Have you ever been minding your business, trying to be positive. Listening to “Best Thing I Never Had” by Beyoncé on your “Let it Flow” playlist. Getting ready to eat some bomb chicken tacos from Taqueria #3. Getting ready to pull back up to work and almost die?
I can admit that 2019 has brought on some major challenges for me. I was laid off from my job in March. Struggled to make things work(they always did though). Had some health issues. Had to move. Relationship challenges. My mental state suffered. Started a new job. Met some great people. Found a new Mexican restaurant. I kept all of the negative things a secret because I was embarrassed and I felt like a failure. But, I almost died yesterday.
For the past couple of months, I’ve been forced to look at myself and the woman that I’ve become. So, after speaking with about 15 different people that I know and love, I decided that yesterday was the day I was going to stop being defined by my past and just accept whatever that happens going forward. I was fed up with being unhappy and allowing negativity to affect what I wanted out of life. I decided that I wanted to change because I deserve for good things to happen to me damnit. And let’s be real, there is nothing you can do about the past. You can only take what you’ve learned and apply it to your present situation and your future. Why did I say that?
I was literally in front of my job when God said He was going to see if I was serious about changing my mindset. An 18-wheeler made a sharp U-turn in front of me and hit me. While my car was stuck underneath his trailer, he started to reverse causing my car to go further underneath him. I’m blowing my horn and screaming because he was close to running my car completely over. I braced myself to die because I thought that it was over for me. I thought about Brandon and was sad that he was going to have to endure another set of new traumas. I thought about my mom, dad, and my brothers and I felt bad that they were going to have to take on another tragedy. But, they would have kept going.
Side note: In a few seconds, your entire life can literally flash in front of you. I never believed that until it happened to me.
He finally stops and I’m hysterical. Because I’m trapped in the car. Now another fear sets in. I’m wondering how the hell I’m going to get out? If you know me, you know that being stuck in a confined space makes me crazy. He comes over and helps me out through the passenger door. I had to climb over glass AND my tacos to get to that side.
I get out of my car and I’m bawling because I thought I was going to die. I call my 911. Next, I call my mom. By this time the people from my job start coming out. My manager knows that I’ve been working on my outlook and he came out and was like “Keisha, get out of your head.” As expected, when I called my brothers they dropped everything and came to me. My dad did the same.
I keep telling my Mama, “I thought I was going to die!” And let me tell y’all, my mom is super strong. It takes a lot to rattle her. She says, “you could have, but you didn’t. Things could have been so much worse.” And they could have. I’m able to keep going.
She along with my brothers, took me to the hospital where I had to get a CT Scan and Xrays. But, I had to do those things alone. And when I was alone, I’m trying to hold it together. I hate being vulnerable and crying in front of people. This time though, I fully surrendered to what I was feeling. This is where God used me. I’m crying and people are stopping to ask why. I tell them about the accident. They all say “Sweetie, you could have died!” I say “God has more for me to do here” I show my faith that something better will happen in my life. But, this is when my mind went into overdrive. Here is where people that suffer from anxiety have problems. I sat there and thought about every negative thing that could have happened. Things that I had no control over. The accident, even though it just happened, was now in the past. So, why am I still dwelling on it? I was hurting but I could feel. I should have been grateful. I was scared but it was over. I could have died but I didn’t! I’m still going.
When you walk around constantly thinking of the worst things that can happen, you’re inviting the worst into your life. And for years, when something happened in my life, my mind immediately went to the most negative thought first. I realize that now. For months, instead of being grateful that God made me strong enough to withstand all of those bad things that were happening to me, I always sat around waiting for the next bad thing to happen. And most of the time, the bad never came. I caused myself to worry and stress over things that I had no control over and basically, things that didn’t happen. I almost stopped going.
I couldn’t control being laid off. But, for those few months, I was able to spend a lot of time with Brandon. I was able to keep my niece whenever I wanted to. I was able to help my cousin with her newborn son. I learned how to braid my hair. I learned how to cook different foods. I had the extra time that I wished I could have when I was working. And guess what, I was able to stop taking antidepressants. Something I wanted to do anyway. The job was stressful and losing it was truly a blessing. I kept going.
Financially, it was hard but I never went without. Brandon never missed a beat. I was still able to provide everything he wanted and what he needed. I kept a roof over our heads. We ate whatever we wanted. My cabinets stayed fully stocked. My car always had gas to get wherever I needed to be. I was able to give away tons of clothes and shoes to different homeless shelters here. Can you believe that? Giving when you feel you don’t have. I did without thinking. I never received an eviction notice. Honestly, I could have stayed in my apartment because as soon as I moved, I got blessed with the job I’d been wanting for a while. I got impatient and made that decision that I didn’t have to make. Overthinking. But, I kept going.
Even now, after this accident, whenever I close my eyes, I see the truck hitting me and I realize that I could have died. Those “what if’s” creep in. But, if I’m being honest, what could I do if I died? Nothing! But I’m still able to keep going.
In life, there are so many things that we can’t control. Oftentimes, we allow the things that we’ve been through to shape our future. I know that I’ve been through a lot. And I’m smart enough to know that there will still be challenges that I have to endure. But, everyday that we’re on this earth , it’s for a purpose. It’s for a reason. I didn’t die because there are things that God wants me to do. Things that I want to do for Him. I’m realizing that I am not going through these things as a form of punishment. My God doesn’t operate like that. I have always said that I wanted Him to use me in any way that He needed to so I can help other people. So, I can encourage other people. I can’t choose how He decides to do it. However, I can choose how I deal with it. Gotta keep going.
God has not promised me sunshine
That’s not the way it’s going to be
But a little rain
Mixed with God’s sunshine
A little pain
Makes me appreciate the good times
Be grateful, Walter Hawkins
Now, I fully embrace being the one who can turn my experiences into knowledge and wisdom. I’ve been endowed with tremendous strength and tenacity. I am now allowing myself to be in full possession of my emotions and how I react to things instead of being at the mercy of them. My mind will no longer hold me as a hostage and control me. That ended yesterday 10.17.19. I’m going to keep going.
Leave your past where it is. You can’t do anything to change it. Stop making a big deal out of the little things. Live in the present. That’s why we’re depressed most of the time. We allow the past to control us. And the future isn’t here yet so we must live in the moment.
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”
Matthew 6:25-27 NLT
God even tells us not to worry.
Stop allowing negative thoughts control your life. Speak positive energy to yourself and into the atmosphere. Immerse yourself in all things that support your life’s purpose. Your life works better when your heart is open. Let your guard down. Keep going.
You only get one life. Don’t spend it wasting time. You don’t get it back. Keep going.
If there’s one thing that I learned
It’s that everything takes time
You have gotta lose your pride
You have gotta lose your mind
Just to find your peace of mind
You have got to trust the signs
Everything will turn out fine -W.A.Y.S, Jhene Aiko
Life only gets harder but you have to get stronger.
I have to keep showing that I can keep going. I won’t get lost in this whirlwind again.