07 March 2013

"I'm Getting Sick! Let Me Off!"

Life has been a little crazy in our house. I have been frantically trying to finish my degree and the end of February was a blur of last minute readings, essays and exams. I have been fighting a nasty cough for the past month and trying to organize a cross-country move. Big decisions are being made. There is a lot of information swirling around in my poor, aching head.

I told my daughter recently that I feel like a hamster caught in a wheel that won't stop spinning. Luckily for her, she didn't relate and didn't understand the analogy. So I switched and told her it was like being on a carnival ride where you feel like you are going to be sick but you can't get off. She understood that a little better and as I sat thinking "Yes - that is exactly what I feel like" a near forgotten memory popped into my head.

I was about twelve years old and was at a mayfair with my mom, sister and brother. My brother would have been about six. We all asked my mom if we could ride the "octopus" a black tentacled ride with spinning booths that went up and down as they spun in a circle. My mom bought the tickets and we climbed on. Why I wanted to get on a spinning ride with my brother who was well known for his motion sickness I do not know.

As the ride began to rise and started to spin my brother (who at one time earned the enviable nickname of pukey) said he felt sick. By the time we arrived at the top of the circle he was yelling - "I'm getting sick! Let me off!" Surprisingly, the man operating the ride slowly lowered us to the ground and let us off. My brother miraculously did not get sick. He knew what he wanted, he let it be known, and he was able to get off the ride.

After this vivid memory played in my head, I realized the obvious. I can get off. I don't need to feel sick. I don't have to do anything that I don't want to do. I can take control of my own life.

While I realize that changing direction in life isn't always so easy - it is possible.

With one semester left I changed my major from a double major in english and history to a major in English and a minor in history allowing me to drop two classes from my schedule. For me the sacrifices I was making weren't worth the outcomes. I started to really look closely at the choices I was making and what I wanted out of life.

I want to live my life. Mine. Not somebody else's, not someone else's idea of what my life should be like or even what I think my life should look like. The past few weeks I have been spending time thinking about what I want my life to look like and I am confident that I will be able to get there. All I had to do was get off the ride, step back, take a few deep breaths and look around.

Life is good.

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