Life is a Roller Coaster

Ride It with Your Arms Overhead and Your Eyes Wide Open

By Kristine Carlson,  Author of Heart-Broken Open: A Memoir through Loss to Self-Discovery

Life is not all good things or bad, it’s a mixture of everything.  Sometimes, life is unfair.  

Navigating life as a tween is confusing when all things are in place, and downright difficult when something shakes your world upside down.  Heartbreak whether you breakup with your bff, your pet dies, or worse, a beloved family member leaves the earth, is really tough. But, you don’t have to be tough and alone in your sadness. 

Look around you for the angels in your life that are there to hold and comfort you as you feel your sad feelings. When I say ‘angels’ I mean those people, teachers, counselors, grandparents, aunts, uncles, coaches and friends that show up and ask you how you are.  Instead of pretending that everything is okay when it’s really not okay at all, see if you can just let yourself be held by someone who cares.  Let your tears flow, and have somebody hold you when you’re low. The scary thing about feelings is we think we are always going to feel the same way as we do in this moment, but there is this saying:  “this too shall pass.”

In Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Teens, my beloved husband, Richard Carlson writes:  “It’s been said that the only certainty in life is change. Every day that has ever started has ended. The sun rises every morning and sets every evening.  No experience lasts forever. Each thought you’ve ever had is over. So is every breath. We are born, we grow up, and we get older. Life is always changing.”  Knowing this, will help you get through the hard times a little easier. 

Life is a roller coaster sometimes. We can ride a roller coaster with our arms overhead and eyes wide open, or we can ride it bracing ourselves against the curves. Riding with your arms over your head is actually easier and so is allowing your feelings to flow out of you easier too. Allowing your tears to flow when you are sad or screaming and hitting pillows when you are mad are also like riding the roller coaster of your emotions with your arms over your head surrendering to what you cannot change. If you let your feelings out then they go away. If you hold onto them, then you’re bracing yourself against the curves, and they will stay there longer and it will be a harder ride. 

Remember falling down and skinning your knee? At first it really hurts, then feels better, and then hurts again later as it scabs. Eventually, the scab falls off revealing new skin, but leaving a scar. Years later, even the scar will begin to fade. 

Your emotional wounds are the same.  No matter what the hurt, as you get through the rough spots, remember:

 Time and hugs too, help heal all wounds!



Parents: For recommended books written by Kristine Carlson and her husband Richard Carlson, check out our Resources page in the For Parents section.