Unpredictable Life

Life

I often wonder, what is this life about?

Let me start with a short story:

On a bright sunny afternoon of summer 2017, I decided to run some errands–Grocery shopping, filling up the gas in my car and getting my car washed. I finished up my office work early and drove to Costco. It was a weekday and traffic was gradually increasing. First, I picked up some groceries and filled up the gas from Costco. Next, I drove to a nearby car wash–Quick Quack. They had opened up a new branch just next to Costco, and it was their first day of operation. I had to wait for ten to fifteen minutes for my turn till the five cars in front of me went through the wash. I rolled up my car windows, put my car in neutral gear and started enjoying the wash. It got over within a few minutes and a person standing towards the end of the wash gave me a green signal to go. I thanked him and changed the gear to drive. As soon as I stepped on the accelerator, the car started shaking and speeding instantly. I was stunned and could not understand what happened. The car was speeding straight towards the line of incoming cars. I immediately turned the steering wheel to the right towards exit but could not control the speed. I was numb, my mind could not react and foot could not hit the brakes and within seconds I crashed my car.

Yes, I banged my brand-new dark-blue colored, fully equipped sport model, Hyundai Sonata straight into a concrete wall just eighty feet ahead on Quick Quack’s property, at a speed of fifty to sixty miles per hour. Two air bags were deployed, one at the feet and one at the steering wheel. I hit my head to the steering wheel airbag and gained consciousness hearing the voice of a male. Both airbags had already deflated by that time. Everything happened within seconds.

Car

‘Are you OK? Are you OK? What happened?’ He asked.
‘I don’t know what happened, I know nothing.’ I cried.

He was a representative of Hyundai and was talking to me via Blue link technology installed in my car, which allows Hyundai to gather vehicle care information such as monthly health reports and automatic crash notifications. I provided him the details of the incident and he disconnected the call. I was shattered. By this time, crowd had already gathered around my car. I got out to see the damage and to deal with the upcoming issues. As soon as I stepped out, a guy hugged me to calm me down. I tried to push him, but couldn’t break away from his strong grip. As an Indian it was awkward for me but I realized it was normal for Americans, which I had not realized until that day. Eventually, I stopped crying and called the roadside assistance to help me tow the car. While I was on call with them, a cop arrived and asked for my car insurance information. I gave it to him. That day and over the next few days, I had to deal with many things–Car towing, fixing estimates, insurance, which was another piece of the drama that I will elaborate some other day.

Long story short, my car was badly damaged and considered totaled (total loss) at only 704 miles exactly two months after coming out of the showroom. Good thing was no life damage was done. I did not hit anyone except the wall and I was alive and only suffered some minor bruises.

I learned some major things that day:

  • Life is too short to cry. Live it to the fullest. I might have died that day.
  • Seat belt is very important for our own safety. Without it, I might have suffered some major injuries.
  • Wall and car are material things and can be built and bought again.
  • Everyone tries to make money out of your loss; Car towing, Body Shop and Car insurance company everyone took advantage of my situation. I can write another blog on that :)
  • Big companies like Hyundai never accept their mistakes. I still believe it was a manufacturing defect.

The point I am trying to make here is nobody thinks they will die soon. I never thought I would get into an accident when I started from home. I had some other plans for that day and for the upcoming weekend. Often, we are advised to live in the present and not worry about the future. But do we? We all plan and worry about the future. I regularly see people working hard and stressing in the present to save money for future. I have seen people dying of a heart attack because of stress. I frequently hear people talking about their retirement plans. People regularly say ‘I will paint after I retire’, ‘I will travel after my kids grow up’, or something similar.

All this makes me wonder if we have some kind of a guarantee we will be alive to see our future. Who thinks they would die of cancer or meet an accident some day? Who would have thought we would deal with a pandemic like COVID-19 in 2020? Who would have thought, so many people would die because of an invisible coronavirus in 2020? Who knows, we will survive this pandemic or not?

Planning for future might be a good thing, but worrying and stressing is definitely not. Nobody knows what lies in the future. Future is like our long-term wishes, which may or may not be fulfilled or we may not even want them later. You never know where life takes you. There are so many people dying every day of a heart attack, incurable diseases, accidents and various other reasons. Then why not live in the present and stop worrying about the future?

To summarize, this life has taught me many lessons and I try to embrace them. Maybe you can too.

  • Enjoy time with friends and family.
  • Live in the moment, this moment is inevitable.
  • Stay positive.
  • Work to live and not live to work.
  • Life is unpredictable.

Happy reading!!

  Dated: Jun 5, 2020

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  • About Preeti

    Preeti Narang is the author of the book 'Prodigal Love?'. She has a Master's degree in Software Systems and has been working in the IT industry for fifteen plus years... (continued)

  • Contact information

    Preeti Narang
    California, USA

    contact@narangpreeti.com