When I picked out a cake and asked the person behind the bakery counter to write on it, this was what she wrote: “Happy 50-First Birthday Karen”.
I know, right?
I decided that might be a sign. What if, I thought, I did some things for the ‘first’ time in my 50-“first” year?
And so I have been (informally) doing just that. The most recent thing I did for the first time was going to the Fryeburg Fair. While there, I went on…wait for it… a RIDE. Okay, so maybe not for the first time ever, but for the first time this decade.
I used to love to go on rides. When I was growing up, my grandmother lived within walking distance of Paragon Park in Hull. Needless to say, I grew up going on the rides-lots of them. My parents actually met at that park. We went all the time and I went on every ride, including the most vomit-inducing rollercoasters, with no problem at all.
I stopped going on rides when I was in my thirties. Somehow, the act of giving birth had reorganized my physiology such that when I even thought about going on a ride I got dizzy and nauseated. Sad, but true. I also joined the legions of people who get car sick when riding in the back set of the car, but I digress. Full disclosure: I did try to ride the Tea Cups at the Acton Fair several years ago, but that did not go well. Let’s just leave it at that.
Anyway, I went on the ride. It was one that I loved from Paragon Park when I was a teenager. It was called something different then: The Matterhorn, maybe? Now it’s called The Thunderbolt, but it was the same ride that I remembered from the 70’s.
I didn’t get sick. Nope. I was laughing and yelling and waving my arms around like a kid.
What I learned from this experience is this: my teenage self? She is alive and well and just waiting for opportunities to come out and play. Maybe yours is too.