On the rollercoaster… May 7, 2019 by Jamie WestermanSit back and enjoy the ride. I didn’t ever consider myself much of a thrill seeker. I’m not sure why. I love theme parks, driving an ATV way too fast, and working a trauma in the ER. But I also love peace. I love quiet alone time. I love the comfort of a simple life. Lucky for me then, life is full of the thrill… and the mundane. And the ugly, the hard, the wonderful, the scary, the moments that make your heart stop, for the good and the bad. It’s a rollercoaster of climbs, downhill falls, twists, upside down turns, plateaus, and plain old chugging along. What’s tricky though is the fact that the ride doesn’t have a set path. You don’t know where the high and low points may fall. You may feel blindfolded at times. You may have someone’s hand to hold or could be riding alone. You may get to the top of a jerky steep hill expecting a smooth downward sail only to find no track at all. How do you choose to ride your roller coaster? You could spend the entire ride scared and anxious for what’s to come, or you could smile with anticipation and excitement about what’s possible. Do you get on each day grudgingly or hop on grateful for the experience? Do you close your eyes and hope for the best or tackle it eyes wide open knowing you’re bound to see some crazy things along the way? Do you ride the kiddie coaster, staying safe and flying under the radar? Or do you dare for the biggest challenge, with the biggest reward? Everyone’s ride looks different. Some have steeper hills, some coast for a bit, some have longer valleys. Some seem to have an emergency break and others an accelerator. What I’ve learned is, it doesn’t matter the roller coaster you are on, what matters is how you ride the ride. You don’t always get to choose the situations in life you are handed. You don’t always get to choose the fastest path to success or the easiest circumstances on the journey. You don’t always have control of your environment. What you do control is your attitude, your reactions, your thoughts, and your actions moving forward. You get to choose if you have a bad moment or a bad day or a bad life. You decide if your perspective is going to be one of “poor me,” or “go me!” And you decide if your ride is going to be a source of devastation or inspiration. My rollercoaster is struggling right now. I don’t have full control of the path I am on. But I see this is part of my journey, even if I don’t like it. I know that I am learning lessons that will serve me in the future. I know that I am not alone and have hands to hold. I am finding once again how strong I can be. I am choosing the good as best as I can. And above all, I am grateful for the opportunity to ride at all.