By Kenneth Stepp
I remember visiting Fountain Park in Louisville Ky when I was a kid. It was old and looking back, probably worn out. Well, at least the rides were. The main one, the one everyone feared, talked about, and dreamed of the night before we came. The roller coaster. It was built long before such things had names. The Beast, The Tornado, etc. And it was made completely of wood. Now that is old school fun. At the time the park closed, it was the last and oldest all wooden roller coaster in America. Can you imagine how dangerous riding this thing was? I remember the stories when I was young about cars flying off and the injuries. What if Disney built one, named it, and tried to convince us that it was safe. There would be people picketing, news crews running stories, and only the certifiably insane ones standing in line to ride it.
So why would a guy that writes about being single, relationships, and dating, write about this horrible ride? Because, from my view. This singles journey reminds me of that old roller coaster. We all know what might happen. Heck… We all know what will most likely happen. But somewhere in our memories, there was a time when we could feel the wind passing by so fast. A time when the roar of the rails on the track was louder. A time when we had butterflies as the coaster left a high hill and plummeted downhill quickly. We remember how alive we felt at that moment. And because we have tasted this, we are willing to risk it all for another ride that may make us feel that way again. The endorphins and the smell of carnival food in the air. It reminds us of a time when we felt safe, felt loved, and felt like we were a part of something important and permanent.
“Life can be like a roller coaster with its ups and downs. What matters is whether you are keeping your eyes open or closed during the ride and who is next to you.” “A relationship is a lot like a roller coaster. You have extreme highs and you can have some pretty extreme lows, but the ride is worth it.” – Anon (edited)
Life as a single person searching for love can be a treacherous journey for sure. We go through so many cycles. We set standards and remain alone too often. We lower them, settle, and then pay the price of throwing our standards aside. The emotional wreckage will be great. The idea of waking up with the love of our life keeps us moving in the direction of our dream. The reality of waking up with someone other than the love of our life… Well, it isn’t pretty. So often I have watched as friends meet someone, say they are in love, marry, and in no time, reality has hit. They know they are in the wrong place. But now they have blended their lives together and separating isn’t as simple as just saying goodbye. Not that goodbye is ever that simple.
“With peaks of joy and valleys of heartache, life is a roller coaster ride, the rise and fall of which defines our journey. It is both scary and exciting at the same time.”
― Sebastian Cole
I am “post” wreck at the moment. I rode a beautiful roller coaster. It took me higher than any before. But falling from such a height was something unplanned. I am broken and beaten. I am in need of healing. I am in a word, dead inside and in need of someone breathing life back into my lungs. And like everyone else, my goal is to stumble to my feet, crawl if I must to the ticket window. “One please”….
“Maybe this time it will be different. Maybe this time it works. Maybe this time…”
- Kenneth Stepp