dianne salerni author
dianne salerni author

Apparently, I get a thrill out of not knowing where I’m going.

I never knew this about myself. I thought I liked to be completely in control – and definitely never lost.

I also thought I hated roller coasters – though I always suspected I was afraid of the height, more than the coaster itself. I’m also not fond of bridges and ferris wheels. I keep imagining myself FALLING. I don’t see how those flimsy guard rails are going to keep my vehicle from falling off the edge of the bridge, and as for roller coasters, I expect the cars to fly off the track at any time – or just break through the track on the curve and hurtle out across the amusement park …

Therefore, it was with great trepidation that I allowed my family to talk me into riding Space Mountain at Disney last month. My husband said, “It’s in the dark. You can’t see how high you are.” And although I wasn’t convinced, I did try to be a good sport. I figured, if I was terrified – he’d owe me BIG TIME. (Always a good position to be in.)

So I rode it, and as we were leaving, I turned to the family, coughed sheepishly, and murmured, “Uh, we could do that again, if you want …”

Turns out – I love roller coasters, as long as I can’t see where I’m going! Who knew? Not only did I ride Space Mountain again, but I was first in line to ride Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios – after I’d ascertained that it, too, is in the dark. Strangely enough, I also enjoyed Tower of Terror – in which you really are falling – and during which you have a plain view of how high you are. Mission Space – no problem. The Simpsons Ride and the Spider Man Ride – loved ‘em! I’ve got no issues being strapped into a car that bumps around a bit while being shown a movie that simulates falling and flying. (I even laughed during the Simpson ride when the roller coaster track breaks and the car hurtles out across the amusement park … arguably, a simulation of my worst nightmare!)

I thought I was afraid of the motion. Not true. I thought I was afraid of heights. Not really. I thought I was afraid of falling. Hmm … closer, but Tower of Terror was kind of fun. I’m not sure there’s a name for why I’m terrified of the itty bitty baby train that rides a skinny track overtop of Playland in Ocean City, NJ, but it’s definitely not what I thought it was.

Have you ever thought you were afraid of one thing – but turns out you were afraid of something else entirely?

Do you enjoy that sensation of not knowing where you’re going next – on a dark roller coaster – or in your current WIP?