I believe life is a wonderful gift that we are all given and should never be taken for granted. The experiences we have and the people we meet shape our own unique identity. Each individual has their own beliefs, but certain life changing events can change those beliefs in an instant. These events can be either good or bad, but we will realize what and who is important along the journey.
Life is too short to have any regrets. You never know when the last time you’ll see the ones you love the most. Last October, I was in a car accident that changed my view on life. My friend Cody and I were driving on a narrow road and were approaching the top of a hill. Right before we came to the top, I realized a big van was coming the other direction. I tried to get as far over as I could to give the van room to drive by. While trying to get to the shoulder of the road I hit my brakes too fast, slid on loose gravel and lost control of the car. Turned sideways I slid down the other side of the hill, hit the ditch on the opposite side of the road, and flipped the car upside down. My side of the car was completely smashed in, so Cody had to pull me out from his side window. My body was trembling so bad I could barely stand up. I was in complete shock. As I kept looking at the smashed car, it just didn’t seem real. Nothing like this could ever happen to me was the thought that kept running through my mind. The drive to the hospital was a blur as the paramedics swarmed me with numerous questions. Words could not describe the lost and scared stage of shock I was feeling. A little accident like that could have changed my life; it made me realize that the stupid little things didn’t matter.
I have always been the type of person who hated conflicts and wanted to make everyone happy. I never really worried about what I wanted, just as long as everyone was having a good time that’s all that mattered to me. I realized that I can’t make everyone happy and I needed to stay out of their problems. My car accident affected me more than I thought and it made me appreciate my own life more. It also helped me understand that I love my friends and for them to be happy, I needed to let them resolve their own problems and not try to fix everything. Life is precious. Knowing that your life can be taken away from you at anytime can really open your eyes and make you appreciate everyone and everything special in your life.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.