Coasters and Carousels

Coasters

First off, if you don’t know me very well I need to preface that I have an [unhealthy] love of all things tv/movie. My husband Adam and I delight in working tv/movie quotes into our daily conversations. It’s almost like a sickness. 😬 But it’s funny when our girls see a show and realize that the witty banter stemming from our own brilliant senses of humor is actually stolen straight from a Will and Grace episode. What’s even funnier is when they were younger and thought we were so on trend that the lines from tv/movies copied us. “Mommy! Look! They just said what you always say!” Huh…that’s weird. 😉 But sometimes in my writings, I reference a movie or show because they influence and inspire me. In fact, I feel one of the true values of entertainment is that it normally comes with a lesson. At times it hits you right in the face – like when Dr. Meredith Grey basically tells you during her 5 minute self absorbed monologue exactly what you’re supposed to figure out in that night’s episode. Other times it’s not always easy to find like, say Weekend at Bernie’s – but usually it’s there. Usually? Anyway, carrying that thought forward, one of my favorite scenes EVER is the one from the movie Parenthood where Gil’s grandmother goes into a speech about the differences between roller coasters and carousels. Her point, in a eloquent illustration, is that life can be full of ups and downs OR it can be static and boring. She prefers the ups and downs, the roller coasters, because “you get more out of it.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z18vJwmxFFY (TOTALLY worth the 3 minutes to watch the linked clip. Sorry about the 15 sec ad though. I’m not tech-y enough to figure out how to ditch it.) ANYHOO… the movie debuted in the summer of 1989 before my Senior year of high school. I absolutely loved that scene because it gave me a sense of peace with the chaos enveloping me. What chaos, you ask, for such a young sweet child? HELLO!? I was a 17 year old girl! I carried drama around with me in a designer acid wash denim backpack for Cher’s sake! (Side note: why is acid wash making a comeback? Seriously, why? Fanny packs are hard enough to embrace again). But that scene stuck with me especially as my life continued to be a series of stomach crunching, nervous teetering, nausea inducing, totally exhilarating, teeth grinding, knuckles whitening, hysterically laughing, boldly screaming, free falling ride after ride after ride. That, I like to call, my 20s. Because of that ‘lesson’ from a movie – I looked at my experiences differently. Even when the chaos continued, it was okay. It was a coaster, after all? That’s where the lessons are. That’s where we grow and evolve and challenge ourselves. Granted, some of our ‘coasters’ aren’t ones we willingly strap ourselves into – but rather are dragged onto by circumstance…unfortunately – without the immediate option to exit. But in theory, don’t all rides come to an end at some point? No matter if you chose to get on or were dragged there?

Carousels

Y’all please… Let’s be honest. Carousels are REEEEAAAALLL nice, especially when exhausted walking from coaster to coaster. Carousels are safe. They even have layers of safe. If you feel the slightest desire to be saucy, you get on the horse that goes up and down. But you could be that person that just sits on the rotating bench. You know … I always wondered about those people … the ones that purposely chose the bench. Why? What happened to them that they lost the will to even get on the horse? Not to mention they could just choose the horse that doesn’t move? Although I won’t get into the crushing disappointment as a child of choosing the perfect horse only to realize when the accordion music and flashing lights start that it’s not one that moves up and down. Total devastation. For the most part though, riding the carousel is a risk free, non threatening, easy peazey experience minus any sort of heart inducing palpitations.
Or lessons…

With that said…

I have been riding a carousel for about 15 years and I have to say, I kinda like it. Not complaining.🤷‍♀️ I’ve enjoyed the simple movement mainly due to the fact that I thrive on stability and consistency. I like to know what my day[s] will look like. Blissfully boring would be an accurate description of my happy place. Security is a big luxury and I feel pretty darn cozy right now. This carousel I’m on is like a giant hug. With horses. And cheesy carnival music. And bulbous flashing lights. Is this getting weird now? Let’s go back to a carousel just being a giant supportive hug. And although a carousel is my happy place, I also feel that I’m on the precipice of riding coasters again. Sure it fills me with anxiety. Makes me nervous. Butterflies are brewing. Hands are getting a little sweaty (but that might be pre-menopause😲).
I can see the coaster. It looks like I might get a lot out of it. 🤔

The Takeaway

Do you know what the first ride is at my hometown’s Six Flags Amusement Park? The Silver Star Carousel. The minute you step inside the extremely overpriced and crowded cattle coral – there it is. The coasters? You have to actually seek them out. I’ve been going to this park since 1975 and even though I don’t always ride it, I love seeing it when I walk in. Comforting. Consistent. Safe. And in the chaotic coaster moments of your time in the park, you know where it is if you need a break. So I think I like both rides. I think I need both rides. I think you don’t have to choose one or the other exclusively because life really is about learning to ride them both. As I wrap my mind around my upcoming coasters – I at least always know where the carousel is when I need to rest and recharge. Or vomit.

Embrace both.

Anyone want to grab a Pink Thing now?
Lemon Freeze?
Funnel cake?
Ugh. Food. THERE’S a rollercoaster. That should be my next post. 🤔😬😉😂


7 Comments on “Coasters and Carousels

  1. My first legit job was selling pink things at Six Flags. It was a summer filled with great memories and lots of people throwing up. What a roller coaster!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love seeing your brilliant stream of thoughts in written form! The page is gorgeous. I haven’t thought of Parenthood in years, but the moment you mentioned that scene, I could vividly remember it. About TV/movies forming our lives, I remember an episode of Will & Grace where Will says, “How do you expect your life to change if you don’t?” Mind blown!

    Liked by 1 person

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