Life is supposed to be like a rollercoaster

Life is like a rollercoaster. You experience ups and downs. Sometimes you rise and sometimes you fall. During the ride there is fear and there is relief. There is pleasure and pain.

It was December 2011, one of the wettest Decembers since 1906. January had a lot of rain as well and February was above all: cold. About minus 15 degrees Celsius (5 Fahrenheit).

I was so tired of the wet and grey weather that I accepted a job offer in the Caribbean island of Curaçao. There would be nice sunny weather the whole year round. In my head I saw the palm trees, the white beaches, the blue sea.

The first year it was great. Every day it was around 33 degrees Celsius (91 Fahrenheit). I went to the beach every weekend. There were no ups and downs anymore; at least, in terms of the weather. Instead there was predictability. There would pass a single day I would have to wear a coat. Success guaranteed, right? Or not?

Well, after a few years I didn’t go to the beach that much anymore. I no longer could get excited by the sunny beach weather. It was always beach weather. Even when I would decorate my Christmas tree, put some fake snow on it, installed Santa Claus with his polar-proof jacket. Life became a rollercoaster without ups and downs. Just a flat circle with long wide curves. Safe and predictable.

Soon I began to long for rain, snow, wind, storms. I began to crave the joys of the seasons: the first sun and the first flowers and blossom in spring, the exhilaration I experience with the summer heat when it’s finally hot enough to lie on the beach, the colors of the leaves and the rain in autumn, the cold and snow during winter.

After 6 years I moved back to the Netherlands and I have never enjoyed the perks of every season as much as I do now I’m back. The thunderstorm today was magnificent. So powerful. The rolling thunders. The lightning, the rain. It inspired me to write this short text.

Could you imagine your life without (emotional) ups and downs? What would a life be like if you knew every day what was going to happen? That would be a safe but rather dull rollercoaster, wouldn’t it?

In this world there is no warm without cold, no brightness without darkness, no joy without sorrow, no satisfaction without hunger and thirst, no yin without yang, no ups without downs.

Don’t resist the ride. Enjoy it. If you’re going through a difficult time, remember the adage: “this too shall pass.”