I Almost Died This Morning

I almost died this morning.

At 6 a.m.

On my way to the gym for a morning workout.

A misting rain, pleasant, not threatening.

Feeling good, feeling pumped!

Suddenly, my car just shuts off.  

At first, I am confused.  It takes thirty seconds or so before I realize that it is not going to come back on.  From 60 to 0 in a minute.

So I steer it towards the shoulder.  Only there isn't one at this particular spot on the 5 freeway.  There is actually no place to go.  So I just stall there, at the right edge of the right lane of the freeway.

Before I can think or really do much of anything, like exiting the car for example, bright lights illuminate the interior of my car.

I turn.  Eyes wide.

That is not a car closing fast behind me, it is a semi.  

And he isn't slowing down fast enough.  

And the roads are wet.  

I prepared for the inevitable hit. 

Turned forward in my seat and tried to relax my body as much as possible.  

Squealing brakes, just like in the movies.

Louder. 

Closer.

And then nothing.

Everything became quiet again.

I slowly turned my head and looked over my shoulder.

The truck stopped, maybe two feet from my rear bumper.  

I know that had he hit me, I probably would have been okay.  But in that brief moment, I felt like I was going to die.  I really did.

And I realized something else almost instantly afterward.  

I realized that life is too short to concern oneself with petty superficial crap.  It is too precious to waste on people who are negative.   

Five minutes from now, we could take our last breath.  Seriously.  

So why waste that precious time doing stupid, unfulfilling things? Why worry about fitting in?  Why conform to everybody else's expectations of who they think we should be?  We are only here for a short period of time, too short to spend hours every day working some shitty job that makes you feel like a slave.  Too short to kill time instead of seizing time.

I wasted years of my life in a haze of alcohol, drugs and depression.  And what did it get me?  Nothing but misery and wasted opportunities and experiences.  A whole lot of regret.  I wasted a fucking decade of my life. 

In the past eight years, I have completely turned myself around.  I have gotten clean and sober, and I am far healthier in body and mind.  But still, from time to time, I find myself doing things that I don't want to do.  Tedious things that stress me out a little, or sometimes a lot.  And what am I getting out of it?  A paycheck?  A connection?

No more.  It ends today.

This morning, it all became crystal clear to me.  Living life is about finding your passion, that thing that makes you feel unquestionably alive.  Find that thing, whatever it is, and do it.  

That is how we should be living life.  Not as cowards, afraid of failure or looking stupid, but as warriors, eager to face any and all challenges at all costs.

Take a moment and look at the state of your life.  

Are you living as a warrior or a coward?

Are you happy with where you are in life?  

Are there things that you love, that excite you, that you hardly ever do?  

Are there any mountains you want to get to the top of?  

Write those things down right now and get your ass up and do something about it!  

Only you have the power to act.  Stop waiting for life to happen to you, and make life happen for you!

After all, next time the truck may not stop in time.

Damon ValleyComment