Have you ever thought about car crashes?
I mean, obviously you have. We’ve all seen cars, and we have either seen, heard of, or experienced a car crash.
But have you ever really thought about it? I was thinking about the effect on your body when you’re in a crash, and the physics of the thing. We remember Newton’s law of motion, that every object in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an external force. The faster the initial cruising speed, the greater the impact felt. So for example, if a car were to crash into a brick wall, the brick wall would exert an equal and opposite pressure on the car, and this pressure is what causes the car to crumple and the people inside to be thrown about.
It’s a sudden change in trajectory that the car did not have adequate time to prepare for. It’s jarring, and it can be fatal.
I’ve been in my fair share of car accidents. Those that know me well are probably laughing to themselves recalling my…defensive driving tactics. A lucky few of you are recalling times you were almost in an accident with me.
But every time I’ve been in an accident while I was driving, I’ve been alone.
There’s a moment immediately after the impact that time stops. The blood rushes in your ears and you can’t breathe. You don’t even have a chance to fully look around and process what has happened to you before things start moving at hyper-speed. One moment, you’re making a routine left hand turn that you’ve taken dozens of times, and the next, you’re standing alone on the side of the street in the middle of a snowstorm as your car is getting towed away.
You don’t get a say. All you can do is pick up the pieces and try to figure out a way to move forward.
Coming back to Nashville has been my brick wall.
I arrived back in this town, and I couldn’t breathe. The blood rushed in my ears as I drove familiar streets, saw old faces, and visited former haunts. I was under the impression that my life here was effectively over, and then suddenly, I was back, without what felt like any warning.
I thought leaving Nashville was going to be one of the hardest things I’d ever done. In reality, it was the coming back that has been a disaster.
My life was flying past me at 100 miles an hour every day this summer. I was waking up under an unfamiliar sky almost every morning. I was meeting new people, seeing new places, pushing myself to my limits in every capacity. My life felt like it was moving forward. The days flew by so fast that I didn’t fully take time to appreciate them, and when I looked away for a brief moment, I slammed into Nashville.
I crumpled hard. The impact has been detrimental. I feel displaced, like I no longer belong here, but I also don’t belong anywhere else. I feel like nothing I’m doing really makes sense. It’s almost as if I’m moving through time in a daze, and I haven’t quite figured out how to assimilate to the commotion that’s taking place around me.
But I’m picking up the pieces. That’s what you do after a collision. You check yourself, take note of the damages, and you move forward, even if it means you continue on by foot. Standing on the sidewalk won’t get you anywhere.