Living in the Real World
Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
I remember my first automobile accident. I was broad-sided at a four-way stop in Las Vegas. At the moment of impact, every scary driver's education movie I had seen in high school flashed through my mind. Then I saw the windshield shatter and it was as if I could see each small piece of safety glass passing my field of vision like a slow-motion kaleidoscope. I also remember my last thought being "Oh, this is going to hurt."
The next thing I remember was approaching the police officer who was arranging for a tow truck on my abandoned vehicle. He concluded it must have been a DUI hit and run case since the driver (me) was at fault (what?!?) and left the scene. It had been nearly an hour and they couldn't find me. That time is lost forever in the recesses of my rattled brain. It was 9:00 am on a weekday. I was stunned, dazed and confused, but not drunk.
It did hurt. The car was totaled and it wasn't even my car. I had to rely on family to get back and forth to work for months. My boyfriend broke up with me over it (yes, it was his car and he wasn't even in country.) My insurance costs skyrocketed. I was 18 years old. Welcome to the real world where Adulting is difficult. If you believe the programming you've been sold.
With experience comes knowledge and eventually wisdom. I've had more than a handful of close calls in my lifetime. Today I know a better way. The real world is not the over scheduled, hectic, busyness that characterizes 'success' in our culture. Real life isn't captured in an Instagram shot or a Facebook post. Memories aren't made behind the lens.
Memories are stored by the lens of your very own eyes, in real time and real life. The real world is the space between the thoughts, the scenes between the drama, the calm before the storm. The real world records in slow motion every millisecond of a life worth living.
Is your life worth living? Have you stopped to smell the roses? Are you living the way you always imagined you would? Is there something standing in your way? Could you use a hand or a friend?
That's why we have each other. Let's swap stories.
6/23/2019 12:16:04 pm
Thankfully, it is harder to remember the details associated with the traumatic events of my life. They are accessible if I think about them, of course, but they no longer steer my ship. It’s always interesting to me to think about how we know we have recovered. Do we get a badge? Is it because we no longer hurt or cry or mourn, or is it because we can recall without pain. If we have recovered, what happens when we encounter an unexpected trigger that trips us up and causes everything to come flooding back? I had such an experience yesterday and it caught me off guard. Definitely a thought-provoking post.
6/23/2019 12:51:31 pm
Love your “it no longer steers my ship” comment. I liken it to bodily injury when all that’s left is a scar. It has been so long that there is no longer sensitivity and you can tell the details of how it happened without an emotional charge. Still, bodies have a mind of their own - literally - and can get bumped in just a particular spot that will trigger the memory unexpectedly. There is even the phenomena of phantom pain which is an analogy for another day.
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