I sat down to write a post on a design project, but before I knew it, my fingers had taken over and were typing something completely different… So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, here is my post of gratitude for those cheering me on to ride roller-coasters 🙂
Life is a crazy roller-coaster, with plenty of twists, turns & double loops to leave your head perpetually spinning. But even as you ride this crazy roller-coaster, there’s an element of excitement and exhilaration, with a shot of adrenaline to keep you shooting in the direction of your dreams. It also leaves you a little hyper and loopy, with your family and friends telling you to simmer down and be realistic! Within this cacophony of emotions, it falls upon you to center yourself with the right combination of idealism and realism, and find your peace amidst all the madness.
This may sound a little odd, especially given my frequent references to roller-coasters, but I am afraid of roller-coasters. I rode one when I was about eleven, and it terrified the living daylights out of me with its double loop; I couldn’t wait to get off, and haven’t gotten on one since then. Why is that important? Because I think my fears run deeper than I fear, and trying new things, experiences and emotions has always terrified me. I have been hesitant about doing or saying something I feel, and I have held back quite frequently, with the result that I have a running inner monologue about how I should have done this or said that, and perhaps things would have turned out differently.
A little over two years ago, on a miserably cold evening, a dear friend told me that it’s okay to be afraid, as long as I don’t live my life in fear. I made up my mind then to at least try to face my fears instead of cowering behind them. When faced with the prospect of trying something new, I at least attempted it once, and when thinking about saying something, I at least attempted speaking my mind instead of relegating myself to days of recurring inner monologues. Even when you try to change something for the better, you do slip into old habits without realizing it, and so it happened to me. Recently, another dear friend wondered out loud how life could be different if we weren’t so afraid, and didn’t overthink everything. It reminded me to keep charging ahead, and face my fears instead of running away from them and hiding.
This Thanksgiving, I am immensely grateful for these Angels appearing in my life, in the form of family, friends and complete strangers, reminding me to do what’s right for me, and keep charging ahead towards my dreams. They often think what they said or did was completely insignificant, but their words and actions are immensely powerful. While I’m unlikely to get on one of the terrifying roller-coasters at Cedar Point or Six Flags, these Angels remind me to get back in line for the roller-coaster of life, and ride it with my face in the wind, smiling through all the twists, turns and double-loops 🙂