December 3, 2009

Moments That Change Our Lives

We all have moments in our lives that change us forever. Sometimes these moments break us and turn our lives upside down. In the end, everything happens for a reason whether it be to open our eyes or to make us stronger. I can think of three instances in my life that have truly impacted me and made me a stronger person. One of these instances happened on December 9th, 2004.

I can remember this day like it was yesterday. I was a junior in high school and had just got my license. I drove a 1993, white mustang with red interior. I remember the day I bought the car. My Dad made me buy the car and I sat on my porch and cried. I couldn't believe I was going to have to drive that car. My friends all had new cars that their parents had bought them. Not going to lie, I was insanely jealous of them. They drove brand new cars while I drove an old mustang with red interior. My friends always joked that they could see me coming from a mile away because of my red interior. Although it wasn't the car of my choice, I began to love that car, after all, my hard earned money bought that car. I always poked jokes about my car in front of my friends. I would always say 'I just want to roll that car so I can get a new one!'. I suppose I spoke too soon...

On December 9th, I was at my boyfriend's (at the time) house about to leave to make it home for dinner. He was joining my family for dinner that evening and was going to follow me to my house. Before I hopped in my car, I remember feeling like there was a rock in my stomach. Something wasn't quite right for some reason. I got in my car and something told me not to lock my doors (which I always do). Another thought popped in my head. I remember thinking that I should have told him I love him in case I die. Very weird. So, I told him I loved him and drove off. I pulled out of his neighborhood and got into the right hand turn lane. The straight/left hand turn lane was backed up and the cars were at a complete stop. I sped right past the stopped cars.

And then it happened.
A gold car that had been stopped in the other turn lane decided it wanted to turn right instead. The gold car inched its front out into the right hand turn lane. My first reaction was to swerve out of the way. My car popped up over the curb and ran into a rockery. Since it was raining, my car slipped on the rockery and rolled. It all happened in slow motion. I remember hanging from my seat belt and seeing nothing but glass and pavement. I didn't know what to do so I just screamed. A man appeared and ripped open my door just enough to pull me out of my car. (If I would have locked my doors, my door would have been jammed shut). I got out of the car and the man was no where to be seen. It was almost as if he wasn't there at all, we like to think it was my guardian angel. My boyfriend hopped out of his car and called the ambulance. The gold car didn't stop for a second, just drove off. I may not have hit the car, but there is no way they didn't see or hear my car roll. 17 (hot) firefighters came to the scene and were shocked I was ok. They strapped me to stretcher and took me to the hospital in case of internal injuries.

I walked away from the crash with a fat lip from my airbag, that's it. I also walked away from that accident with a lesson I will never forget. Life can be taken from somebody in a matter of seconds with no warning. This was the moment I realized there are so many things to accomplish before my time here is over. When it is my time to go, I want to be remembered as someone who has done great things and has made an impact in people’s lives. I’ve learned to never take anything for granted. My accident gives me motivation to work hard and strive for excellence.

I have a motto in life. "I swear, by my life and my love for it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." I live my life for me and nobody else. I am going to do what I want, when I want. I remember when I decided I wanted to start running, I asked friends of mine to run with me. Of course, everyone had so many excuses of why they couldn't run with me. If I would have waited for someone to run with me, I would still be waiting. I am going to run the Eugene Marathon because there is no better time than now. If I have to run it alone, so be it. I can't live my life waiting for someone to join me in the activities and adventures that await me. I have to go out and accomplish things on my own.

At home, I keep a picture of the car and the mangled license plate from my accident next to my bed as a little reminder of just how lucky I am.

Life is short. There is no better time than now :)


  1. That's a very scary's great that you only had a cut lip from it all! Way to embrace life to the fullest!

  2. Carpe Diem!!

    Take care,

    "XTB" Xavi from Hong Kong!

  3. Jessica,

    The only things in life we have control over is the meaning we give to the events in our life. It seems you truly understand that. You have the ability to take a grim situation and take something positive away from it. This is an awesome ability and it is great that you have learned to do this at our age.

    Perhaps more importantly, from reading your blog it seems like you integrate all your lessons into your daily life. Plus, you are able to share all your wonderful distinction to the world by keeping this blog. So thank you for sharing!

    - Kyle Haskett