Choosing ones path through life is drilled into a child’s mind at such a young age that often people make their choice before finding a passion. There is no greater misfortune in life than settling for a career that will make money instead of finding true happiness. Many people plan their careers but the road to my future came in a moment of clarity in a truly unlikely theme park. Roller coasters stretching high into the sapphire sky, the allure of games that no matter how many times one loses the myth of success perpetuates, and the only place in New England one can get the highly sought-after Dip ‘N Dots: Six Flags.
This is a place where people come to get away from the stress of daily life and let go for hours to trust in someone else that the rides, made of steel and magnets, will hold together long enough and deliver them safely to the end of the ride. It hardly seems the place to have a life revelation. Among the hustle of little kids dropping ice creams and the screams of pre-teen girls riding The Mind Eraser for the first time, I realized that everyone that comes to Six Flags is similar – similar in the fact that we all have problems.
With every problem, as we are taught in middle school algebra, comes a solution. I realized that I wanted to be someone who could help people solve their problems. I want to be the math that makes sense in people’s lives. The rollercoaster ride itself varies in a number of different ways: length in time, distance traveled, tallest point, water or no water, does it go upside-down, fastest speed, etc. Our lives as humans are all different as well. No one rollercoaster is the same, just as no one person is the same.
Just as rollercoasters age, people themselves age too. Different though from rollercoasters, people do not have mechanics that can be called to come in and fix the problem immediately – or if the problem is severe enough have that part completely replaced. We must learn to deal with problems encountered in our lives and solve them ourselves. Because we are all different though, we deal with our problems differently. Discovering this, I recognized the love I had for being the person that people turned to whenever they needed advice.
Whether it be the recent break up of my friend who caught her boyfriend cheating with a cashier at Market Basket, or the advice sought from a friend who was severely depressed going home to a father addicted to the needle, I love giving advice and hope to those in need. Masses gathered in the thousands riding rollercoasters to feel free from society – a seed began growing inside me and I was beginning to learn that I could help an uncountable amount of people by studying psychology and becoming a therapist.
Just as in nature when a bear grows into maturity and leaves the comfort of the mother bear and their siblings, people have the same freedom growing up and being able to choose any direction to take their lives. Many people have great discomfort in this because it isn’t easy. Essentially, this step in life is one we take alone and makes us an individual. Our parents make so many decisions for us when we are young that we get stuck in a pattern of being fed from the palm.
I want to be able to help children who have grown with problems throughout their lives and believe that they are unable and incapable of moving forward with their lives without help. I want to be the spark from a lighter that ignites their fuse on a stick of dynamite that with my help they can explode through their problems and live a life of true happiness. I watched all of the children at Six Flags and their temporary smiles and excitement and I knew for some of them it would be short-lived. Six Flags is a day trip – a place families travel for the day to retreat from problems.
I knew it could not simply fix the deep rooted problems that some people have. We are meant to face our problems head on and if someone cannot do this alone I will be there to help them. Trees blossom once a year and then shed their fruit and leaves, and similar to trees people have their ups and downs throughout the year – what we must realize though is that in that year of happiness and sadness we are growing, so much like the tree grows. I traveled to Six Flags not knowing that I would find my hunger for life’s work but such is the beauty of life.
We must not ignore our feelings inside, but embrace them. That feeling of not-knowing what is in store, the bottomless pit of endless fears lies within us all, and makes us human. I want to let people know that it isn’t so scary and that with a little light and guidance you can pass through safely and come out of this life without regret and pain. Therapy can be scary, like riding a roller coaster you have never ridden before, but with myself on the other side of the door I know I can help whoever wants to take that chance on finding happiness.