It was January 31, 1986 when we t-boned another car that carelessly crossed the highway as we returned from a fun vacation in the northeast of Brazil.
There were 6 of us in the car: my dad, my stepmom, my grandmother, my two little sisters, and myself. It was the 1980s, so none of us had seatbelts on.
Surprisingly, nobody was critically injured. My dad broke a finger, my grandmother had cuts to her head and leg, my stepmom and sisters had no injuries at all.
In my case, I had many cuts and an injury to my left eye.
Three surgeries and 257 stitches later, I was put back together, but my left eye would never make a full recovery.
I was 8 years-old, and my dreams of being a pilot were crushed overnight.
Sometimes we wonder why bad things happen to good people.
I can’t even imagine what my life would have been like had I grown up to be a pilot.
A lot has happened since then, and I’m here today.
Do I wish I had two perfect eyes? Yes.
Do I miss out on watching 3D movies? Yes.
Am I self-conscious about my eye that looks different and tends to wander around? Sometimes.
But again, what choices would I have made if this accident hadn’t happened?
Where would I be today?
As I said, I couldn’t possibly imagine where I would be if, for example, I had grown up to be a pilot.
But I can’t imagine being happier than I am right now. It worked out in the end.
I’d like to challenge you today to see beyond your adversities. You may not believe in God, or in a master plan, and that’s OK I guess. But even then, I invite you to take what happens to you – good or bad – and try to use it as a springboard to propel you to new realities you may not have considered before.
If a dream is crushed, get up and move forward. There are many possible happy endings.
I just wanted to quickly share that this week we shed 26.5 pounds by donating a bunch of things. The tally is now 42.5lb. You can read more about my goals for 2016 here.