As a life long learner, I thrive in the academic environment. However, I am aware that many of my most valuable lessons came outside of the classroom, in what many would deem “the real world.” I argue that the moment you are birthed, you are a citizen of “the real world,” but I digress.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, I went with my best friend and extended family to Hershey’s Park in Philadelphia. Now, I am not a big fan of amusement parks or rides (I just like the food) but I figured since I was there, I would take advantage. 

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It was a group of about 20 of us. We would collectively decide which roller coaster we wanted to ride and some people would look at the ride and opt out from the beginning. Others would wait in the line for 30 minutes and then decide not to go when it was their turn. However, for those of us who went in the line, waited, and rode the rollercoasters, we all fought our fear and enjoyed the experience. 

I went on EVERY ride that I could. Was I scared? Yep. Did my heart feel like it would beat out of my chest? Yep. Did I second guess my decision? Yep. I found it interesting that those who went with me on the rides such as the SooperDooperLooper, or Skyrush felt the same way. The feeling that we were all in this together and we would encounter the loops, twirls, dips, and flips together made the ride that much bearable. It made us not feel alone.

In life, we will have many roller coasters. Some of us will see a challenge ahead and opt out. Others of us will begin but let fear overtake us and quit. A few will stick it out, meet the challenge face first, and ride through that challenge, and gain strength and courage to go on the next one. And although it may feel that each of us are going on our own personal roller coaster, we are never alone.

It’s up to us to use each moment and each day as an opportunity to learn. To build upon a skill or learn a new one, to complete a task or to chip away at a long term goal.

What are you waiting for? You are the oldest you have even been and the youngest you will ever be. In this moment. Right here. Right now. Go For It! What do you have to lose? 

Satisfaction is a goal, but complacency is never an option. So when given the option to take the plunge, will you?


Copyright 2014 by Morgan Smalls of All rights reserved.