When I was little, I loved playing with toy rollercoaster sets, toy farms–miniature life setups. I felt if I could just wish hard enough, I’d shrink and transport to this new world of adventure, swooping around turns, playing with sheep and cows, flying down descents in a corvette.
Twenty years later I find myself doing something eerily similar. More than once this past week I have felt that if I tried, I could will time to reverse itself. You see, I am desperate for a do-over.
Oh no. Please no. Was all I could think as I ran into the back of the car in front of me. Exhaustion from a day of travel instantly replaced with adrenaline.
I’m fine I’m fine I’m fine. Crap. Roll into the ditch before that car comes. My last thought as I came careening across the pavement with my bike.
In one week I have totaled my car and wrecked my bike and body. I have stitches in my chin and leg, a chipped scapula, a minor separated shoulder, and contusion in my jaw, not to mention road rash that resembles pepperoni pizza.
All I could think to say was “I’m so thankful it wasn’t worse.” I’m so thankful the 7-year-old girl in the car in front of me was unharmed. I’m so thankful I have all my teeth, that I wasn’t knocked unconscious, that the car behind me left enough distance that I had time to roll into the ditch instead of getting run over.
In general, I think I’m good at finding that silver lining, and I tend to have a positive outlook on life. If I’m wearing a bandaid on my face to cover my stitches, I’m going to make people call me Nelly. I’m also going to be thankful for the people who rally around me when I struggle. For friends who come and wash my hair for me, for friends who change their plans to be “on call” incase I’m unable to drive myself to the hospital. I am so thankful.
But really I’m sad. I’m angry and frustrated that these things keep happening to me.
I want a do-over. And I want one because I don’t like how things keep turning out. I don’t know why I get so excited to take one step forward only to get punched in the face and fall back down.
This is good, people tell me. Resilience. You will be stronger for it.
But really, will I? What am I learning here?
I am learning not to get too happy when good things happen, when I feel like my body is healing and finally moving the way it used to, because you’ll just eat s**t on your next bike ride and it’ll f**k everything up.
That’s what I’m learning.
I am angry.
I want a do-over.