The Carousel


When I was a little girl, I loved to ride the carousel in my hometown at Nunley’s Amusement Park.  Riding around and around to the jolly organ grinder music that emanated from the center axle.  Like spokes on a wheel, we were spun in a never ending circle.  Every time we rode, there were choices to made.  Perhaps if we had too much of the other rides (or too much of something else), we might have chosen to ride on the stationary horses toward the middle of the carousel, they seemed safer.  We could also choose to ride on one of the other stationary animals, like the lion, or one of the beautiful carriages.  Perhaps a bit boring of a ride, but more comfortable to be sure.  But most often, we chose to ride on the horses that went up and down on the periphery of the merry-go-round.  Living “dangerously” and giving us the opportunity to reach for the rings in the hopes that we might actually get the brass ring!  But even those moving horses were safe as we strapped ourselves in with the safety straps and held on to the pole as our horse went nowhere.  Because what did we win if we did grab the brass ring?  We won another ride on the same carousel.

There have been times in my life when I have felt like I was still on a carousel.  However, I will admit that it has always easier to see when someone else is caught in a never ending circle, spinning but going nowhere.  You might change your partner, change the horse you are riding on, change your situation and yet, find that you are still going in the same circles.

It goes something like this, “If I do this, I might fail.  If I fail, I’ll feel bad.  So maybe I won’t do that right now.  Maybe I’ll try that later and just stay where I am.”  Or it can go, “I have to leave my partner, he or she is no good for me.  I’ll try someone else, maybe things will be different.  But, although I change my partner, I am still in the same place, and the relationship ends up on the same track.”  We spin our wheels, we sometimes even get the brass ring, but then we sit back down on our horse and continue to go nowhere.

Some people live there whole lives like this.  It takes an enormous amount of courage and effort to break free of the cycle.  To get off of the carousel and move forward instead of continuing in a never ending circle.  It’s easier to just stay on.  It’s familiar to just stay on.  We don’t realize that the music, the movement, is lulling us into a false sense of living our lives.  As far as we know, we only have one life.  Do we want to spend it going around in circles?

Take the chance and get off your carousel and leave behind the imitation of life that you have been living.  Instead, climb up onto a live horse and gallop off into your real future.  As scary as that may seem, isn’t it what you have always dreamed of? You’re not a child on a carousel anymore, take the chance, move forward!   Author of The Tin Box Trilogy


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