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1 Jun

I’ve been venturing out more.  Shaking off the blanket that protected me from a non-existent winter and exploring more.  I’ve been photographing my exploits and taking in the new experiences.  I became far too dormant, too much time waiting for something else to happen, that life passed by me with a quickness that took my breath away.  It’s June already and I can’t fathom how I lost Spring.

This last weekend I went to an amusement park.  Quite amusing for me, considering I’ve never been one to enjoy baking in the hot sun while riding nausea inducing rides and roller coasters.  Yet, I decided to give it a try, to at least convince myself that I’m not lingering in middle age-dom.  Before we arrived, I swore off any roller coasters.  I shook my head and stamped my foot and declared I would not ever, and I mean ever, get on one.  What’s the point?  To be scared?  I’ve lived a life, I don’t need more things to scare me.

But there I was, and for some reason I felt braver.  I felt empowered.  I stood in a line for a roller coaster, a real wooden one, and I let them strap me into the demon contraption.  I took a deep breath and then closed my eyes as panic set in.  Before I could even scream, I was thrust forward at a break neck speed and felt every bump and turn as my body bounced in my seat.  I was riding a roller coaster.  Not happily.  Not really enjoying it.  But I was doing it.

Then came another, decidedly less exciting, but still a roller coaster and this time I opened my eyes.  I saw the track before me and I felt the wind on my face and felt the flutter in my stomach and I laughed.  It was not of pure joy.  Being that terrified of speed prevented that emotion, but it was relief.  Relief that there was this deep fear I had held inside and in a moment I had tossed it in yesterday’s neurotic trash.  I was afraid, but I did it anyway.

I stood in line three more times for rides that terrified me.  I enjoyed them as best I could.  The last roller coaster had me trembling so hard my teeth chattered.  But I was proud of myself.  I had done something I never thought I would do.  I laughed my way through all of them.  Probably to keep from shrieking in terror or crying.  I had left my comfort zone and discovered, much to my amazement, I could return to it relatively unscathed.

I know there’s all sorts of metaphors for this sort of thing.  I know there’s something profound in a moment such as this.  But I decided not to over analyze it.  Just in that one day, at that one time, I ventured into the scary forest.  Maybe if I return to the same theme park I will stick with bumper cars.  I don’t believe I need to be frightened into realizing life is worth living and enjoying.  But it’s nice to be reminded that fears are meant to be conquered.

Unless it’s fear of spiders.