What Remains

16 Jul

Today is an important day for me. No, it’s not because it’s the seven year anniversary of the book release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (but hey thanks numerous people on Twitter for making me feel old first thing on a Monday morning).

No, today is important to me for an entirely different reason.  Two years ago today, I took a literal right turn and my life took a figurative hard left.

At 6:45 pm on July 16th, 2010, I was driving to a community function.  As I turned right onto a side street, I was struck from behind by a drunk driver.  My car skidded 180 degrees before barrel-rolling twice and coming to a rest on the passenger side.  More details about the accident can be found here, in the letter I wrote to Honda Car Company the day after the accident.

But that isn’t the story I want to tell today.  I’ve talked about my accident a lot, and I’ve talked about finding the replacement car and dealing with the lawsuits, bill collectors, doctors, and insurance companies.  It was a year-long process, but all the financial stuff finally got settled.

What remains to be settled is the story I want to tell.

What remains from my accident is a set of back muscles that will never be as strong as they once were, and the knowledge that they will always be sore after a day of hard work.  What remains are the nightmares about car accidents, the difficulty watching car accidents in movies or television shows, and the redirected fear of elevators that has seen me climb 11 fights of stairs just to avoid a crowded glass elevator.

Seriously- seeing this effect in a movie provokes a more visceral reaction in me than seeing someone get their toes chopped off with a bolt cutter.

What remains are the lingering fears: the moment of panic when a car comes up behind me too fast and I tense for the impact that never comes, the insistence that the mechanic run a safety check on my car at every oil change so that I know the air bags will be there at the ready, and the never-ending anxiety that the accident will happen again, this time with someone I care about in the car with me.

There was no one in the car with me at the time of the accident. Had there been, all of this would have been in their face.

But there are good things that remain.  I have an extremely reliable car that I know is even safer than my previous one.  I have a reason to remember to slow down every once in a while so my body can rest.  I have a slightly healthier lifestyle from all those flights of stairs.  But most importantly, I have a new path in life that I would not be on if my world had not been flipped over two years ago.

You see, if I had not been in the accident, I would never have:

  • Found out the number of people in my life willing to help me needed it.
  • Spent three weeks on the couch watching Star Trek:TNG reruns.
  • Fallen in love with science-fiction television shows.
  • Gone to Dragon*Con 2010 by myself to see the TNG panels.
  • Posted an idea for a new Star Trek series on MyOuterSpace.com, based on a comment someone made at a Dragon*Con panel.
  • Met James, who shares my geekiness but makes it seem cooler since he does it with a British accent.
  • Helped him develop his idea for sci-fi web series.
  • Attended Dragon*Con 2011, where thanks to my handicapped badge, I got to lend Wil Wheaton my pen three times, including this time when he signed Colin Ferguson’s chest.

  • Started a production company for the aforementioned web series with James.
  • Finally learned how to express that I want to be a creator of seriously cool things, and to do so without fear because it is what makes me happy, and sometimes that is more important than making others happy.

I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t had the accident. Maybe I would have come to the same realizations.  Maybe I’d be just as happy.  I don’t really care to wonder about it.  I love where I am now (aching back  and student loan debt and all), and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Sometimes accidents throw us off track, but sometimes they throw us onto the right one.


2 Responses to “What Remains”

  1. sydneyaaliyah July 16, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    That is inspirational and motivating. Not that I want to go get hit by a car, but it is great that you turned something bad into something that gave you direction.


  1. 3 Years | Losing My Cents - July 16, 2013

    […] into the details of the accident here, (if you’re curious, you can read about it in my post What Remains, which also has the open letter I wrote to the Honda Car Company the next day. Warning: there are […]

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