We All Crash
It was very simple, or seemed very simple. I had to turn right and pass in between two poles. It was a turn I’d done many times before, as easy as breathing. Yet, I missed. I didn’t consider all the factors: my speed, the speed of the small car in front of me, my positioning, the other car’s position. All I wanted to do was prove to my friends that I was a pro and I could handle velocity.
In that moment, my head was just saying speed up, speed up, speed up. I didn’t realize how sharp my turn was gonna have to be and I didn’t realize that one second I had control and the next I lost control and I didn’t make it in between the poles. Instead, I crashed into one and my thoughts raced:
Is this what dying feels like?
Everything’s happened so fast, like a
All my senses were too aware
But I couldn’t use them
You are helpless.
And then black.
I opened my eyes when I heard the sound of rubber rubbing on rubber. The reason I stopped wasn’t the crash. I had hit the other vehicle’s wheels. I took off my helmet, turned around, looked at what I had done. I had broken and entered into a private property and I had just ran over a concrete pole and I had broken off part of the ATV and most shockingly, I HAD CRASHED.
My older cousin that had been driving with my friends in the car came over to me and asked me if I was ok, if I was hurt. But all I said, all I cared about was “What are my parents gonna think about this?” and “How am I going to explain this?” and “Why am I worrying if this was my friends fault, she got in my way, if she wouldn’t have turned, I could have turned and none of this would have happened”.
Once I got my cool back we headed home. I was nervous, I had to tell my parents what I’d done, because they would find out other wise. I told my mom what had happened while sobbing. I told her that I had ran into a pole and that the ATV was ruined and how I was so sorry and “please don’t tell my dad”. My mom didn’t care about that. The first thing she asked me was if I was hurt. And that’s when, after two hours, I realized my head was throbbing with pain.
Now that I’m thinking back to that day, I’m realizing that I could have died if I wasn’t wearing a helmet. That throbbing pain that was only a headache for a day, could have been a concussion. I was so absorbed in thinking about what other people would think of me and my actions, that I forgot about myself.
We live in a society that tells us that caring too much about ourselves makes us egotistical monster and it’s considered a negative quality to be self absorbed, but we sometimes forget that it’s also a negative quality to be self forgetful.
The scariest part of the whole experience wasn’t the crash, it was terrifying in that exact moment, but not anymore. The true horror is that I forgot about myself and that I’m constantly forgetting to take me into consideration. Sometimes when I forgot about myself, I justified my actions by saying it was a “selfless” act, but it wasn’t. I just used this word improperly as an excuse. Almost 90% of the time I was being plain foolish. Letting people’s opinions and words, even thought come before my own, or even before my health.
In some cases I stopped doing things I loved because I thought others might reject me. I stopped wearing clothes that made me feel good a just because I was scared of what others would think of me. A couple of people that were important to me stopped hanging around me because I cared too much about keeping a clean, spotless reputation. To make myself feel better I told myself that they were the ones missing out, but it was truly me. If it wouldn’t have been for this scarring life experience, I wouldn’t have known it was time to put myself first (Not in a self absorbed manner, but in a way that I won’t forget about myself).
There is a moment when we all crash and it’s after that crash that we make important realizations. It might all seem a blur in that moment, but when you have the chance to step back, look around you and analyze every nut and bolt, it will all make sense. If you are lucky and you crash early enough, you might be able to repair the bigger problem, because cars and ATV’s you can have many, but lives, I think you only get one.