I decided to ditch work for two days (aka respectfully request time off from my boss which she kindly approved) to hang out at an amusement park. The sweltering heat led me to a place I've tended to shy away from in my adult years...the water park. Back when I was younger, I would grab a double tube with a friend and brave the water slides even though I secretly hated the icky cement stairs and water getting up my nose. However, pride would not allow me to admit that to my friends.
As I grabbed a single tube and floated around the Lazy River, I felt relaxed. That was until I remembered my least favorite part about the ride - a tall pink mushroom-like structure with water cascading out of the top of it. Sometimes the tubes got stuck at the stem, trapping unsuspecting floaters in a waterfall of doom. Okay, so maybe that's bit of a stretch, but I digress.
Floating along beside me was a group of women having fun in the sun and clearly enjoying their time on the ride. I make friends wherever I go so we instantly made a connection. While we all chillaxed in our respective tubes, an aversion to the big pink mushroom became a common bond. When one of us appeared to be going toward the mushroom, another would reach out to pull us toward the wall where we held on to avoid getting drenched. It was a simple kindness among strangers who would probably never see each other again.
I began thinking about life and relationships. Riding solo isn't necessarily a bad thing...especially when you have supportive people who are willing to save you from yourself (or a giant pink mushroom). Experiencing camaraderie with individuals in similar circumstances can be better than having a partner. Take the lazy river experience for example - two riders in the same tube with no real direction will probably get soaked. Creating connections with others, being there for them and allowing them to be there for you is essential to true happiness and growth. Those people can give you sustenance and care when you need it the most. Even if their roles are temporary, they still make an impression that you can carry with you for the rest of your life.
I am by no means swearing off of double tubes. However, I can certainly appreciate the perks of being a single rider until I have a partner who hates the pink mushroom as much as I do ;-)