Two days ago, I was in the most terrifying car accident of my life. It’s amazing that I walked away and I’ve been in deep thought since it happened.
I was upset with myself. I always told myself that I had to live my life in a way that I would make a difference in this world, that I would create large-scale positive impact on my community. But in the moment that I wasn’t sure how things were going to end up, all I could think of was, “God, I hope no one gets hurt.”
I mean, it’s great that I care about other people and all but did this mean that I thought every other person’s life around me was worth more than mine? Was I willing to sacrifice myself to make sure these people were safe? I mean, these are people I don’t even know.
That’s when I realized how silly these thoughts were because it had nothing to do with that. I was being so dramatic, I wasn’t at a point where I even should have been thinking about myself. And, I’ll tell you why.
It all started when I was on my way to a job interview on a busy California interstate. I looked like a million bucks! My hair and makeup was on point, I was dressed in my fancy corporate gear with high heels that Imelda Marcos would have been eying with envy. I was planning on making a stop to get another pair of shoes that weren’t as flashy but for the sake of time I just headed straight to my interview so I would have a bit of a cushion to unwind and breathe before the professional interrogation.
I hopped on the freeway where there wasn’t any traffic at all. It should have been my first cue. A painless drive on a Monday morning doesn’t exist in busy metropolitan areas, I should have known it was too good to be true. And then it happened, a line of cars was right in front of me and I was headed straight for it. If you’ve been keeping along with my blog, you’d know that my usual vehicle was repossessed last Friday. So two days ago, I was driving an older SUV, one that comes nowhere near the majestic stallion I usually drive. And as I was still getting acquainted with my new beast, I found out far too soon just what its limits were. As soon as I hit the brakes, it was apparent I wasn’t going to be able to stop my car in time.
So, I weighed my options. Think fast, Bunny! Do I go straight into the line of cars and create a pile-up of a mangled, metallic mess? Hello there car on my right, can’t go there. Do I try and go for the slim opening just to the left?
I went for it. I swerved my car into the carpool lane and hoped for the best. That’s when I was hit by a car behind me which skidded me across another car stopped in traffic on my right and bounced me in my vehicle off the center divider lane to end up in lane 1 on the highway. And somehow, no one hit me as I sat in my car in the middle of this high speed track. Even more surprisingly, I didn’t have a single bruise or scratch.
I pulled over to the shoulder and when I saw the other people following me to the right, I just took a deep breath in and time went by very slowly. I can’t tell you how many bumps I felt in that car as I flew around in those minute seconds of time. I wasn’t sure how many people were going to be involved. And when no one else came to follow us to the right, I was so grateful – no one was hurt. In this busy city, you don’t get into freeway collisions and just walk away.
And I realize now that, it wasn’t my time. The person behind me pushed me forward so, instead of hitting the center divider and either slamming me into the wall or spinning out, I bounced off of the car on the right and bounced against the center divider with less impact. I just played freeway pinball with my life. But if the wind wasn’t blowing a certain direction, if the car behind me hit me seconds too late, if I had gone straight, if I had gone to the right, who knows what could have happened. I’m still alive today and that’s all that matters.
And that’s the thing, yes, it was scary and yes, I could have died but realistically, I came nowhere near it. Because, it wasn’t my time. And that’s why I wasn’t thinking about the people that mattered in my life, the job I never got to have, the places I never got to see, the family I never got to make. I wasn’t thinking about any unfinished business because I wasn’t dying. So I was thinking what any reasonable human being would be thinking: get out of this alive and do what you can to keep damages minimal while you do it.
I ended up making it to my interview (about 20 minutes late) and I did make it to the next round of interviews. My car is totaled. My neck is just a tad bit sore. I’m pretty traumatized but, I’m still driving around on the freeways and I ended up even going on a date the same night.
So I look at it this way. Everyday, you and I live through millions of variables to live each day. As much as there are so many things that could go wrong to kill you, there are so many things going right to keep you breathing with the air in your lungs. The odds as you are reading this are clearly in your favor. And while you’re here, maybe you should make the most of it and live with every last ounce of breath, every last ounce of blood, and every last ounce of spirit in your body. Because, one day, you’re not going to be so lucky anymore.
Sure, I’m not proud that I’ve been pimping myself out to stay afloat. And yes, I let myself fall behind on my car payments only to see my precious baby (my real car) taken away from me. And ok, I have $20 in my bank account right now. The backup car I did have is no longer drivable. But you know what? I went out there and I put myself out there. I’m still standing here trying to chase something I believe in. And I’m fighting for it with everything inside me. So, call me broke, call me a whore, call me famished, but make sure to remember to call me lucky. Because despite my unfortunate circumstances, I’m still here breathing and you better believe I’m going to do something to get out of this mess while I am.