I’ve been thinking more about the idea of the roller coaster. The downhill part of the ride, anyway.
That’s the good part. When you crest the hill and gravity does its thing, whipping the cars over the top and into the mess of metal or wood, twisting through turns and loops.
That’s why we ride them. For that rush.
I’ve been thinking of the metaphorical roller coaster as a rough ride, start to finish. Sometimes it can be. Even real coasters can be jarring and scary. That’s why some people don’t like them.
But I love roller coasters. What gives? Why am I whining about this one?
Because I’ve been fixating on fear instead of enjoying the rush.
Sure, there are times when fear helps us. It tips us off to the stuff that could harm us. It keeps us from doing stupid shit. But just as often, it’s a killer.
Fear can suck the joy right out of exploration and discovery. It can turn a growth spurt into torture. It can ruin life’s epic moments.
I’m dealing with a ton of scary stuff right now. Figuring out my gender identity was hard enough.* Now that I know, figuring out how to move forward is even harder.
Without getting into all the sordid details, there’s a lot at stake.
Sometimes I let the weight of it all get to me. I seize up like some kind of scared little bunny. Bunnies are great and all, but I have fangs. I’m fucking fierce.
You know, in a cute way.
The reality of the changes I’m facing gets to me sometimes. That’s my point. I think part of what I need to do is remember why I love roller coasters.
It’s not the end when we pull into the station, safe and sound. Nope. I like the hills, wind in my face, careening around sharp turns at breakneck speeds.
That’s when I squeal with excited laughter.
Scary isn’t always bad. Scary can be fun.
I know, I know. It sounds like feel-good bullshit. The thing is, sometimes the entire trick to feeling good is CHOOSING to feel good. Even the scary moments in life can be exhilarating if you make a choice to see them that way.
Every person I come out to is one more person I don’t wear a mask around, even if they don’t get it. Even if they judge or reject. It’s still freedom.
These are big changes. Some of them scare the shit out of me. (Not literally. Can you imagine the mess?) I’ve only just begun. Told a few friends. Started trying to figure out what I want. What will make me feel whole. Authentic. There’s much bigger stuff ahead.
Time to buckle up, raise my arms, and enjoy the ride. Every single twist and turn.
Life’s too short to do it any other way.