Every year when I drive down to Klamath Falls during bad weather, I am scared out of my mind. I am that horriblly cautious driver- I drive 20 mph; I go unbelievably slow around corners. Not that I don't care how annoyed the drivers are behind me- I am well aware and it drives me insane. I am just more concered for, well, my life. Mostly, I'm just a scaredy cat who clenches the wheel for my life in the slightest of unfavorable driving conditions. However, this year was different. The roads were horrible coming down on Thanksgiving day, and many cars were stopping to put on chains. I was feeling rather adventurous that day so I refrained. For about two hours, the Jetta and I ruled the road. We passed cars chaining up, cars pulling over, and those women that I usually am- driving obnoxiously slow- hugging the right side of the snow bank. There were many moments when I thought to myself how much fun I was having conquering the snow ridden roads and really imagined never going back to the old and much more boring me.
Just as the Jetta and I were hitting 40-50ish on a straight road (past Chemult), feeling like nothing could ever stop us....the Jetta starts to fishtail. As my car is swerving right and left, I look up to see a semi truck barreling down towards us in the opposite lane of traffic. The Jetta pulls a slight left (semi-truck direction) then over-corrects itself right again (snow bank direction). Then slight left, then right. To be honest, I have no clue what I did in those moments. The car eventually pulled right and I let it take me, going 40 mph into a 3 ft deep snowbank.
Long story short (or shorter than it could be, atleast)- my car, being the badass it is, survived without a dent. I was completely fine. I sat on my phone for two (yes TWO) hours on Thanksgiving Day waiting for a tow truck to get me out of the mess I had put me in. The way I see it- there was a 50-50 chance. My car could've pulled me into the semi (lesson learned the very, very hard way). But it didn't. I suffered the embarrassment of atleast 30 cars stopping and making sure I was ok (Oregon drivers are AWESOME) and being a couple minutes late to my Family's Thanksgiving.
Needless to say- I'm back to the old me. For good.
I was thinking a lot more about this the last week because a friend of mine has been pretty distrought by a mistake he made. He left some prescription pills out (side note- he is a good and seemingly cautious dad, complete mistake) that his young son ended up getting into. A night of hell (I can only imagine) at the hospital....but yes, his son is fine. I can't imagine the fear he felt that night- but life gave him a break. He has his son....and I'm sure he'll never, ever, ever leave them out again. And I think thats a beautiful thing....when life does that for you.
So many people make mistakes and, just because life didn't punish them enough for them, they refuse to learn. But the way I see it (or atleast my life seems this way), life is just a series of messing up, big or small- then figuring out how not to mess up like that again. Life is about making those mistakes, losing that job, that boyfriend or girlfriend, that best friend......and vowing to yourself you'll learn. You'll make the necessary changes so that your life is only moving in a positive direction. Don't get me wrong, I've learned many of my lessons the hard way. Thats why I can be so thankful when life lets me slip up, gives me a motherly "don't do that again" stare, and lets me go on my way. I hope you can realize these moments when they come as well.
So anyways, if you pass me on your way to or from anywhere (on snowy roads going 10 mph) and I haven't pulled over to let you pass, feel free to flip me off. But I won't really care- because I'll be alive.