First of all, I would like to thank all of your for your messages yesterday. It's been a very hard, very emotional and very painful few days. I am still in pain from my knees and my chest and have started to develop some whiplash, but I am spending the day at home today resting. Being in a car crash has probably been the scariest thing to ever happen to me and I'm still very shaken. I keep reliving it over and over, and knowing all the things I could have done differently, but I know there is no point in dwelling on all of that. I have to just wait and see what I learn from this experience, because life is all about lessons.
One thing I was thinking about last night when I went to bed was perspective. I've talked before on my blog about perspective and the bigger picture. I am a perfectionist and spend far too much time dwelling on the little things. I am also a complete worrier, and often have no idea what I am worrying about and what is stopping me from doing certain things. This incident has caused me to do a lot of soul searching, and I am now trying to read as much online and try to get some books about focusing on the big picture and not getting caught up in the little things. But yesterday, I almost died. Sure, I'm pretty sure the car is ruined, but I came out with just a few scrapes and some bruising. I could have lost a leg, my sight, or my life. I was so lucky. But all I kept thinking about was the car and that it was ruined. Now, in retrospect, I can see how lucky I was not to be injured, to be able to walk out of the car and to be conscious and able. It's on a loop inside my head, I'm forced to watch it over and over. And I keep realising how terrifying it really was. And then I realise that a car is just metal, just plastic and metal. And that being lost is sad and stressful and inconvenient. But if I had lost my life, or even injured myself, everything would be turned upside down. I have to focus on the big picture, that I am alive and well, not that a car, as much I loved it, was destroyed. Here is what I wrote in my journal last night...
Perspective has never been one of my strong points.
I moan about one A- alongside eight A's. I sulk about missing out on two week's work experience when I already have three weeks secured, and after getting none last year. I envy more successful blogs and ignore the results of my own hard work. I shout at my amazing boyfriend for not showering me in compliments, and forget how wonderful he is. I moan to him about my insecurities and forget all the times he calls me beautiful.
Today I was in a car crash and came out with just minor scrapes and bruises. I could have lost a leg or been brain damaged. I could have been dead.
But I got out alive and well.
Sure, the little red car is ruined but I'm alive.
Life is precious. One mistake and that could be it. Perspective is hard. It's something that Erick has mastered but I just can't grasp yet. Perspective is not dwelling on the little every day things, but focusing on the big things.
Perspective is prioritising.
Perspective is appreciating every time he tells me he loves me and not getting upset when he forgets. Perspective is looking at my achievements, not my failures. Perspective is improving what I can and learning to accept what I can't change. Perspective is focusing on the future, on my goals and not on the little things that don't matter.
I'm going back to my 10 good things everyday.Big stuff too.
I have been lucky enough to study abroad. I have been to New York and Chicago and San Francisco. I have a wonderful boyfriend who loves me. I have amazing friends. I have a supportive family. I have a job to help me save for the future.
For every worry I have to think, what is the worst that could happen? Will this matter tomorrow, next week. next year?
I need to keep focused. Because I may not have been alive today. And life is too short to waste worrying.
Do any of you struggle with perspective, and do you have any ways to deal with it? So far this link has helped, and this one, which funny, has also helped too. I'm going to keep looking around today for more advice on the big picture and keeping perspective.
It's going to be hard and it's going to be a long journey. It's been really difficult lately, especially being away from Erick. I've been crying about missing him and not thinking about how lucky I am to have such a wonderful man. I cried about missing my friends who I been to visit last week, but didn't think about how lucky I am to have such amazing friends. And I cry about missing America, but don't think about how lucky I am to have had such an amazing experience.
Perspective is hard, but after yesterday, I have to keep focused.
So much food for thought there- this resonates with me as I broke my leg really badly in an accident in 2005 (on my gap year!) and equally I could've lost a leg or died.. so it definitely shifted the way I thought about things and consider the bigger picture more. As the years have gone on since then, it's hard to keep that perspective I've found, one you're healed and the initial shock is only a memory. I'll be taking a look at those links :) xxReplyDelete
I totally know what you mean. I'm a bit like you: even if I'm an optimist at heart, I do worry a lot and tend to focus on all those tiny details that need to be perfect. I waste too much time on trying to be perfect in everything I do, while I could be enjoying what I do more.ReplyDelete
I did make a great deal of progress though, when I went backpacking in SE Asia two summers ago. It was an experience out of my comfort zone, where I couldn't control everything and I had to take things on as they came at me. Even more so, the poverty in certain areas shook me up, especially in contrast to the touristic 'paradises' along the beaches and islands. Such a culture shock, but I came back a richer person.
At the end of my travels, I had a new tattoo that reminds me every day to remember to put things in perspective, because still, sometimes I can feel myself slipping into old habits again...
Charlotte, I know this struggle all too well. Perspective is a hard thing to change. After all, the only thing we really know is how we walk through the world. Which, isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I've learned it limits us. The great thing about a relationship or close family and friends is they help you see the world through different eyes. I've learned that in the end, you need to be happy. Happiness within yourself is what helps you see with perspective and the world seems to open up. You'll be able to assist and love others better than you ever could with any feeling of doubt inside of yourself. I know how hard it is and I still try to do it every day. Sometimes I forget and sometimes I'm very aware of it. With consistent effort and support, you'll make it there and you'll never look back.ReplyDelete
Glad you're doing well, Charlotte! :)
First off I am glad that no one was seriously hurt. I remember when I was much younger my parents and younger brother were in a car crash while I was at school. They were fine but I remember being so scared about the fact that I could have lost my family. I always try to remember that when they are annoying me or we are fighting. Its so easy to dwell on the negative but after that scare I try to be grateful for every moment with my family and friends because it could all be gone in an instant.ReplyDelete
I'm so glad to know that you're safe and recovering:) I know how you feel because I had a near death experience too! Having perspective is good and it doesn't matter when we figure it out. What's most is important is that we figure it out period! Lots of love and thinking of you in Morocco♥ReplyDelete