There are some moments that change your game, your view, your life. They start out normally, but well, they never quite end that way, do they? This is one of mine.
The past year and a half had crushed me. In a span of twelve months, I watched as everything came crashing down: my marriage, my job, my financial stability, my newest relationship which absolutely blindsided me with it’s rapid highs and lows. I was fragile.
In that year, there had been moments where I’d questioned whether or not I wanted to live at all.
Sure, things were looking up, I guess. I had started my first year of being an English teacher, which was both exhausting and exhilerating with it’s joys and fears and ability to absolutely drain me. But I wasn’t happy. I moved out of the apartment I loved and in with a roommate to save money, and while my roommate was nice enough, I hated the area I lived in and hated listening to the laughter and love that she shared with her boyfriend. The first boy I’d liked in months was ignoring me, claiming he needed “space” and I could no longer stay out until 5 am with my old friends because I was thrown into teaching, baptism by fire. I cried the whole way home everyday, wondering if I’d ever “get it” and be a good teacher, if I’d ever feel at home in the world again.
The morning started out like any other: I left for work early, stopping to grab a coffee at the grocery store nearby as had become my custom. The area in which I lived was busy in the mornings, with everyone streaming out of their homes to head to work and start their day. After getting my coffee, I pulled out of the parking lot, latte in hand, and accelerated to 50 miles per hour, headed towards the freeway.
Before I knew what happened, I was spinning, spinning, spinning across the road. I heard brakes screeching and felt my head hit the driver’s side window. What must have been 15 seconds felt like I lifetime as I careened across traffic, before coming to a stop. As I looked out the window, I saw a car desperately trying to stop before hitting my door. I could see the concerned face of the man driving, bracing to hit me.
But he didn’t.
He gently backed his car away from mine, so I could open my door, since his car had stopped mere inches from where I was marooned on the median, with a blown tire on the front right side, a stupid blown tire that could have killed me. I came tumbling out of my car, gasping for air, crying harder than I knew possible. I remember being so grateful to feel the cold air on my face, to get out and walk, to know that it could have been otherwise.
In my journal that night, I wrote only this: “I want to live.”