Where was I on this day? Re-visiting the start of 2014.
This time last year I was in the middle of a series of event filled weekends which included the following: a late night visit to the E-vet, a car collision in Missouri that I caused, experiencing a concussion, the stroke and death of my Grandmother, my first experience with the Missouri Justice system, a whole lot of bills and AWESOMENESS.
It can take time to be able to see and understand the reason why things happen as they do, especially things we initially perceive as bad. Sometimes it takes a week, sometimes a year…
Approximately 1 year ago I was driving on my way back to Nebraska after visiting a friend in Kansas City. It was dark out, I was hungry, tired and in an unfamiliar area. I decided to get off the Interstate and go to Chipotle. It was late and I wanted to get home but I will attribute my decision to my growling stomach and to Chipotle’s allure.
I got off the exit and veered right and immediately realized I had gone the wrong direction but I saw a U turn sign so I quickly merged into the left lane with the intention of making the U-turn.
Quickly. Like, I didn’t look, quickly. Like I didn’t follow the very basic safe driving rule we are taught in Driver’s Ed class: look before you change lanes. But in that moment when I was in a hurry and wanting to make a legal U turn to make my way to Chipotle I skipped safe thinking. I blindly merged choosing speed over rules, my growling stomach over safety.
To say “it happened very fast” may sound like a cliche but is the complete truth. It happened very fast! I collided into another vehicle, I heard a quiet skid against my car and felt my head smack into my door. I pulled over and got out of the car. The driver of the other vehicle was an 18, maybe 19 year old young-man named Nathan. I asked him if he and his friends were okay and they were shaken up, but physically unharmed. Good. And then I looked at my own car, my crunched, now un-drivable car; let out a dramatic gasp, quickly called my work to let them know I wouldn’t be coming in the next morning (very interesting play out of where my priorities are) and then started to panic over what I had done. The police came, Nathan’s parents came and I sat in my car crying like a 5 year old.
Now, in my near 16 years of driving I had never been in a car collision and certainly not in Andrew County, Missouri so I waited in my car for the next move (yes, crying like a 5 year old). When Kirk, the police office was finished questioning Nathan, I took my turn in the police car to give him my information. I gave him my version of the event, my insurance; we talked about where I would be sleeping for the night and once it was clear that I was “fine” he handed me a paper. A Citation for getting into a car accident. I chuckled a bit surprised, sniffled, and waited for AAA to come (completely thankful I had purchased AAA literally days before).
At some point I found myself with Nathan’s Dad. I apologized to him for almost harming his son. He was very kind. He motioned to my crunched car and said to me “We all get into accidents. This can be fixed.”
I still get overwhelmed when thinking of that moment. He was so understanding and kind to me. I had almost harmed his child and here he was consoling me over it. He reminded me that we all have accidents, we all make mistakes, mistakes (and) cars can be fixed.
Pleasant moment aside, we were all ready to leave the scene. Eventually Bill, my tow guy came and rigged up my car. He was very nice and assured me that his Auto Shop would “only fix what was absolutely necessary” and I told him I just wanted my car to be drivable and safe. He took my car keys and dropped me off at a nearby Motel 6. I feared going to sleep because my head hurt and I had seen enough freaky medical shows that it occurred to me that if I fell asleep I may not wake up but alas, I did fall asleep and awoke the next morning. The sun was SUPER bright and I felt terrible but a friend of mine had agreed to pick me up so I was hopeful and I had reading material to occupy myself.
I headed over to the Denny’s next door and [scene it] drank black coffee, ate oatmeal and read self-help books. My friend picked me up and I rested the remainder of the evening, thankful that it was over.
This is what I wrote on Facebook when I got back from Missouri that night (private message me for E-vet details if you so desire, seriously crazy few weeks…):
January 19th, 2014: “I am SO glad and SO grateful that I am learning to pay attention to the Universe and messages that I receive. Therefore, I am glad that I know [the dogs] Bella and Jack and Vicky, E-vet employees, Mano for giving me a ride in the middle of the night…Corey my AAA rep, Terry from WFM for covering for me [at work] today, Ann Warner for her kindness…James Bowers BECAUSE HE IS FANTASTIC and a great taxi driver and I love him! Nathan and his friends for being nice, Bill the tow guy, Kirk MPD, Motel 6 for their free coffee and cheap rates…and the Uni for looking out for me…Thank you Universe…but PLEEAASSE set up a calm next weekend!”
And the Universe did. My Team Leader gave me the next 5 days off because I had had a CT scan done and it showed that I had a mild-concussion and was unable to work (thank your brain for what it is doing RIGHT NOW). I did nothing other than listen to Youtube and clean (more like purge) my room. Over the week I nearly recovered from my concussion and proceeded with life. The following weekend though I received a phone call from my mother when I was at work. She told me that she was in the hospital in Burlington, Vermont. My Grandmother, her Mother, had had a stroke.
OK, the Universe heard my request but apparently I needed to ask for a calm couple of weekends? Long story short the next day I was on a plane to Burlington, VT to visit my grandmother for the last time.
