I love roller coasters. The speed and the rush can be exhilarating. They do have a drawback: once they are finished I am left reeling, less sure of my ups and downs. The whole of the roller coaster experience can generally be summed up as a positive one. The ups are full of excitement, building potential that eventually leads to the rush of expending that potential screeching towards the earth in a downhill dive. Even the crazy amount of disorientation can be fun in the aftermath of a fun coaster. There are exceptions in the weak stomached, but for most people, the experience is positive and enjoyable.
It is for this reason that I question the use of roller coasters as a metaphor for life. Life has its ups and downs but, unlike a roller coaster, life's downs are awful. I'm sure that should we be given the chance, we will get back in like to ride the roller coaster again, regardless of how terrible the downs are, but the fact remains that if life's downs were as fun as a roller coaster's downs, we would never get off. It is for this reason that I have decided to revoke the roller coaster's rights as a metaphor for life.
I think that life is more like peeling wallpaper off of a wall. Sometimes, when you are peeling the paper, it comes off in awesome sheets and it seems really easy, but sometimes, no matter how hard you try and even if you use one of those nifty misty thingers, the paper sticks and you just have to keep chipping. Most of the time, once you get passed the rough part, things become maybe not easier, but you learn how better to handle how it is sticking and make better progress. It is important that you not try to force the paper, or you can chip the drywall and ruin it. It is sometimes difficult to get the right drywall to replace existing drywall, once it has been destroyed.
My last couple days have been a lot like peeling wallpaper off of a wall. I went through the testing fairly confused because of a lack of direction by my teachers and finished with a placement into the beginner level of Japanese class. I was very frustrated, but I thought that maybe they knew what they were doing, so I went to my first class. I found out that it was precisely as I'd feared and they were indeed starting me completely over from scratch. I managed to keep my temper and went home to ask some of the intermediate students what their material was like. I found out that it was also below where I was, but it moved really fast and was closer so I asked if I could move up to intermediate. They told me that all I had to do was talk to my teacher tomorrow, so I copied all of the notes and homework from a friend in intermediate, did the homework and studied for the quiz for tomorrow. With any luck, this whole frustrating week will end with me exactly where I need to be.
Also, I think we're all going to Tokyo Disneyland in a couple weeks. I hope I can ride the roller coasters.