On September 4th, I was supposed to die. My father’s been in the hospital 5 weeks fighting to stay alive.
During my 23rd year, I realized that I just wasn’t happy. I wasn’t content with where I was at this point in my life and I’d gotten to a point where I was just going through the motions because it felt familiar; and it was a comfort zone. I felt like I should be doing more, something meaningful. I felt that I should be further along. A lot of which I believe had to do with the fact that I didn’t know who I was. So it’s no wonder I wasn’t content with where my life was…I was going through life “by chance” hoping something great would happen. I was not actively pursuing it, nor did I have a clear vision of my destination.
So I began to look for answers. I read several books, but there were only two that would be significant. The title of the first read “It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be.” It’s a highly motivational book and it’s basically getting to the point of…if there is something you want out of life and you specifically know what it is, why would you leave that to chance? The second book was Good to Great. There is a chapter that focuses on the Hedgehog concept and that consists of three questions: What can you be the best in the world at? What’s your economic engine/generator? What are you most passionate about?
Around the time of my 24th birthday, I decided to approach the year very different from what I’d ever done before. I took two sheets of paper. One would have the hedgehog concept questions. Then I had a sheet called 24. It specifically read “This will be an amazing year, make it happen.” Every morning before I leave, I read them. True to that statement, 24 had become an amazing year. I started running again, developed Claim Your Journey, met some amazing people, and joined some great committees as well. So, for the most part of the year, it seemed as everything was on the up and up, but a single phone call can change everything.
Without a doubt, I believe I’m most guilty of not appreciating time. I’d take that a little further and say the value of time. Often, I’d carelessly go through life without necessarily appreciating small things. My parents divorced when I was younger and my father would later remarry. Since, I never really had a very close relationship with my father. It’s just always been off and on. Though he stays in town, I might make it over to see him every other month…maybe. It just was not on my priority list. Forgive me, I have issues… I’m an only child …or was. Well, I received a phone call five weeks ago and the voice on the other line said “your Dad’s in the emergency room.”
At that moment everything stopped and nothing aside from getting to that hospital as fast as possible mattered. The whole ride, all I could think about was all the time I’d wasted being very stubborn and selfish. What if he’s in coma or worse by the time I arrive? Thankfully, he was alive when I arrive to the room. I wish the news I would hear was that he fell and broke a hip…you know something non-life threatening. Unfortunately, we would learn that his colon cancer is back and it’s spread. On top of that, he has a major infection by his kidney and his vitals are highly unstable. So for the past 5 weeks, I’ve been at the hospital just about every other day. I mean, I have no idea what can happen or any sort of time window we’re dealing with. So, the end of 24 started to get a little complicated. Claim Your Journey has developed very well since January and needs major attention constantly and my dad’s life is at risk. Little did I know, mind would soon be too.
Last year, my best friend J and I planned to hit Miami to celebrate our 25th year, his birthday is 3 after mind. Our friend C planned to come along as well, but plans sort of came to a hault. On September 4th, I was on the interstate heading back from Lafayette. For majority of the drive, it was your typical trip back to Baton Rouge. Nothing interesting was happening on the interstate, no traffic. There is one thing I’m leaving out, the latter part of Tropical Storm Lee. Anyway, I proceed down I 10 and I can see the bridge crossing the Mississippi River. When I see that, I get happy because I know i’m almost home.
Well, as I was going over one of the last overpasses, the back of my truck, Chevy pickup, lifted off the ground and I began to spin around repeatedly at 65 mph. I haven’t shared this with many people and certainly not of the severity of the situation. Anyway, as the truck was spinning, I was literally freaking out. I remember a red Honda dodging me and an 18 wheeler. I was also sure that this truck was about to flip over, but thankfully it didn’t. Instead, I headed in the direction towards the rail on the opposite side of the two lane interstate. This was way better than flipping over, but I was still in danger of getting hit by an 18 wheeler being so close on the shoulder. I’d contacted the police department and the State Trooper arrived. By the grace of God, I got out of that truck without a broken bone or even a scratch. The Trooper said told me he’s seen similar situations a number of times and i’m quite lucky to be alive. He went on to say I shouldn’t take this lightly and perhaps i’m here for a greater purpose. I’m not exactly sure what moved him to share the latter, but throughout the entire thing, one thing remained consistent in my thoughts. This. Is. Not. My. Time. I have too much work to do before I leave this earth.
Needless to say, I definitely was not going to Miami. It just wasn’t going to workout financially and perhaps I needed to spend as much time with my dad as possible. So, my friend learned that I would not be heading to Miami and decided to host a birthday party for me. It was exactly what I needed…to be around friends and just celebrate one crazy year. It’s been quite a journey thus far. I’m thankful for my family, my friends, and the Run Louisiana family. This entire year would not have been much without your support.
The year of 25 is only a stronger version of 24. 25, This year is going to be CRAY (Crazy)!
I went through hell, I’m expecting heaven. I am purely the representation of my generation. I want what I want and I want it now, but the very dangerous and scary part now is…I have a vision and I know exactly how to obtain it. Now who gone stop me? I’m 25 and I’m alive. Bimma.