Writer. Peanut butter and chocolate enthusiast.

How Did I Get Here?

Things can change. And they can change quickly.

Yesterday morning began like any other morning.

I questioned my will to live when my alarm went off; I exercised, showered and ate breakfast; and I got in my car to go to work.

It was all very…routine.

But just as I was starting my commute, my commute almost came to an end.

Sitting at the stop sign at the end of my street, I was waiting to turn right. Two cars were approaching from my left, but I had more than enough room and time to make the turn.

As my foot transferred from brake to gas pedal, I noticed another car coming from my right, on the other side of the street I was about to turn onto. This car slowed down at the break in the esplanade in front of me to make a u-turn — meaning our paths were about to cross.

Considering I was there first, that meant I went first. At least, that was my understanding of the right-of-way laws. (I could be wrong, though.)

So that’s what I did.

Unfortunately, this other car had a different understanding of the rules. So she went, too.

In truth, I don’t think she ever saw me. But if she did, she didn’t care, because she never broke stride.

So I was forced to, coming to a complete stop. In the middle of a busy street.

And by this time, those two cars approaching from my left that had been at a safe distance were now dangerously close to a collision. With me.

How did I get here? How had my life come to this?

One second my biggest concern was if I’d set my DVR for that afternoon’s “House Hunters”; the next it was avoiding a 2-ton block of aluminum barreling toward me at 42 mph.

That blink of an eye is all it takes to send our worlds into an unforeseen direction.

And I’m not sure what to make of that. It’s a reality that’s equal parts tantalizing and terrifying.

But it’s reality nonetheless, so it’s best to make peace with it.

Thankfully, nobody was behind me, so I was able to quickly back up onto my side street. My only punishment was having the bird flipped at me.

Sitting at that same stop sign again, where everything had started, I thought about if there was anything redeeming to be gleaned from this near-miss experience.

I thought about how important it is to slow down, and to pay attention when driving, and to trust that whatever happens is what’s supposed to happen.

But mostly, I couldn’t help thinking of what might have been — and being grateful that it wasn’t.


This originally appeared on 100 Naked Words.

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