Freak Out

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There is a ride at our church fair called the Freakout.

Its name suits it well. You are strapped into this swinging contraption. Feet dangling. Steel, over-the-shoulder harness. There’s upside down turning, twisting and lots of screaming involved. It’s really a great ride. You have to remove your shoes if you are wearing flip-flops or any other loose shoe that may take flights as you soar, spin and screech.

As a lover of all things carnival, I’m usually ready for the ride. I know I am (reasonably) safe and secure and will appreciate the outcome. Except that’s not where I am right now.  I can’t hop on the ride. I’m stuck at the scariest part.

I’m next in line.

That spot of anticipation. Can I handle it? Will I trust? How much of the 2 minutes and 30 seconds of the ride will be clouded by fear before I allow myself to relax and embrace what’s ahead?

Truth be told, I’m pretty sure my whole life could be analogous of something related to amusement parks. Maybe someday I’ll muse about elephant ears and caramel apples. That’s another post … because I’m still stuck in line at the Freakout.

As I approach the part of life that includes sending a child off to college while wiping teething drool off another, I’m forced to realize I can’t duck out of line. I can’t give my spot to someone else, and I eventually have to trust, relax and get on that darn ride. Which, by the way, I want to. After all, that’s why I’m standing here to begin with. I gave the guy my tickets, and I’m next.  Soon enough, he’ll open the gate, I’ll take my shoes off, get strapped in and be as ready as I can be.

I know I can’t focus on the past, I’ve already been at the back of the line. I’ve done my time and, rightfully so, I’ve taken my place at the front. It’s just that the seemingly long line has moved much more quickly than I anticipated.

I’m trying to take comfort in knowing that after I get off this first ride, I will again be getting back in the queue. I’m hopeful that maybe next time I’m at the front, I’ll remember the thrill of the ride, how much I’ve enjoyed my time in line and remind myself to trust that I’m being held in.

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