ca. 1976-1977, Carolina Beach State Park, North Carolina, USA — Grove of Long Needle Pine Trees — Image by © David Muench/CORBIS

On Earth Day during my Senior year of High School, I was in a car accident and almost died. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced. I was one of three guys in the car and we’d had a tangle with a drunk stranger in a parking lot where we’d been driving in circles and knocking over stray shopping carts. We drove away, but the man followed us, revved up to our bumper, threatening to hit us. I was in the back seat and remember his face, red and livid. I’m ashamed to say that I further antagonized the guy by flipping him off. My friend who was driving tried to ditch him, but the guy matched our acceleration every time. We were way above and beyond the speed limit.

We turned a corner on a sharp mountain curve and flew off the road. The car sailed through the air, clipped some pine trees, flipped over and landed on the rear window. I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt and I kept somersaulting in the back, my long necklace wrapped around my neck, cutting into my skin and choking me. My life played out in a series of vignettes from birth to the present. I could see everything I had ever done from a higher perspective. Sadness and regret welled up inside me as I realized that this could be the end.

When we landed, the rear window exploded and the car shoveled up the earth inside. My neck felt numb, I was gasping for air. I couldn’t feel my legs, and I was cut and bruised all over, covered in tiny shards of glass and dirt.

My friend who was driving hit his head on the steering wheel and my friend next to him crashed his head through the passenger side window. The driver suffered a concussion, and the passenger endured some small cuts and abrasions. They were both able to walk away from the crash. I laid prone in the back, quite convinced I was paralyzed.

After an agonizingly painful amount of time, a paramedic arrived and crawled into the car, spread eagled himself like Spider-Man above me and wrapped a neck brace on me. He spoke words of comfort, but I couldn’t hear them. My ears were deafened from the crash and I was uncomfortable that this handsome man was just inches above me. The top two buttons of his shirt were undone and I could see his chest hairs poking out. He had such a difficult time removing my necklace that some of his sweat dripped from his forehead onto my neck. I was in exquisite pain. Peter Parker sensed my unease and soothed me with a wink and a smile, then strapped me to the stretcher. He and another paramedic carried me out of the car. They positioned me sideways to get out of the mangled metal. Bits of glass dug into my skin and I spit out what dirt I could from my mouth. I don’t remember the ambulance ride.

I could tell you more. About how the emergency room doctors and nurses left me on a metal table for an hour and a half before they began the x-rays. How they chose to begin the laborious process of plucking the glass pieces from my body last. How I survived with only a bent coccyx and a score of tiny scars.

But the thing I want you to know most is how that day changed me. it made me realize that I wanted to do more with my life. Up until that day, I had taken my life for granted. I had been in a state of rebellion, angry at how little control I had. That Earth Day, I realized that I had more power than I’d realized. And that the choices I made did affect my life and the lives of others.

When I think about my High School Senior self, I remember that I was not allowed to be authentic. Those two boys in the car were the only friends I had. They didn’t care that I was gay and they accepted my mood swings. We spent hours playing Dungeons & Dragons, reading Kahlil Gibran and Sylvia Plath, watching Golden Girls and The A Team, and attempting to make explosives from The Anarchist’s Cookbook. They were my brothers.

After we graduated, I shut down the part of me that believed I deserved love. I locked it away and I suffered for it. I believed I wasn’t worthy for almost killing my friends. And though I’ve healed so many things from that time in my life, I’m still learning and healing. I’m still growing. And I am proud of who and where I am today.

I’m proud of my journey and the connections I’ve created as a result of being my authentic self. I want to share more of that with you.

In two weeks, I’m offering a six week class about how to unlock the blocks we create in our lives that close us off to love. It’s the first class of its kind that I’ve offered and I’d be honored if you were a part of it. I know what it’s like to give up on yourself AND I know what it’s like to believe again–in your purpose, other people, and love as a real, living, breathing concept.

If this story triggered anything for you, please let me know. I’m available for readings, coaching and teaching. I offer complimentary Relationship Breakthrough Sessions. And the services I provide all stem from honoring that reckless, angry High School Senior who was simply looking for heart connection.

We all have that desire and we are ALL worthy of it. Will you join me in prioritizing love in your life? Please reach out and let me know how I can help.

Love to you all. Thanks for reading. And please share if you feel led to do so.

~Storm Arcana

Copyright © Storm Arcana, Arcana Academy