So I have All-State Orchestra auditions tomorrow... yikes. Despite the fact that, yes, I made it last year, I'm still about ready to pee my pants, dry heave, or sit in a corner and suck on my thumb... or maybe a combination of the three... we'll see how much sleep I get.
Life's a roller coaster. And I, despite the fact that I don't seem to be your typical teenage guy, am somewhat of an adrenaline junky.
I wasn't always so into roller coasters though. The first time I rode a roller coaster that wasn't contained in a theme park's kiddy section was easily one of the most traumatizing experiences of my life. Why was that hill so big? You mean we were going to get in a tiny car and ride all the way to the top of THAT? Why was everyone screaming like they were about to die?! This couldn't possibly be fun. If anything it was borderline suicidal. What if my seat belt breaks? What if the car derails? What if I get stuck next to some fat guy and he falls on me and crushes me? What if the ride camera took my picture and I looked like an idiot?
All of those nagging worries passed through my head while I was waiting in line for what I was sure was going to be my imminent demise. Doomsday had come, boys and girls, and its target was me specifically.
Eventually I got to the front of the line and the ride attendant was like "Hold up, little man. I need to make sure you're tall enough." Everyone in line probably rolled their eyes. They probably thought I was some brat that was going to waste time in line and then not be tall enough.
"Looks like you're too short." I was relieved. I wasn't going to die today.
"I'm only kidding. You're tall enough. Go right on ahead." F*** my life. I started saying my prayers. I didn't even have a will written up. Who was going to inherit my Nintendo 64? Or my Gameboy? WHO THE HELL WAS GOING TO TAKE CARE OF MY POKEMON?
Next thing I knew I was sitting in a roller coaster car, making a slow ascent to the top of a 200-something foot hill. You could see until forever from on top of that hill. It was awesome. I was on top of the world. And not like Jack and Rose when they were on the front of the Titanic. No iceberg was going to sink this ship.
Until we went down the hill. My ass left my seat. My stomach flew up into my throat. Everyone was screaming. This was it. The moment I had been waiting for. My short short life was over. Done. Finished. We were going to fly off the track. We... we...
Started to go up the second hill. I was on top of the world again! Still no icebergs in sight.
And then we went back down the hill.
I don't know how many times this process repeated itself. I just remember getting off the ride and thinking "I'm alive... and that was actually pretty fun."
All of that worrying had been for nothing. My seat belt didn't break. The train didn't derail. Not one fat person fell on me during the course of the whole ride. Yes, I looked like an idiot in the picture... you win some you lose some.
I've gone through my whole life over-thinking and worrying about everything. Even if it's things that I can't control. I was once told that life is too simple to be so damn difficult. I think that phrase has a lot of value and meaning to it.
Maybe people who live in the moment do have it better. Why worry about the past? It already happened, you can't change it. Why worry about the future? You can't guarantee what's going to happen and you'll only be wasting what could be a very nice moment.
It seems kind of odd that I would be preaching that mantra. Biological predisposition made me a worry wart by default.
Why waste the time though?
When you're on the roller coaster you don't worry about the next hill.