When life gives you a friendly reminder

Yesterday I was involved in a car accident.  It was fucking scary.

A wide construction or tow truck or something was parked on the left side of the road and it had a metal thingymabob sticking out.  I was driving on my way (running early!) to the dress rehearsal for the first professional opera I’ve been involved in, singing through the bits that I have trouble with, and the next thing I know my car has hit something and spins around, airbags are in my face, and the smell of something like smoke is in the air.  I am so in shock that I can’t move until I see someone making their way to me.  I open my door and whisper to myself, “Fuck.”  The man is asking me if I’m okay and if there were other people in my car – the airbags are all out plus all my bags and coats already in my car, I’m sure it did look like there could have been someone else in there.  I tell him no, and I step back to look at my car – it’s really screwed up.

A million things race through my mind that I can’t make sense of.  What do I do? Who do I call? My mum is going to be so mad at me.  I have to be at rehearsal! I have to get my phone. I’m holding up traffic and people are looking at me frustratingly. I can’t feel my fucking face it’s so numb from the airbags.

The man tells me I need to get my car out of the way because I’m blocking traffic, and I just wander not knowing what to do.  He goes into my car and tries to move it himself, but it won’t.  Another man says he might be able to tow it and move it off to the side.  Someone tells me they have called the police, another person gives me a hug and tells me what I must’ve done and to take photos of the truck with the metal thing sticking out.  I didn’t even think about how it could’ve happened, my mind is just incapable of doing anything at this moment.  I freak out about where my phone is, and the same lady tells me, “Calm down.  Think.  Where was your phone.” and I remember.  It was on the passenger seat, but I have no clue where it would be after the crash.  I try to open my passenger door but it’s jammed.  A man helps me yank it open and I ruffle through all the things on my passenger side floor past the airbag, and manage to find my phone and wallet.  I feel a bit safer knowing I have my phone.  I can communicate with the people I need to…but who exactly is that? I can’t think of who to call.  People have crowded around, and I see some taking photos on their phone. Who the hell do you think you are?

The fire engines come first, and I’m thankful because my car looked and smelled like it was smoking (I think it was really just the airbag dust) and I was scared it would explode or something.  The firefighter makes sure the ambulance and police are coming, and asks me what happened.  I try to explain it but really I don’t know.  Suddenly I don’t know how to describe anything and all I can get out is, “I don’t know.  I hit and then…I don’t know” and start to cry.  He calms me down and the ambulance arrives.  I finally get the sense to call someone – I call my best friend to get her to tell the stage manager of the opera that I was in an accident and I’m about to be checked out by the ambulance and will keep her updated.  As I’m talking to her I start to tear up again, and hang up just as the paramedic tells me her name and asks for mine.  Inside the ambulance, I chat to the paramedics and forget to check my phone.  3 missed calls and a text from my best friend: “What can I do for you??? xxx” and I reply, “Can u pls tell my mum”

The paramedics ask me what happened and I still suck at recounting the story.  My mother calls and asks what happened and it takes me twice as long because I’m anxious as hell talking to her.  I make sure to tell her the ambulance is free here.  I suddenly freak out about my belongings in my car, and tell the paramedic to make sure someone’s watching my car and that no one goes into it, and to make sure I’ll be able to get my stuff for my dress rehearsal before they tow my car.  I don’t remember exactly, but I’m pretty sure I asked her about it like 4 times during my check-up, haha.

Anyway, I was cleared and was able to get my stuff.  I gave my statement to a police officer and my best friend arrived in time for a big hug that I desperately needed.

I ended up performing at the dress rehearsal that night – albeit badly and unfocused – and I took the day off classes and work today to relax.  I’m okay.  I’m a bit shaken and my body is exhausted, I have very sore bruises across my chest and hips and I’m still not focusing very well, but I’m okay.  I’m okay.

That crash could have easily been worse.  I could have been far more injured.  My car spun to the other side of a busy road – a car could have easily been there for me to crash into.  I could’ve hit a person.  But I didn’t.  Nothing awful happened and I’m still here in one piece.

I always say that I’m not afraid of death and I’ve accepted it, and it’s true.  But I am afraid of suffering. I am so thankful it was not any worse, and I still get to sing in front of an audience.  I’m so thankful for kind strangers, and paramedics that pretend to be interested in opera.  I’m so thankful for my parents who don’t care about their car that I totalled and are just happy I’m okay.  I’m thankful for all the people around me virtually and physically who have given kind words and support.

I had a bit of a cry in the shower today, and I’m zoning out a lot, and I almost messaged my ex telling him I needed him and loved him (lol) but other than that, mentally I’m okay.

I love my life.  I love my freedom and I love my brain and I love my body and I love my friends and family.  I’m so thankful and full of love.  Don’t wait until life sends you a friendly reminder you should be feeling those things, appreciate everything now.

 

xx

Alex

 

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