This I Believe

Ashley - Syracuse, New York
Entered on September 5, 2007

I believe that everything happens for a reason.

Many proverbs exist today but remain impersonal until we have an experience which bonds us to them forever like; when one door closes another door opens and God works in mysterious ways. It took a life changing event to open my eyes to appreciate the things I had previously taken for granted and realize that one event can change your life forever.

My freshman year at college, I reluctantly let a friend borrow my car after they had been drinking. This friend was not okay to drive and crashed into a telephone poll after cutting a sharp corner at a fast speed. My friend survived with a concussion and some bruises yet my car did not. My decision to let the friend drive was foolish and had I been in the car, this friend may have compromised my life with speed and stupidity.

The chaos theory states, “It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world.” Learning this theory has helped me to accept that this terrible situation could have saved me from a rippling affect. Had the accident not happened, I may have taken a different path. Either I could have been in the car and hurt or I could be someone different than the person I am today and not appreciate what the accident allowed me to see as truly important.

One of the first things I found to appreciate was the power of family. Being the youngest of three children, I was always the spoiled “baby.” I looked up to my brothers but often questioned their advice. After the accident, they seemed so mad at me for my poor decision in letting the friend borrow my car but continued to love me and pushed me when I was down. When I blamed school for my unhappiness, my family challenged me to finish out the school year and do my best. Today I can honestly say I am never happier than I am when I am at school; I owe that to my family. I also realized the bonds of friendship. My friends provided devotion in so many ways; their time in providing me with rides, someone always there to listen, and encouragement to move on. Finally, I realized to appreciate every privilege I had been given; like a car at sixteen and a loan free tuition, or any other material object because not everyone has the same opportunities. These things are blessings and it took a car accident for me to realize their true value in my life.

After my car was totaled by this friend, I had to wait several months before I could help my dad to buy me a new one, of course with great reluctance. I had to earn back trust with my parents; I had to overcome fear of driving and being in another car accident, even though I myself didn’t crash the car. I had to end this friendship because my friend never took responsibility. I learned that had the accident not happened; I may have never realized the value of family and friendship or work like I do today to maintain the things I have in my life. I learned the importance in decision making as one decision can change your life. Today I can say the car accident was a challenging moment in my life but I overcame it and I am grateful to be the person I have become, this I believe.