Flash back two months to November 11th, 2016.
I was on my way to State College, PA to attend an Eat Breath Thrive facilitator weekend training on a scholarship from lululemon’s here to be funds while working there. Eat Breathe Thrive is a non-profit organization that does some serious good in our country. You can check them out here:
I was so excited to be chosen for this scholarship and learn how to market and facilitate an 8-week community program dedicated to helping people love themselves.
I arrived Friday morning, met the group who I would be spending the weekend with, and was ready to learn. Friday and Saturday were filled with so much valuable knowledge. We learned the causes of disordered eating, the keys for healing, the difference between emotional and physical hunger, how to activate our parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, how to create a self-care behavior instead of a self-sabotage behavior for a function in our life that we long to have, how yoga gives us embodied intimacy, and how to facilitate a impactful program to others with all of this information.
On the first night, someone had generously offered me a room in their house for free, so I happily stayed with them. On the second night of the training, (Saturday night) I decided to make the 2 hour drive west to visit my grandmother and Aunts in Pittsburgh and I’m so glad I did. It’s been 10 months since I last saw them and I figured, “Why not?” since I was only 130 miles away. I called my grandmother and surprised her by telling her I would be over for dinner! She honestly thought I was kidding, but I told her I was doing a training not too far from her and had to see her! I got there around 7pm, ate dinner and had a wonderful conversation with my family. I was completely present for the little time I had with them. We talked and talked and talked until I had to force myself to sleep. I woke up the next day at 7am, ate breakfast with my family, and left to complete my final day of my facilitator training.
One hour later on the road, I hit a deer.
Or did it hit me?
Ugh. It was bad.
I was freaked out.
Luckily, the couple that was driving behind me on the highway stopped. They were so sweet. Unlike what I’m used to.. people just looking and driving by. They told me there were actually two deer and they saw them both run off. Thank goodness I didn’t kill anything. I called the police and AAA and the couple stayed with me until they both came.
My car had to be towed alllll the way back by my hometown in New Jersey.. yeah, 281 miles of towing, not cheap. I asked the tow truck driver if he could drop me off in State College on his way and he happily did so.
I had missed the morning session of the final day of my training, and came right in during the lunch break. I was able to tell a couple of the girls I was with what had happened and they all were such great listeners and so supportive. After lunch, I was ready to finish up the training and stay present. It was hard, but I did it.
My boyfriend was going to have to make the 3 1/2 hour drive to pick me up, until one of my peers offered me a ride since she lived right in Philly. I thankfully accepted and Pete picked me up in Philly, only 30 minutes away from home instead.
That night, he had to do everything for me. I was so out of it.. in a daze. I couldn’t believe what had actually happened. The expense was real, and I couldn’t get my car back until I saved up enough money to have it fixed.
It could have been real easy to get bitter, angry, frustrated… and those emotions definitely came up. But I let them go once they did.
It took 2 months for me to save up. But, I did. All on my own. Looking back on those 2 months, here’s what I learned:
- The road is a danger zone. Every car, every creature, every weather condition. Be prepared, be alert, be present. I’ll never forget that in my yoga teacher training, we learned that yoga on the road is not blasting your music and passing the exit you needed to take by accident. Rather, yoga on the road is being present with every single moment behind the wheel.
- The more you drive, the more likely you are to get into an accident. I always thought I wanted to go, go, go, and visit everyone I could. But, now I realize that sometimes it just has to wait.
- I was at least doing some good to the environment by sharing a car with Pete and sometimes other friends as well. I wasn’t adding an extra car producing toxins into the air, so that’s nice, right?
- I had so much more reflective time being the passenger, taking the train, and even sometimes walking. More time to focus on my goals, rather than on the road.
- There are so many good people in the world and that’s what you must focus on. The couple that stopped behind me and stayed with me while I balled my eyes out, the ladies that listened to my story as I was still shaking, my friend in the training who offered to give me a ride home for free, the friends that gave me rides to places, and the boyfriend that sacrificed so much of his time for me.
- Speaking of sacrifice…. not having a reliable car makes you dependent alright. My whole life I was used to being single and self-sufficient. Now, I was in a relationship and I had no car. Everything that I wanted to do, had to be perfectly fit around Pete’s schedule. It was something we both weren’t used to. But, patience, sacrifice, love, and communication got us through.
- On that note, communication can solve almost anything. If you do it effectively.
- A car is a luxury. For real. And a fancy car is unnecessary, at least to me. Give me a safe car, give me a reliable car. I’m good. This has humbled me in more ways than I ever thought possible. You know those cars that you see when you’re driving around.. the ones that have clearly been in a car accident, but have still not been fixed up? I used to judge those people. “Why don’t they make their car look nice again?” Well want to see my car now?
Yeah, the hood is silver. And you know what? I like it. My car’s been through so much with me. And I love it for who it is, not what it looks like. “Angel” gets me where I need to go safely. And I will not spend the extra $500 just to have the hood the same color as the rest of my car, so I don’t have to worry what other people will think. I’d rather put that money towards furthering my education.
I’m a different person now. Both on and off the road. I feel like myself again and I have my independence back, but I don’t take it for granted one second. Me being able to get into my car to go to work, go to yoga, go to the grocery store, and maybe visit some loved ones is a gift. And I think it’s the best gift of all. And I’m finally in a place to let my story be heard, instead of continuing to hide my accident with so many people. I’m not ashamed anymore. I really think there’s something to learn from all of this.
So drive safe, my friends. And be thankful for the little things. The things that get you where you need to go every day; whether it be your legs or your car. Some people, somewhere, will never have that.