Today makes one year – 365 flashbacks – since I walked away from my totaled ’09 black on black Nissan Altima without a single scratch on my body. I remember, at the time, feeling like I was in a really bad dream; now, when I try to dream, too often the projector in my mind shows the crash on repeat.
Too often, while my eyes remain closed, my heart moves like a hummingbird’s wings in my chest. My hands clench for mercy with cloth and a prayer between each knuckle. A single bead of sweat races a tear down the side of my cheek as salt blankets my neck to my tailbone. The melody of my breath grows staccato until my subconscious finally retrieves me from inception. Few can attest to this, but if – within the past year – we’ve ever spent the night together, and I woke up shaking in your arms, now you know why.
I AM alive…
…But one year ago today, I almost lost this priviledge.
I think that there were too many contributing factors that day that played a role in the consequences. I certainly played mine — rushing to get to work, answering calls and emails, all while trying to read news updates about candle vigils happening that evening in memory of the 5th anniversary of the Virginia Tech shootings. The moment itself happened at the speed of light, but isolated thoughts prolonged the seconds in between. I remember thinking: Is this really happening? There’s no way that my time on this Earth is near complete. There’s too many things that I still need to do, experiences that I need to have, and people who I need to say “I love you” to.
My will to live overpowered my fear of death that day. I didn’t make a big deal about it outwardly because I was trying to understand the emotions going on within first; less of the why am I here, more of the how I made it here. It took some time, but clarity eventually came:
Having the opportunity to live, breathe and love makes the bad dreams well worth it. If anything, they keep me in check and serve as a reminder to always appreciate what I have, and to always go after what I want.
One year ago today, I received a blessing disguised as an obstacle. In three days (April 19, 2013), I will turn 23 years old. I AM, humbly thankful.