Life is short. I didn’t use to think so. I’m a teenager, supposedly invincible and carefree. Why fritter away life worrying? I’ll only have more grey hair when I’m older. I believe that ignorance really is bliss. I believe that it is sometimes better to not fully understand or recognize the magnitude of life threatening situations and to just react.
For my brief eighteen years of life, I have been in some extraordinary situations. At sixteen, while camping my friend and I almost died of carbon monoxide poisoning. I was passed out for five minutes, eyes rolled to the back of my head, lungs barely functioning. When I regained consciousness, I saw a throng of people circled around me, looking like they had just seen a ghost.
Everyone was so worried about me. I wasn’t concerned at all that I could have just died. I was more focused on the positive. I was alive and very sleepy. I wanted to take a nap. By ignoring the magnitude of carbon monoxide poisoning, I was able to quickly move on and enjoy the rest of my camping trip. I may be considered childish and stupid for not realizing that I could have died. I know I could have died but I didn’t. I survived and that’s what is important.
One year later, at age seventeen I was in a high speed car wreck. My friend fell asleep at the wheel and crossed the center line. The tiny blue sports car veered into the tall grass and as we plummeted into a five foot ditch I thought to myself, “I could die right now.” Instead of switching to panic mode by assessing the alarming nature of my situation, I blocked out all worries. As soon as the crumpled car skidded to a halt in the dirt field, I searched for my phone to dial 911 because my friend was unconscious.
I didn’t worry or think “What if?” I just reacted. As soon as my friend opened her eyes I was reassuring and told her not to worry about what her parents would think. Nothing could be worse than dying and so any worrying would be pointless. As a result, my friend was calmer and relaxed, even when the EMTs showed up.
Young people don’t worry. We don’t have much to worry about. But if people of all ages didn’t worry so much, they could save themselves a couple grey hairs.
Because I am young, I believe it simplifies the complexity of life by using ignorance. As a result of my camping trip and car wreck, I am a little more cautious. But I still don’t worry about any reoccurring accidents waiting to spring on me around the next corner in my life. No one can understand death so it is best to simply react when such situations arise.
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