This I Believe

Emily - Austin, Texas
Entered on November 29, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change, setbacks

I believe in car wrecks, the kind that you should not be able to walk away from, the kind that cause a civic to flip four times and the kind that cause a traffic jam on Mopac in the middle of the day. Car wrecks aren’t things that are looked at in a positive light. However, sometimes they are needed. Sometimes it takes more than just a bad hangover, or an “Oh shit, what did I do last night?!” to get back on the right track, and for me this is exactly what it took. However, I’m not suggesting getting in a car wreck to get back on track. I have had close friends, with amazing futures ahead of them, loose lives because of car wrecks. But I believe if you live through it, you should learn from it.

Growing up I was a breeze for my parents. I was on the honor roll, never fought with them, and rarely “partied”. I pretty much stayed under the radar. They had too much on their plate with my brother, and I didn’t want to add more. However, after a brutal breakup with a long term boyfriend and switching to a new group of friends, I found myself doing things I wasn’t proud of. I was going downhill, and I was going fast. My old friends that I had been close to tried to talk to me and figure out what was the matter. I would shrug them off and gradually drifted farther and farther away from them. I didn’t care; I was “happy”.

I was driving to the hospital to see my grandma one morning, still suffering from the mistakes of the night before, when I passed out at the wheel. Next thing I knew I was in the air and had a blue bag in my face. I woke up upside down to the smell of burnt flesh combined with burning plastic from the air bag, the kind of smell that stays with you forever. I somehow managed to undo my seatbelt and crawl out. When I got out of my car there were already four strangers that had pulled over to help. By the look on their faces they were in awe. Not a single one thought that I was alive, much less able to walk away from my car. My car had hit a guardrail and flipped twice in the air then two more on the ground. It was by the grace of God that I didn’t hit a lamp post or go onto the other side of the highway.

I walked away from that accident with two burn marks on my wrist from my airbag, and a new outlook on my life. I realized the things I was doing were stupid; I was jeopardizing my life and others. I believe things happen for a reason, and the reason for my accident was to straighten me out. I needed more than a shove in the right direction… I needed to be forced.