Roller Coasters

8 Feb

My feet dig into the floor beneath me as the padded vinyl harness encompasses my torso. As instructed, I fasten my seatbelt and prepare myself for what’s to come. Beads of sweat trickle down my forehead as my anxiety skyrockets past its normal limits. Without warning, I begin to climb.

At this altitude, I can see everything. Each thought that bounces around my mind exhilarates and excites me. Smiles come freely from up here. You can hear my laughter for miles and miles. As slow as the ascent was, I am happy to be this high.

But I know what’s coming. In fact, I can already feel my stomach start to drop.

No matter how much I try, I never fully prepare myself for the freefall. I reach out trying to grasp just one tiny branch to halt my descent. Before I know it, I am right back where I started, standing in line waiting to buy another ticket.

Suddenly, it’s my turn again. Reluctantly, I purchase my ticket, sit down, and fasten my harness. As my hands grab the seatbelt, something inside me changes. A calm and serenity fills each and every part of my weary soul.

“This ride is not for me.” I mumble underneath my breath.

No sooner did those words stumble over my lips, I found myself walking away from the pavilion, feverishly searching for level ground. As my feet pound the unfamiliar soil beneath me, I realize I am lost. Gone are the maps. Gone are the tour guides. Gone are the recommendations from others on what path to choose.

Over my shoulder, I can still see that roller coaster off in the distance. As I trudge along this beaten path, I wonder how I will ever get back to the top again.

I know I will get there.

I will just have to find my own way.



20 Responses to “Roller Coasters”

  1. Dysfunction Junction February 8, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    While it can feel amazing to be free and up in the air, sometimes it’s the solid ground, the stability that’s best for us.

  2. thinkingtoohard13 February 8, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    Climb, baby, climb! This is beautiful. xo

  3. Jen O. February 8, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    I don’t know if you meant it to, but this brought tears to my eyes. I’m a robot, goddamnit.

    I hate you for making me feel emotions.

  4. Jules February 8, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    I could read your writing all day.

    • TJ February 9, 2011 at 9:55 am #

      Now you are just trying to make me blush!

  5. cabocalla February 8, 2011 at 8:18 pm #

    Defining what gives your life meaning and joy without referring to the accepted manual take balls. Guess what? You’ve got a nice pair.

    Walking away is a terrifying but necessary first step.

    Here is a favorite quote of mine:

    “There is always a brave new world,” said Poirot, “but only, you know, for very special people. The lucky ones. The ones who carry the making of that world within themselves.” -Agatha Christie


    • flutter February 8, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

      this reminded me of something a friend told me today…you have to do this for you

    • TJ February 9, 2011 at 9:55 am #

      Damn. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Cab. Much appreciated.

  6. nic @mybottlesup February 9, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    wow. i REALLY needed to read this today.

    • TJ February 9, 2011 at 9:55 am #

      I hope it helped!

  7. andygirl February 10, 2011 at 2:37 am #

    I love every word you write.

  8. Naked Girl in a Dress February 11, 2011 at 9:04 am #

    What a great piece. I love your writing TJ.

    • TJ February 11, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

      Wow. Thank you. Really.

  9. the mrs February 11, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    Beautifully said. Thank you!

    • TJ February 11, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

      Thank you so much!

  10. Charlotte February 12, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    Thank you for this today. You have a wonderful way with words and this is a piece I can really relate to. Sometimes in order to enjoy the ride, we must step back and find solid ground.

    Hope this finds you well in body and in mind.

    • TJ February 13, 2011 at 11:07 am #

      Thank you so much. I’m glad you liked it. Sometimes the hardest things in life have their way of breaking through into pure goodness. I’m looking forward to finding that good.

  11. When Pigs Fly February 12, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

    Sometimes you just need to know when it’s better to walk away. I ride horses and have had to teach myself this. You need to know yourself.


  1. Tweets that mention Roller Coasters « StudioEightOneSix -- - February 8, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jen O., TJ Johnson. TJ Johnson said: Roller Coasters […]

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