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Entered on May 1, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

If felt like we were free-falling as the mini-car plunged downward with dangerous speed. Before we were even able to catch our breath, the ride took a sudden turn that jolted our entire bodies and snapped our necks without mercy. Within seconds, everything became dark as we entered a cold tunnel. All of our screams had stopped, and the darkness of that tunnel was so black that we blinked our eyes several times just to reassure ourselves that they were really open.

The rollercoaster ride I’m describing is the one we call life. There are high points and low points, unexpected bends and dark tunnels along the way. Of course every ride has that part that is uneventful. When it seems like time is dragging on and you are doing little more than spinning your wheels. And just when you think you know what’s up ahead, there’s a detour that isn’t what you expected at all.

On my rollercoaster ride of life, I consider myself fortunate to have experienced the “high points” that I have. Like when my nephews were born or when our entire family – all 25 of us – went on vacation to southern California. At times like these you remember what it’s like to enjoy life, to laugh, and to share in the company of so many you love. At this peak, the view is beautiful and you wish you could stay up here longer. Just long enough so you could take a deep breath and inhale the exhilarating air of life, letting it fill your lungs until they’re bursting.

But what would a rollercoaster be without the low points. We don’t like them, but every ride has them. One of my low points came when I was a freshman in college. My dad was trying to kick a drug addiction and my mom was struggling to keep our family and herself strong. From the outside we appeared to be a happy and wholesome family; but inside it was quite the opposite. Our home, which once was a haven from the hectic world outside, had become a battleground and each of us had been wounded. Nothing in my life at that point made sense. However, if it weren’t for low times like these, the high points in life wouldn’t be as great and as appreciated.

Every ride has the uneventful part. The part when the mini-car slows down and you have plenty of time to enjoy the lackluster scenery. This part in my life lasted for nearly five years as I tried to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Meanwhile I was working at Starbucks but I knew it wasn’t going to be my life-long career. There were times when I felt like saying, “Stop the ride! I want to get off!”

On the rollercoaster of life, some parts are dramatic and breath-taking, while others are calm and uneventful. Not knowing what lies ahead, we are held in suspense. Sometimes we go through cold tunnels; at other times we’re simply enjoying the view. Then there’s the steady rise to the peak. Then the climax. And finally, the sudden drop that takes your breath away. And so the rollercoaster of life goes. All of these experiences together make for a ride that is worthwhile and altogether wonderful. I believe life is a rollercoaster and sometimes all we can do is hang on.