As a child I had the opportunity to experience the slowest merry go rounds and the fastest roller coasters. As an adult, I've also unenthusiastically hopped onto that merry go round, wondering when the ride will end. If there is any chance of that horse galloping away from the rest of the pack seemingly content repeating the same path. Slowly turning round and round.
Around this time last year, I was actually slumped over on the merry go round of life. Working a 8 to 5 not necessarily sure if this were the life for me. My job was predictable. Flexible, yet predictable. I probably had it better than most employees. There wasn't a strict dress code, casual Fridays (which also happened to be half-day Friday's), health insurance, stability, a great boss who loved to talk sports. I even had a co-worker who seemed more like a second mom. Always asking about my weekends, knowing I probably spent them at the bar. Giving me tips on marriage and what types of women to stay away from. She even made sure the office had snacks.
It wasn't the office or the people who made this job boring. I think I understood how much I was undervaluing myself. My impact was confined within my job responsibility. I'm the kind of person who thrives off competition. I'm the guy who steps on the treadmill right next to you even though we're the only people in the gym.
My job at the time didn't excite me. I brought zero passion into the office. My days became a routine. Wake up, shower, eat, drive to the office, stare at a computer screen, leave the office, fight traffic, workout, shower, eat, dedicate a few minutes to other projects, then sleep. I eventually lost who I was. I no longer felt my face tire from smiling. Excitement was gone.
Today, I am on one hell of a roller coaster… I'm even sitting in the front seat. I don't know where the next turn is going to take me, how fast we're going, I even try anticipating when that stupid camera is going to take an unexpected picture.
There are days I wonder how I'm supposed to get through the next week. When lows come, boy do they come. But every time I feel myself stressing too much this ride of a roller coaster takes me higher than I ever imagined.
The people you meet on a roller coaster are extraordinary. They live for the thrill. They have full faith in the engineers who designed the roller coaster, the pimple faced teenager asking you to keep all limbs inside the ride at all times, even the seat belt to keep you from falling out during a loop. These passengers get on the ride knowing all along the ride is worth the wait. It's exciting. The only people who don't spend the entire ride smiling are those who are about to throw up.
We are all passengers of some sort. Some of us rely on the steady pace that a merry go round brings. Trusting the consistency of speed, mesmerized by the soft music and lights. Others seek the unknown of roller coaster tracks. Willing to take a quick deep plunge after a strong, steady and slow creep to the top.
Whichever ride you decide to take in life, be sure it brings a smile to your face. Cause much like life, the amusement park will eventually close and I hope you leave without regretting spending too much time on the wrong ride.