In an attempt to bring back ye olden internet blog culture, I will write about meetups, dress reviews, and whatever else tickles my fancy here.
For old blog posts, you can view them on my old Blogspot and my Livejournal.
TW: car crashes, talk of death, injury
Well, August was a helluva busy month. My boyfriend and my mom both had their birthdays, we went to the Renn Faire, I got my Motorcycle license and filed for my plates, took care of a friend's cats... And probably other stuff too that I've forgotten. I think I hosted a swap meet. And I was getting back into the swing of my new old job.
I eventually had to go to the Secretary of State that's closer to me after a few weeks of waiting and after they called around to some offices they were able to print me a temporary permit plate, as of today their Springfield main office still has not charged me for my actual plates yet. (Knock on wood because my bank screwed me over so I don't have the funds in my account right now if they were to charge me...) But at least I can drive my scooter around. I've been riding it to and from work, and... I crashed.
Honestly all the driving classes in the world can't prepare you for what it's like to drive on a real road with other drivers who may only be paying half attention to the road, or none at all. The crash was my fault; I took a turn too fast because I wasn't sure if the car across the street turning in the same direction saw me, so I was hurrying; I took 90 degree turn at about 25mph which... Didn't work. Obviously. One moment I was turning, the next I was sliding across the asphalt, barely stopping in front of a big pickup truck. My skin was ripped open on my knee, but my helmet and leather jacket kept me from majorly damaging anything else. Thankfully, nobody else was hurt. Two guys got out of their cars, rushing out to me as I struggled to pick my bike up in my panic of holding up traffic, and helped walk me over to the sidewalk. Shockingly nobody was angry, they were more concerned if I was okay.
They told me to look out for signs of nausea and vomitting or dizziness, and after they left several others came up to me after I'd walked my bike into the Target parking lot nearby and also asked if I was okay. A family even tried to offer to help take my bike and I home, but they had a baby with them so I turned them down out of guilt. I made sure the bike was still working, and after doing basic care on my wounds by walking into Target, scaring the hell out of some employees and coming out with basic first aid, I slowly drove myself home.
Out of my irrational fear of becoming a Billy Mays, I took a lyft to the nearby ER and waited for 4.5 hours before I was seen. They did basic tests, concluded I might have a minor concussion but were otherwise more concerned for my swollen, bruised knee, and had me X-rayed. Someone gave me a sandwich, since by that point I hadn't eaten for probably 6 or 7 hours, and I cried. My knee wasn't broken, and I was sent home wrapped up with bandages and prescriptions for painkillers that could probably knock out a horse, that I didn't bother getting because my insurance likely wouldn't cover even half of it.
I went home, I cried on my boyfriend, called my mom, and cried on her through the phone.
Nobody ever really talks about the emotional and mental trauma that comes along with a crash and until I was in one I never really thought of it or ever considered what I might want to expect. Things like immense guilt and shame, and constantly replaying it over and over in my head, hating on myself for hours on end for making such a stupid mistake when I KNEW better, I did, I knew. How could I do that? What if I had hurt someone? What if someone died
? I couldn't live with myself if that happened. I was so lucky, and yet I felt like I shouldn't be, like I didn't deserve it for how stupid I was. For how much I troubled others, and made people worry. For, in my mind, letting down everyone who believed in me: my instructors who had nothing but praise to sing of me for being a fantastic driver, for my mom and dad who were so proud of me--my dad especially, who, despite his fears and worries for me as a seasoned motorcycle rider himself, had helped me over a cumulative 12 hours of video call to fix the bike and get it back up and running.
I still haven't told him. He told me he was proud of me, the first time he's ever said that to me in my life. I feel like if I tell him, he'll take it back, it'll be lost, because I messed up, it was my fault. How could I, after over 20 years of waiting to hear those words from him?
Not to mention the near paralyzing terror of when I did inevitably have to get back onto my bike, my main source of transportation: I couldn't avoid it forever, I couldn't just forsake it when I FINALLY got it, after a year of wanting one, after fighting so hard to get it, only to give up on it within my literal first week of commuting. I couldn't afford that. So I had to force myself to get back on it; I crashed on Thursday, and I had an appointment for a scooter shop to look it over and prep it for riding in colder months on Saturday that I'd already had to reschedule once. I couldn't afford to reschedule again.
So on Saturday morning with my heart in my throat I sat on my bike again, shaking, my knee bandaged up and hidden under sweatpants and a long skirt, and rode with my full leathers and helmet on in some 80+ F weather. Nothing of note happened, but the entire day, even after I came home and picked up my boyfriend for us to run errands, I was terrified. I still get anxious every time I get back on it, but every time it's less and less. I drive right at the speed limit, I let impatient drivers honk and honk as much as they like until they can pass me. I take turns no more than 7mph. Last night was my first night riding in pouring rain, and I made it home without incident in one piece, which I am quite proud of.
But the memory of my vision turning sideways, wondering why I was squeezing the brakes but not stopping, realizing I was laying on the pavement and scrambling to get up, to push my bike up, get on it and take off again as if it were a bicycle and I was just a 12 year old who took a spill, having to be stopped by strangers who told me to relax and calm down and let them help me. That memory still stands vivid in my mind, still makes me worry about taking my bike ANYWHERE. A friend of mine also got in a crash a few days ago, her car was totaled, and I keep thinking to myself: thank god she wasn't on her scooter, because if she had been she would be dead. If that were me on my scooter, I would be dead.
I'm at the distinct disadvantage of having no road experience; most people take their regular driver's test as teens, get their first car, and start driving by the time they're 18 or 19. Then they eventually graduate to a scooter or motorcycle, with at least a few years' driving experience and time to make all their dumb first mistakes while being protected by the shell of their vehicle and air bags. I don't have that. I don't have that safety, or that luxury, and my time to learn and gain experience is strictly held up by only one thing: luck. Pure luck. Coming to terms with that has been hell. It forces you to recognize your own mortality, how easy it is to die, and how there is no such thing as a second chance. Once you die, that's it, game over. There's no respawn or starting from a save point. That's it, you're dead.