I have been very sheltered throughout my life. I was always provided for and all in all had very few “bad” things happen to me. It has been a surprise for me to learn that I am a very sensitive, possibly fragile, individual. As a “sensitive” and “fragile” individual it would be easy to be afraid of living. I cannot be afraid of living though. Living life, truly living life, and allowing myself to have experiences has helped with this. I cannot be afraid of facing the repercussions of having an auto accident, of mildy bruising my brain (at least mildly and only one time…), of missing work (and…the low paycheck that results from that!) of a loved one dying, of the bills that ensue when such events happen (which is a problem given that low paycheck detail!) and of the myriad of emotions that will inevitably come up during EACH PART of this. It is in the process of dealing with such events that the magic in life can happen though. Magic might seem to be hiding, but it happens.
When one is responsible for a car accident in Andrew County, Missouri, one goes to court (who knew?) I missed my first Court Date because I was in Vermont with my family. I called to explain my absence and a woman, the only person in the Court House apparently, answered. She explained to me that she couldn’t help me because it wasn’t her department but I was not to worry because everyone would miss their court date as the Court House was closed due to weather (Um, thanks Universe!) Apparently Missouri was getting snooowed on and no one wanted to leave their house because of the horrible road conditions so she was literally the only person who had driven to work. Obviously a bit bored and desiring conversation she asked me what I was doing in Vermont and I told her. We talked about life, mothers, sickness and death.
I flew back to Nebraska and a couple days later my Grandmother passed away peacefully.
I re-scheduled my court date, it is difficult getting a person on the line so I called the Court House relentlessly trying to get information as to what was best for me to do and on February 18th, showed up to my court date. I was given the advice of the lawyer on site, I paid a rather small fine and was put on probation for 6 months (I had to contact the court house twice to let them know I was in the same residence and I was not allowed to get into another accident in Andrew Country, can do). I left the court house elated, I was beyond excited, we had fixed the mess I got into, my car had been repaired, I paid my fine (literally) I asked for help and ALL the right people came into my world and provided it.
I wrote this on Facebook February 18th:”had good coffee and company this morning…I was on a country western radio station requesting “john deer green” by Joe Diffie (wtf? I’m so weird)..I started crying at the Andrew County court house when I met a woman I spoke to on the phone on February 5th (quite accidentally) about life and my dying grandmother and I am no longer considered a hardened criminal in Andrew County. all in all a good day. I am very grateful and lucky but I am also very tired…”
So true. And so much goodness. In ways that I never would have expected. I did not even mention what started these crazy events, my Sunday night trip to the E-vet where I locked myself and Bella the dog out of the car which prompted me to purchase AAA DAYS before my car collisions or my GEICO rep who completely handled my medical bills mess because I erroneously billed my health instead of auto insurance for my CT scan (bill you auto insurance if you need medical assistance due to an auto accident, may seem obvious but it wasn’t to me at the time)…
But anyway, now it is a year later. I had forgotten how beautiful the first 7 weeks of 2014 were. How traumatic and eventful but also how hopeful and positive. There is goodness in every experience, it may be extremely difficult to find it but it is there and once you pin point it it becomes possible to see all the goodness. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t sadness, or horror or that things are always fair. If you can find the goodness though, it makes the horror bearable. Bill, the tow guy, was my angel, Nathan’s understanding and kind Dad was my angel, the woman at the Court House who I spoke to on the phone, was my angel. I told her in person that my experience with the Andrew County Courthouse had been great and that everyone was so helpful, she of course thought I was nuts but appreciated my gratitude and confessed that she rarely hears that (not surprised).
When I picked up my repaired, albeit crunched, car the cashier at the Auto Shop was completely surprised when I insisted to speak with the folks who fixed and made my car safe and drivable for a reasonable price and THANK THEM for doing so. I no loner feel over-attached to my car. I am just happy to have it and that it runs.
The Universe provides you with what you need. It is our jobs as inhabitants of the Universe to recognize what it is providing, to answer when we are called and do what we are pulled to do. To be open to the cues and messages and go with them even when they seem scary or strange. And to trust that eventually the events that occur will make some sense. That whatever experience we are navigating will come to an end and we will be better because of it and better able to deal with the next series of events that happen.
That isn’t to say that it won’t be sad, or that it won’t completely jack your life, force you to re-visit and change what you prioritize, make you go “what the heck now?” or that it won’t be terrifying and appear completely nuts at time.
But trust. The. Process.
Because all we have are each other and our experiences. And what we take from our experiences cause us to build a life, to establish a platform for the remainder of our life to go forth from, and those parts of life create the space for more experiences. If we aren’t living, we aren’t expanding and we are doing ourselves and the Universe an injustice. We are being gifted this time in this form. We are being gifted a chance.
So do it. Do whatever “Living life” means to you – and it means A LOT of different things to A LOT of different people – aaaaannnndddd want to throw up the entire time you are doing it until you don’t want to throw up anymore or at least until you don’t even notice because it will seem so normal and natural. And then here we go! Ready for the next experience that makes us uncomfortable :). That is living.
I know that writing this is part of me “living life.” I know that because I feel sick when I think of posting it, because I have cried for nearly half of the time I have spent typing it and laughed for nearly the other half. Seriously! I am re-visiting events that were difficult and then sharing what I feel the Universe has shared with me. The points of it all. The preparation for the next thing. It is scary and it is nerve wracking but I believe that someone will benefit from me sharing these experiences that happened on this day, this month, a year ago. If not, hopefully someone will at least laugh at my musical taste (John Deer Green by Joe Diffe? What makes one compelled to do what one is compelled to do…hah!)
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