Ride the life ride.

I googled this and didn’t find it anywhere, so I am taking credit because I think it often and say it sometimes. Ride the life ride—sometimes that’s all you can do.

Being introspective tends to make me think that as long as I understand something, I have the power to change it. Or that if I think hard enough, I’ll be able to see the future. Or bend it to my will. Or even see what the right course to take is.

Yeah, if only.

Life is awfully complicated and it involves a million unknowns and other people and curveballs and screwballs and windfalls and tragedies and unpredictable matters of the heart and all sorts of messy, uncontrollable things.

Sometimes life gets so complicated, even thinking until smoke comes out your ears can’t sort it out.

That’s when it’s time to just ride the life ride.

It’s like when you step on a roller coaster (which, full disclosure, I have done only twice in my life and hated) and it starts its slow ascent. You have to simply give yourself over to it. You know you are about to plummet down the other side of the hill, but at this moment, there is not a damn thing you can do about it. It’s too late to jump off. You signed up for it and, let’s face it—you’re in it for the thrills. You can only go round and round on the merry-go-round a few times until boredom sets in. (Or is that just me?)

Sometimes, all you can do is relax, let go of any illusion of control, and ride that life ride, see where it goes. The life ride is scary, it’s exhilarating, it can scramble your brain and take you places you never expected. (Unlike a roller coaster, which takes you right back to where you began.) You scream, you laugh, you vomit, you lose your keys, you’re brave, you’re scared, you’re breathless.

No, it’s not always necessarily fun.  But it’s life and you can’t really get off when the going gets tough. Well, I guess you can. But don’t, OK? The ride does calm down eventually.

The ride sits in idle from time to time, but eventually its wheels start spinning again, spinning in place, until, whether you see it coming or not, the ride starts moving again. And at that point, you have to just let go and ride. It may not always be fun, but it’s definitely exciting.