Skidding . . . Spinning . . . Rolling . . . Screaming . . . Boom! Wish I would hurry up and get to the part where I’m surprisingly OK.
I’ve told a few people about the car wreck I had in 2004. It was awesome. Best car wreck ever. My Isuzu Rodeo skidded in the rain, spun 360 degrees, and then rolled over and over into a ditch. I landed passenger side down. The only broken glass was the rear window, giving me a place to climb out. I was driving alone, no kids in the car. Just before leaving on this trip, I had thoroughly cleaned out the car, so I didn’t have to worry about all my belongings being all over the place. The only things I had with me were my purse – ZIPPED closed (see characteristics of the perfect purse in another article) and the book I was reading at the time (I think it was Dorothy Parker.) I took these two items and climbed out the rear window, much to the wide-eyed astonishment of a man who had apparently seen the wreck and stopped to help. I think he expected to find someone dead or paralyzed – which is exactly what I was expecting while spinning and rolling. But I was not even bruised or scratched! I wasn’t even SORE the next day, or ever, from this wreck. The car was totaled, and we had Gap insurance, so this got me out from under a car I totally could not afford. I’ve made the joke a few times – I was “upside down” on my car loan, so I just turned the car upside down and that fixed it. My husband had recently bought a junky but good little used car that I could drive, so I didn’t even have to go car shopping. Everything about this was good for me! There is absolutely nothing about this incident I would have changed . . .
EXCEPT for just this one little thing: At the beginning of it, I would know how wonderfully it would end; then I could have enjoyed it! That spinning and rolling – if I knew it wasn’t going to hurt me, that would have been so much fun – Wheeeee! A pretty great thing was happening to me, but I didn’t know that until it was over. At a certain point, I was quite aware that I had absolutely NO control over what happened to me next. All I could do while the car tumbled was offer up the Terrified Scream Prayer. (In case you don’t know, that prayer goes like this, “HELP ME! HELP ME! HELP ME! HELP ME! HELP ME!” – as loud and fast as you can manage.) Then, BAM! Everything was still, I was ok, and the perfection of what had happened began slowly and over the next few days to unfold before me – not hurt, no more car payment, lost absolutely nothing, and had a bit of an adventure to boot. To this day, my Ex sometimes asks me if I want to drive his truck for a while, implying maybe I could repeat the performance and get him out from under a big vehicle loan. Haha, David you’re funny. 🙂
The other good thing about that wreck is that it gives me a great metaphor for what I’m going through in my life now – wondering if I’m going to get a teaching job, and if I’ll really be able to handle it if I do get one. Even if I do get a job, even if it is the perfect job, and I am great at it, I already know that, best case scenario, it is going to be just-barely-actually-not-quite-but-I’ll-make-it-work on time before I am completely, seriously, not even kidding, BROKE. So, I sort of see this period as like when I was in the middle of the slow-motion wreck, before I found out how OK everything was going to be. I’m seriously scared, and part of my brain is definitely screaming, but I’m trying to also remember how that wreck turned out, and enjoy this ride, hoping that soon I’ll hear a big BAM, and start seeing how OK everything is going to be.
Then if that happens, wouldn’t I feel silly for not enjoying and making the most of all of this free time? So far, since being unemployed this summer, I’ve gotten some big projects taken care of that really needed taking care of. I feel so much satisfaction from that and I’m looking forward to tackling a few more of those. I’ve spent more time with loved ones, and plan to fit in some more of that soon—haven’t gotten to everyone yet. I’ve been available to help someone who needed my help, but I usually wouldn’t have been able to give it. And today I’m off to spend some time with my nephew and I’m going to enjoy the stuffing out of it.