This is not my first time around the LJIdol carnival.
When I strapped myself into Gary's tilt-a-whirl ride the first time, I'd just become a mother. I desperately craved sleep, and adult companionship, and some validation that I still meant more to the world than simply a nipple on demand.
Idol was a comfort and a release when I needed it most, but soon the world around me was swirling too fast for me to hold on. Dizzy, I stepped back to catch my breath.
10 years passed. 10 cycles around a brightly lit Ferris wheel, wind in my hair and the ground rising up and then falling away from my feet. Two babies, three jobs, two husbands, too many cats, 10,000 Facebook posts. A million memories, photo booth snapshots all in a row, lying black and white in my palm. Time flies when you're having fun?
The last decade may have been a crazy roller coaster, but I'm still here, a bit of a funhouse mirror reflection of my former self, but definitely here.
Because when the ride is done and the gears grind to a halt, and you step out into the cotton candy-scented night, eyes sparkling because you survived, heart in your throat but you SURVIVED, what choice have you got but to run out, hop over the turnstile and get back in line for one more trip?
It ain't closing time yet.