It was New Year’s Eve, and I was the designated driver. At around 11:30 pm, my friend wanted to celebrate the New Year at another party across town. I did not want to miss the New Year festivities so I was driving a little aggressive. With about four blocks to go I saw the most horrifying sight for a teenager on New Year’s, the flashing lights of a cop car. I could not believe it was happening, but I had nothing to hide so I was not nervous. Then I looked over at my friend in the passenger seat, and with his bloodshot eyes he did not say a word. He just glanced down at his coat pocket. My stomach dropped when I saw the flashing lights reflect of the top of a Bud Light can. Once the cop came to the door, I could tell he expected the worst. With my heart pounding, he questioned me about drinking and driving, but since I was not, I answered everything perfectly. After what seemed like days of interrogation, he took my license and registration and went back to his car. I glanced at the clock and then did a double take as I saw the clock read 11:59 pm. I could not believe I was going to celebrate the New Year in my car with a police man behind me.
It was at that moment when I understood how lucky I was. Even though I was frustrated, I realized not only was I driving past curfew, but there was alcohol in the car. I could have been arrested and that would have ruined my entire year.
I believe that everything happens for a reason. This incident shocked me back into reality, and taught me that I am not invincible. I was a naïve teenager and could not comprehend that bad things actually do happen to everyone. I never used to think before I did most things. I would just do what was convenient for me. The event that happened last New Year’s Eve has made me a more cautious person. Also, it has helped me with my problems today. Everything happens for a reason, and whenever something bad does happen, I try to look at the positives and learn from them. I try to become a better person each time something does not go my way. I am truly blessed nothing horrible happened that night, but I am thankful for getting pulled over. It sounds weird, but if I did not get pulled over, I would have continued my immature behavior and something even worse could have happened.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.