You wait in line with a crowd of people around you. Some people are excited and can’t wait for the ride ahead. They’ve been waiting for something exciting to happen, and here it is. They’re ready to plow head first and can’t wait for the thrill at the other end. Or maybe they just know everything will be just fine and they have nothing to fear. Either way, they’re calm and ready.
Others are a little more anxious. Maybe their last ride didn’t go as well. Maybe it was bumpier than they liked. They’re willing to ride, to give it another chance to redeem itself, but they’re anxious of it. How will they come out at the end?
They hope unscathed and happy, but they know it’s not always the case.
And there are some that are terrified. They don’t want to go through it again, but someone is dragging them through the nightmare again. They’ve been on these rides and it never turns out well. They know the pain and terror that they will face and they walk away from it more bruised and broken than before. These people can’t believe that they will walk away from this whole; something will go wrong and they will be the casualty.
Finally, it’s your turn to ride.
Some are ready. They know it will be rough, that there will be twists and turns and drops they weren’t expecting, but they’re ready. The adrenaline kicks in and, while they may not enjoy it at that exact moment, they enjoy it afterwards. They smile, they laugh, they make funny faces. They know where they stand and they know they will make it out stronger than before. No need to worry.
Most truly don’t enjoy the ride. It’s rough. You get jerked around and it feels as if your stomach is dropping. It a small anxiety attack. They don’t know what’s coming next and each turn, each loop, throws them. They scream and fight to get through it. The only thing that helps is knowing the end is coming. It has to end. There will be a conclusion and they will walk away, only to return.
Then there are the few that know this is the end. This is it for them. Their ride is their last. Some of these people face it with indifference. No need to fight or struggle because it won’t change the outcome. They sit and just let the ride pull them along. They get knocked around just as much as the others, but they no longer care and they won’t put up a fight. They won’t waste the energy.
The others can’t help but to scream and are convinced they can make the ride end halfway through. Even if they know they won’t ride again, they can’t just sit by without giving it their all. Maybe they cry. Maybe they bury their head. Or maybe they smile for the camera because there’s no reason to not find some joy in it.
Finally, it’s over.
A few walk away untouched by the rollercoaster. They laugh and cheer as if nothing every happened. They race off to the next one in hopes of more thrills and excitement. They live for the adrenaline rush of it all and while it might be a little scary, they had too much fun overall to give it up.
A few will never return. They’re broken and finished. This was the last hope of it regaining some of it’s fun, some of the love they once had for it, but it never came. They can’t wait to get out and move on to something else. By now, they’re so defeated, they don’t even look back. They don’t want to remember the pain and the fear the ride imposed on them. They just want to leave.
The saddest cases, however, are the ones with a chink in their defenses. They were ready for the ride, but it brought new things they weren’t anticipating. New loops and spins that cost them a part of their innocence. They aren’t completely done with riding. They will return, and maybe by then, they will have forgotten some of the hurt, the uneasy feeling it brought, but as they walk away, they aren’t happy. Maybe they’re sick or woozy or in pain. They haven’t given up completely, but they aren’t as eager as they were before.
Their rose colored glasses were knocked off and now they have to face the truths that the ride brings.